There are times when I must confess to being a little confused. Everyone I talk to says the Anthropogenic Global Warming debate is over. I’ve said it myself more than once. But what is meant depends on to whom you’re talking. People who believe in AGW point to the IPCC’s reports, the proclaimed warmest April on record, then to carbon taxes, emissions trading schemes and the like, that are either now in force, or in various government’s legislative pipelines, and proclaim it’s a done deal. Sceptics point to condemnations of the IPCC by many of its former authors, the coldest January in living memory, say the scientific theory of AGW has been conclusively debunked, point to back-tracking by various other governments (including my own in Australia, which has deferred re-introducing legislation into parliament for at least three years), point to Climategate, lawsuits and so on. Both sides have marshalled any amount of scientific and other evidence, and everyone seems perfectly satisfied with their conclusions.
I should know. I’ve spent the last six months in a pub brawl at the UK Daily Telegraph, on the blog of the man who coined the term Climategate—James Delingpole. And while I’ve personally been on the sceptic side, I’ve been wondering lately what a visitor from Mars would make of the whole thing, having spoken to both sides. He may well conclude that earthlings are living in parallel universes, any causal communication between them being physically impossible.
Over to you.