I can change your mind on climate – live blog
Welcome to the live blog for I Can Change Your Mind About … Climate on ABC1 from 8:30 pm AEST. From the show’s blurb:
Separated by a generation, and divided by their beliefs, two passionate, intelligent and successful Australians go on a journey of mutual discovery to see if they can change each other’s minds about the most divisive issue in Australia today: climate change.
It’s a pity we don’t have cards for climate change bingo to mark off squares for “It hasn’t warmed since 1998”, “scientists are only in it for the grant money”, “the temperature record cannot be believed” and so on. Likewise, I don’t recommend drinking games. You’ll be on your ear by 9.
8:34 Misleading statistics set it up as a 50:50 issue in Australian public opinion. That’s certainly not the case.
8:39 Rose brings up future generations; Minchin brings up Australia’s competitive advantage built on cheap energy
8:47 Codling (Nova) and Evans engage in misdirection of the evidence – all easily disprovable but it sidelines Rose. She hasn’t got the ready answers.
8:50 Up Mauna Loa. Nick plays with the psychology of small numbers, Anna with the psychology of big, scary numbers.
8:53 Matt England makes a good point about feedbacks and says the science on feedbacks is nowhere as debated as some say
8:55 Lindzen maintains that the world can’t have big feedbacks because it doesn’t make sense to have feedbacks that large
8:56 Minchin loses it over 2nd-hand tobacco smoke. Either it’s the science or these views do have an element of cultural construction. Rose runs the line on previous credibility – Minchin gets angry because it’s unrelated to climate science
8:59 Mueller showed that climate scientists knew what they were doing with temperature measurements all along, despite his original doubts. He is now concerned.
9:01 Minchin doubts that anything can be done with the emissions in developing country pipeline. Rose describes it as hope and despair.
9:03 Minchin says there is no empirical evidence that humans are driving climate change. What is this evidence? I have published on this – there is plenty of evidence. This could be pointed out if Minchin would describe what he meant.
9:06 Minchin introduces Rose to Morano, who challenges Morano’s tactics and credibility. Morano drives together so many rubbish points that if you’re playing a drinking game, you probably need to get your stomach pumped.
9:10 Minchin thinks that Morano should be listened to but glosses over the point that a person is not entitled to their own facts.
9:13 Leiserowitz introduces Rose and Minchin to his cultural construction of climate risk quiz. I fall about where Rose does. Minchin talks about scientists exaggerating – Lieserowitz sidesteps that and say fear is not sustainable. I don’t know any of the top scientists who do exaggerate. He spoke on risk but that is the language used in science communication but it is still not accepted.
9:17 Lomborg wants us to spend $100 billion a year on alternative techs rather than cutting CO2. His is a cornucopian solution and risky in Rose’s eyes. Minchin thinks the market should be free to decide (yep, the one that failed in the first place).
9:20 Zac Goldstein in the UK talks about re-industrialisation. The UK has sidestepped the science. Goldacre, science journo, talks about false balance where both sides of an uneven set of facts are made to look equivalent.
9:23 Rose asks Goldacre whether she’s making a mistake with the show. So they go to meet Mike Hulme who now works with the social side of climate having left the science behind.
9:26 The socialisation of climate change is about trying to solve these problems in a messy way – it goes beyond cost benefit, and calculated risk can’t provide neat enough answers for either certainty or cost-benefit.
9:29 30 tonnes of CO2. Geez, I hope they offset. They visit Heron Island – where’s Ove?
9:31 Is there common ground to solve the problem, has Rose brought Minchin along a small amount via an appeal to reason?
No-one has yet talked about the full cost of burning fossil fuel, they are talking about the production cost of standing energy supply.
Clive Palmer brought his furphy – anthropogenic CO2 3% and natural 97%. These guys are about price, not value.
Rose brought up the worst case losses to MDB ag production of ~95% by 2100. That was a “worst case” study undertaken by John Quiggin’s group for the Garnaut Report. I’d rather these types of studies not be quoted in this way.
Minchin believes our current lifestyle is sustainable. Most earth system and global change scientists would disagree.
Megan Clark is making me glad I am no longer with CSIRO.
Rose misquoted the IEA projections on CO2 budgets to avoid 2C. Roughly 80% 0f the budget is committed in existing plant and forward projections for infrastructure – they said that beyond 2017 new commitments would cut into the excess of the budget.
Rebecca Huntly has some wise words on survey and how the debate is being manipulated.
Rose just pwned Palmer on his “care” for the poor and destitute.
Clark describes CSIRO and Bureau state of the climate reports that will come out every two years. These reports are getting better and better.
Minchin has misquoted Phil Jones in saying that warming is stable since 1998, Minchin says the CO2 rises have not been matched by temperature rises. Matt England from the audience says that is not reflected by the scientific evidence.
Huntly gives a good nuanced answer on science communication and getting the point across. When people have a hard time understanding scientific nuance they fall back on their values for understanding.
Clive Palmer doesn’t credit that CO2 contributes to climate change and confuses flux with burden.
A question about the carbon price and Australia’s tax burden on families. Australia pays one of the lower rates of tax in the OECD and there is a compensation package. Huntly says this is not well understood.
Rose almost gets the last word. She doesn’t always get the science as risk stuff right, but she is a very articulate speaker. Minchin was surprisingly nuanced later on in the doco but reverted to politics in Q&A. Clive Palmer was populist and applauded for it.
What’s the wrap? I think this doco showed how important people’s values and prior assumptions are in influencing the way we view evidence. I don’t think Q&A achieved all that much but I was glad Matt England was there to clarify a few things.
Thanks for following the debate here.