21 Feb 2014

And Then Some Force….

Cautiously following a link from Bishop Hill, which leads to the Guardian Comment is Free and a scary article you can find here, I eventually fell head-first into a little pot of pure commentary gold.

Read the comment in question, glued below,  and you may well discover that you do indeed  have a number. Enjoy the search for your own ‘Force’ figure and may the Beaufort be with you. 

Dear Irefuteitthus,
My sincere apologies for pinching your comment while you weren’t looking. It’s a beauty!

20 February 2014 8:00am

“It has occurred to me that many bitter and unnecessary disputes on CiF about climate change result from commentators’ misunderstanding of where their interlocutors are coming from. Worse still, many opportunities for enjoyable controversy are lost when commentators form the mistaken impression that they are in agreement with each other.
In order to address these problems, I offer below the CiF Scale of climate change views. Commentators need no longer inhabit a binary, Manichean world of believers/deniers but can place themselves objectively on a finely calibrated spectrum.
By way of disclosure, I am presently Force 5, gusting Force 6. Where do you stand?

Force 1: True believer (James Lovelock, Private Frazer); we’re all doomed, mankind is a hideous fungal growth on the face of the planet, and Gaia will be better off without us.

Force 2: Committed (George Monbiot); believes that climate change is the consequence of a deliberate conspiracy between bankers and Tories, that all air travel, cows, central heating and the purchase of food from third parties should be banned, and that the UK should be aiming at a 15% cut in GDP; in favour of condign prison sentences for deniers and the use of capital letters to emphasise important truths.

Force 3: Fully orthodox (CiF mainstream); believes that climate change is man-made, that people should avoid travelling by air and that the UK should embrace Lord Stern’s suggestion of a 2% cut in GDP; frequently bearded and invariably convinced of own moral rectitude; enraged by any reference to “the hiatus” and in favour of a “no platform” policy for deniers.

Force 4: Broadly orthodox (wet liberal); believes that human activity is the principal contributor to climate change, that people should monitor their own carbon footprint (and keenly scrutinise everyone else’s); prepared in principle to countenance some green taxation; impressed by 97% scientific consensus, but irritated by any suggestion that he/she is guilty of groupthink; puzzled by the frequency of Lord Lawson’s appearances on the Today Programme.

Force 5: Undecided (general population); suspects that human activity may contribute to climate change, but sincerely hopes that any fiscal consequences will be borne by others; guilty about his/her own limited interest in the topic - but appalled by the vehemence of the views expressed on CiF and also feels rather bullied by the scientific establishment; wonders vaguely why the winters don’t seem to be getting any warmer; handicapped in discussion by resolute refusal to engage with any scientific detail not readily available on YouTube.

Force 6: Mild sceptic (Post-recession David Cameron): doubts that human activity contributes significantly to climate change, and suspects that money is better spent (if at all, which probably not) on mitigation than on prevention; in favour of cutting green taxes; irritated by the fluid mutability of climate change theory and wonders just what sort of evidence it would take to convince the orthodox that they were wrong; drives a 4x4, unimpressed by the “97% scientific consensus” and regards own views as little more or less than obvious common sense; not a scientist, but has a friend who is one and who agrees.

Force 7: Confirmed sceptic (Bjorn Lomborg): believes firmly that human activity is at most only a minor contributor to climate change, which is down to sun-spots etc; as a great mind, ranging effortlessly in time and space over the planet’s distant past and the entire solar system, revels in his/her singularity and enjoys patronising the lesser intellects who enter the lists at CiF to do battle on behalf of the believers; hoping for a book-deal.

Force 8: Extreme sceptic (Lord Lawson, Christopher Booker); convinced that climate change is always with us and that the puny activities of mankind are irrelevant; convinced also of a wide-ranging, nefarious conspiracy between the Guardian, the BBC, the EU, and the climate change “establishment”; intense gaze; at parties, not often found in the centre of a circle of admiring listeners.

Force 9: Genuine enthusiast (Bill Giles); looks forward to beach holidays in Nairn and a retirement spent tending his olive trees in Oxfordshire and vines in the Pennines.”

Quote;  Jay Leno.

"Climate experts say we should tell villagers in developing countries to reduce the amount of cooking smoke they generate to help fix global warming. You know, it's as if these people don't hate us enough already. I mean, they live in mud huts, they have thatch roofs, their clothes are made of straw. We pull up in a bunch of Humvees and SUVs going, 'Hey, you want to cut the smoke out of here?'"

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