This shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody who has been paying attention these last few years.
It's the real reason why alarmists tend to run for cover when challenged to open debate. As the Intelligence Squared debate in New York a couple of years ago and the more recent one at the University of St Andrew's have shown, once people are exposed to the counter arguments they begin to question how strong the case for anthropogenic climate change is, or at least begin to question whether it is as pressing an issue as it has been made out to be.
From the Bolter:
Bruce McMahon of the Courier Mail shows no mercy to green colleague Graham Readfearn, who foolishly agreed to join a debate in Brisbane with climate sceptics:
Lord Christopher Monckton, imperious and articulate, won yesterday’s climate change debate in straight sets…Aided by Adelaide’s Professor Ian Plimer, Lord Monckton cruised to victory before a partisan crowd of suits and ties, movers and shakers.Hundreds of them were there for the sell-out, $130-a-head Brisbane Institute lunch – and scepticism was applauded.Climate change scientist Professor Barry Brook and teammate Graham Readfearn, The Courier-Mail’s environment blogger, were stoic in argument (even if Mr Readfearn may have foot-faulted once or twice and had to be pulled into line by moderator Ray Weeks).
Our alarmist friend Professor Barry Brook also took part in the debate, but he seems to have lost some of his old certainty.
In 2007 Brook claimed that while, yes, nature had been holding climate change at bay, ”all hell is about to break loose” from 2009, and he last month claimed ”2010 (is) looking likely to be the hottest ever”.
But in debate with Monckton and Plimer he conceded “we don’t know how much it (global temperature) is going to change in the future” (first audio clip), and urged instead that we cut our gases just in case.
Monckton’s retort to this citing of the “precautionary principle” is magisterial - that it is nonsense to consider only the risk of not Doing Something, without also considering the risks that Doing that Something involves.