Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Climate Scientist Mechanical Engineer John Abraham, writing for The Guardian, seems to think it is un-American to disagree with his views on climate change.
An Inconvenient Sequel – the science, history, and politics of climate change
Al Gore’s new film is worth watching
Wednesday 15 November 2017 22.00 AEDT
Al Gore’s new movie ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ is, in some ways, similar to his groundbreakingInconvenient Truth project, but different in other ways. Those key differences are why I recommend you watch it.
This movie successfully accomplishes a number of interweaving tasks. First, it gives some of the science of climate change. Gore gets his science right. I remember his first movie, which I thought was more steeped in science and data than this one, so based on my recollection this new picture is somewhat abbreviated. That’s a good thing because the science is settled on climate change. That is, the science is settled that humans are causing current climatic changes and the science is settled that we are observing these changes throughout the natural world.
Readers of this column who venture into the comments below will likely find people claiming, “science is never settled.” But the people making those comments are not scientists. They don’t work in this field every day, they don’t see the data, and they don’t know what they’re talking about.
The election in the US was a climate disaster and it is turning out to be worse than we could have feared. The US President and Congress are doing everything they can to ensure more rapid and devastating climate change. They are doing everything they can to ensure more California wildfires, more Marias, more Harveys, and more Irmas. They are doing everything they can to bring us more California droughts and wildfires and Texas floods. They are doing everything they can to cut funding from climate science so we won’t know how bad it is. They are doing everything they can to make the USA a pariah nation. In fact, on the day I write this, the US has become the only country to reject the Paris Climate Accord. That is a stunning fact. What kind of country does this?
What they are doing is so un-American; so un-conservative.
But what these forces cannot do is turn back the tide of the economics. People are investing in clean energy because it makes economic sense. And this is the inflection point that makes the clean energy revolution unstoppable. That’s why I am optimistic. That’s why Al Gore is optimistic. That’s the threaded message in his movie. And it’s why you should be optimistic too.
What I don’t get is, if the clean energy revolution is unstoppable, why the vitriol? Surely if economics is driving the shift to renewables, the greens have already won? Do educated people like Abrahams really believe that renewables offer sufficient economic advantage to sweep the field without further help, or are they just peddling empty propaganda to their followers?
Back in the real world, claims that renewables are competitive are as wobbly as a climate projection. German Government Broadcaster ZDF reports old wind farms are closing in Germany, because the owners can’t afford to refurbish in the face of falling government subsidies.