Spiked Online: in a climate muddle

The little Spiked essay introducing its After Copenhagen climate debate lays out a devil-may-care progressive, anti-green agenda. That’s good fun. But it doesn’t address the difficulty that mankind may have to act on AGW.

I have learned quite a bit from Spiked Online over the years. I like their manichaeism: it’s liberating. I agree that on the whole we should be working out how to satisfy human needs and wants rather than assume that they are trivial. (Though, like George Monbiot, I often wonder in what degree the Online team of Fox, Hume, Furedi etc are still RCP. Are they “Revolutionary”, “Communist” and a “Party”?) 

Still, on climate change they do seem to be in a slightly weird place.

Spiked likes science (and points out that real Greens seldom do). So they are well up for the kind of people (say, the Royal Society, et al) who argue that the evidence suggests that genetically modified crops (GM, or GMOs) are OK.

Spiked likes the Enlightenment project of evidence-based speculation, interrogation and challenge.

But something about climate change science – which has the same sort of scientific supporters as GM – sticks in their craw.

This prompts the thought that maybe Spiked likes GM because the Greens hate it and don’t like climate anxiety because Greens do.

As a free market person, and a believer in progress and industrialisation, it galls me that climate change might be bad and anthropogenic. I don’t like contemplating the amount of state regulation anthropogenic global warming AGW will entail. I’m not in love with the idea that the Greens may be rightish on this one. (I am pretty sure we will largely ignore their calls for dramatic action.)

I do indeed see that the “religion” of science often now coincides with the “religion” of greenery and that means we never quite know whether (say) climate scientists are being strictly impartial as to the evidence.

Still, that’s how the mop has flopped. At the very least, Spiked ought to explain why they are happy to be in a long line of creationist, Lysenkoid, flat-earth science-deniers.

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Publication date

24 December 2009