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the double skeptic

Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 3 years, 6 months ago

A page on energy issues


On many issues, I find myself in a position I call the double skeptic.


I took the the term from the phrase climate change skeptic. Because in a way I'm one of those, but that doesn't mean I agree with others who could be thus described. Far from it!


My position:


  • I think that anthropomorphic climate change is unproven. There's a rough consensus on it, but there are also credible scientific researchers who reject it. I believe it's happening. But not as surely as I believe that the atomic weight of Helium is about 4.
  • But I also think that the evidence for it is great enough that not to take urgent action is irresponsible and plain stark raving bonkers.  


Risk has a well-defined technical meaning. Quantitatively, it's the product of a loss and the probability of that loss.


The loss if the Global Warming enthusiasts are correct is unimaginably great, so great that even a very small probability means a big risk. And the probability doesn't even seem to be all that small. QED, and the prosecution rests.


Mind you, having decided to do something about it there's still the question of what to do. And the record is pathetic. So far, carbon reduction means wealth transfer from the poor to the wealthy in first-world economies, and stalemate with third-world economies who are asked to forego development indefinitely and quite reasonably say no. It would be far better to do nothing honestly than to do nothing while pretending to do something, as presently. At least in the former scenario, the pieces will be picked up a bit faster when and if the crunch comes. It's all about accountability.     


So nobody loves me. And I think that in a polarised discussion such as climate change, that's a sign I may be right.


I'm a pro-nuclear (as in nuclear power - only) greenie. It may become popular some day, there are signs we may even be approaching a tipping point. But don't hold your breath. These signs have been there for decades now, off and on. And if people won't build the IFR... words fail me. Reduced accident risk. Reduced proliferation risk. Reduced waste at all stages of the fuel cycle. Most of the work on materials (the hard part, just ask the designers of the AGR and/or ITER) already done at EBR-II. Words indeed fail. 


Another area in which I'm definitely a double skeptic is same-sex marriage. I think we need to affirm both same-sex and heterosexual relationships. And I also think that both sides unhelpfully oversimplify the issues! See marriage maybes.  


See also a double skeptic.



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