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A brief note on how science works and …

Comment posted on Question: How can we license fracking when we have permanent drought? by Webcraft

A brief note on how science works and on how climate change denial works

Science works through a process perfected over centuries. Numbers of independent scientists and institutions carry out lengthy research and analysis then publish their findings in scientific journals for review worldwide by their peers. Only the research that passes this intense and highly qualified scrutiny gains any credence. Other scientists – fiercely competitive and inquisitive as a breed – will then probe and test these findings in an attempt to further validate (or disprove) them before using them as a platform for further study.

Climate change deniers on the other hand do not need to do any of this. All they need to do is cast a shadow of doubt into peoples’ minds. They can make bald statements – such as ‘global warming stopped in 1998’ (their favourite) safe in the knowledge that most people will not try to independently verify or discount this.

Climate change deniers may be rotten at science, but they are very good at manipulating public opinion. That is what makes them such dangerous people.

Webcraft also commented

  • Renewables generated 35% of Scotland’s electricity demand last year.

    Wind accounted for just over half this. The rest came largely from hydro, but some also came from solar and biomass.

    When you consider the huge changes the coming of the hydro made to the Scottish landscape and the time it took to build the schemes the fact that wind has surpassed it already is quite impressive.

  • Malcolm, tell me more about wind turbines being shut down at night please. I think you are just making this up as you go along.
  • Malcolm,

    The 35% figure I mentioned does not refer the capacity factor of wind in Scotland in 2011. I am talking about the total amount of electricity generated and fact that the equivalent of 35% of all electricity used in Scotland was generated by renewable sources last year.

    Renewable electricity generation in 2011 was a record high at 13,750 GWh. Of this 7,049 GWh (over half) was wind. Wind therefore generated the equivalent of over 17.5% of Scotland’s electricity demand last year.

    I don’t regard 17.5% as too shabby for a newcomer to the generating mix, do you?

  • ‘Token gesture’ huh?

    Scotland generated the equivalent of 35% of domestic electricity demand from renewables last year Malcolm.

    I have no commercial interest in renewable energy by the way, I just have an interest in new technologies and in the world my grandchildren are going to live in.

  • ‘There comes a time when enough is enough and we have to move on’

    But what you are proposing is not moving on, it is standing still. You are like the people who opposed the railways or enacted the Red Flag laws for early automobiles, standing foursquare in the path of progress.

    My ilk are for progress, Malcolm. You and your ilk are for a (very) short term benefit to your own pocket at the expense of future generations.

    As for panicking, I believe it is you and your fellow sufferers from turbophobia that are panicking with the realisation that onshore wind will achieve grid parity in four years time or less. The whole denier thing is unravelling.

    Renewable energy is here to stay, wind, wave and tidal. Live with it.

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