So Nick Minchin threatens to vote down carbon reduction laws because a majority of Liberals don’t believe climate change is influenced by human practices. This is no more nor less absurd than the countless other polls being conducted on the subject.
The actual condition of the earth’s atmosphere is a scientific question which will not be answered by opinion polls.
The other question – why such an issue has become politicised along more or less right/left lines – can be answered in turn by asking how the protagonists stand to benefit: while it remains unclear what motivations the sceptics ascribe to climatologists – who are almost unanimously “believers” without getting paid to be – we need not look far for what inspires the scepticism to be found, for example, amongst some geologists, who often find work for mining and energy concerns.
Neither Nick Minchin – who studied law and economics – nor I am qualified to corroborate or refute the work of climate scientists, but we can both see where the money trail leads. Why our conclusions differ is yet another question.
Just as Darwin’s science challenged a religious orthodoxy, climate change science threatens an economic one. But as sceptics can no longer maintain outright denial, and are reduced to looking for non-human causes or to mere quibbling over the extent of the problem, it becomes clear that this only delays its inevitable acceptance.