Baker ridicules the concept of “scientific consensus”. It is true that the scientific community does not operate in a vacuum and that it is very often subject to pressures of politics, religion, social rules, prejudices and also directly from the market. But this does not invalidate the concept of scientific consensus altogether.

In a series of articles published in April 2007, the Financial Times described how a "carbon gold rush" has led to the setting up large number of carbon offset trading companies, which act as intermediaries between the buyers and sellers of carbon credits. What it meant in reality was that the polluters in the USA and Europe, and now also in China, could continue to pollute unchecked. [Originally published in edited version on, 10 May 2007]

In contributing to the debate, Mike Palecek states that, "The idea that we could rule out solar activity as a factor in the climate of this planet is absurd, but this is the false dichotomy that is presented by global warming deniers. They misrepresent the consensus position among climatologists by reducing their understanding of contributing factors to CO2 and CO2 alone.

Emil Reed has written a reply to Brian J. Baker, which addresses some of the scientific issues raised. He claims that Brain J. Baker has given "an extremely misleading picture of the state of knowledge about climate change." And that "instead of making a positive contribution to the understanding of climate change Brain J. Baker repeats tired old arguments."

We publish here the final part of Brian Baker's article on climate change. He gave the title "Global warming - a socialist perspective" to his article, and in the final part we are presented with his "Conclusions for socialists". The readers can judge for themselves, but although Baker attempts to challenge the science behind the idea of human caused climate change, we believe his conclusions do not reflect an all-rounded socialist approach.

Mick Brooks questions the method applied in the four-part article by Brian Baker published this week. Brian Baker's article does not proceed from a Marxist framework. It tries to show that human activity has no part in climate change. Environmental problems such as climate change are inevitable under capitalism and that what is required is a world socialist plan that takes account of all the costs and benefits of human economic activity.

In part three Brian Baker in answering the question "Is the planet warming?" states that "The short answer is yes" but his opinion is that this "is most probably from the little ice age, but nothing dramatic." Different methods produce different results, therefore one has to take great care in using as scientific and objective a method as possible. Are these statements valid points? We invite our readers to comment.

So what drives the Climate? The real answer is no one knows. There are theories in abundance, computer simulations by the score. But as Gershwin described the Mississipi "It just goes on trundling along." Before attempting to answer the question it is probably worth reviewing the limitations of computer modelling.

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