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
www.socialist.net, 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."
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.
We are daily
bombarded by news items about climate change. Now many capitalist firms have
joined the bandwagon of carbon offsetting and so on, but a closer look at what
they are doing reveals the same old greed for profit. Capitalism is incapable
of dealing with this kind of problem. A good argument for socialism!
The environmental statistics have been pouring in, and the prognosis
for the planet looks dire: global warming is accelerating, leaving
environmental destruction in its wake. Already we are witnessing some
of its devastating consequences and there are trends
which, if allowed to proceed unchecked, will culminate in humans
huddled around the two poles in search of respite from the heat.
The Stern Report highlights the problem of global warming linked to the high emissions of carbon. Stern tries to find a solution within capitalism, without understanding that capitalism is actually the problem. The unplanned, chaotic nature of the system, where all is based on immediate profit means no real solution can be found within it. The answer lies in planning and that can only be achieved under socialism.