Rejecting the advice of experts simply because you don’t like it is unwise

Today I took Daniel to the same paediatric dentist Elizabeth saw last week. He’s been seeing the school dental nurse since he was four but I couldn’t help wondering whether they had missed something with him as well? After all, they only discovered one cavity in Elizabeth’s teeth when the dentist found four. Thankfully, his teeth are fine. What a relief!

Next week Elizabeth will have a general anaesthetic and stainless caps added to three of her teeth for a total cost of around $3000. I’m really not keen on this at all but I’ve booked her in and we’re going ahead with it because this is what the dentist recommends and I trust her. I’m not going to go against the advice of an expert in the field simply because I don’t like what they have to say. But this is what people do with climate science all the time.

Climate scientists have told us for decades that if we continue to burn fossil fuels the Earth will warm. This is a bad thing because the polar ice-caps and glaciers will melt, and indeed they already are, causing the sea level to rise. This is bad because it will lead to flooding, coastal erosion, more powerful storm surges, and loss of habitat for humans and animals. The ocean will become more acidic which is bad news for our coral reefs and fisheries. There will be crop failures and as a result of this, food insecurity. The frequency and severity of heat waves, floods, fires, and drought will increase. Tropical cyclones are expected to become more intense. Ticks and insects that carry disease will spread into new geographic areas. Heat-related deaths will increase. And I could go on and on.

These are not the views of some extremist. This is main stream science. It’s all out there for anyone who cares to find out but most people are too apathetic to care and the problem with apathy is that our politicians don’t have the guts to act without pressure from the public.

Climate scientists have told us for a long, long time now that we need to stop burning fossil fuels. Economists have told us for a long time that the best way to do this is with a carbon tax. Despite all of this, Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister, just repealed the carbon tax. A very dumb decision. I saw this video yesterday which highlights the stupidity of his decision and makes fun of the people who voted for him (h/t 350 or bust). It’s goes on a bit and the guy gets a bit annoying after a while, but the message is good.