The debate really is over now
The scientific debate over the reality of anthropogenic global warming has been over for some time, but as long as the opponents of science continued to dominate the political process, it was necessary to combat their claims.
But with the Howard government now supporting emissions trading, at least in principle, and with the overwhelming majority of the public convinced of the need for action, that necessity has now passed, at least in Australia. The main task now is to encourage the government to adopt the most efficient and effective strategies for mitigation and adaptation, in co-operation with other countries. That obviously includes signing Kyoto (with the latest change in position and with Bush a lame duck there’s no reason not to), but it could also include getting the (so-far merely decorative) AP6 process to do some work.
Of course, at least some of the denialists will keep on denying. But they’re in a hole and I’m happy to let them keep on digging. At this point, they’ll do less harm banging on about the hockey stick than they would if they accepted the reality of global warming and used what’s left of their credibility in an attempt to derail any positive response.
So from now on, I’m not going to bother refuting the absurdities of Bolt, the Lavoiser Group and other denialists. Rather than make all those who’ve enjoyed the stoush here go cold turkey, I may put up more open threads from time to time, but my future posts will be about the economics and politics of our response.