GLOBAL WARMING….John Quiggin summarizes the state of play of scientific evidence for global warming and concludes that “2005 saw the final nail hammered into the arguments climate change contrarians have been pushing for years.” As he says, at this point virtually every legitimate question about the reality of human-induced climate change has been answered.

Equally important, though, is this:

Now that the scientific phase of the debate is over, attention will move to the question of the costs and benefits of mitigation options. There are legitimate issues to be debated here. But having seen the disregard for truth exhibited by anti-environmental think tanks in the first phase of the debate, we shouldn?t give them a free pass in the second. Any analysis on this issue coming out of a think tank that has engaged in global warming contrarianism must be regarded as valueless unless its results have been reproduced independently, after taking account of possible data mining and cherry picking. That disqualifies virtually all the major right-wing think tanks, both here and in the US. Their performance on this and other scientific issues has been a disgrace.

Exactly right. With the scientific debate now largely over, the loony right and the corporate interests they represent will simply pick a different line of attack ? probably without even batting an eyelash. Their basic contempt for serious scientific and factual analysis, however, is a matter of public record. They simply don’t deserve to be taken seriously on this subject.

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