The Climate issue has been rumbling along seemingly for ever - presidents and wars have come and gone, the protagonists have circled the wagons, and arguments have been flung to and fro with no attempt to find any common ground.
As with so much that cannot be proven "beyond reasonable doubt" there seems little hope that the two sides will come together on any compromise. The entrenchment is complete, the battle lines are set in stone.
And yet, there surely must be reasonable doubt? The known data are complex and far from conclusive, the unknown data orders of magnitude more voluminous. The unseen interactions of vulcanism, ocean currents, atmospheric phenomena, solar cycles and even cosmic plasma currents and electromagnetic radiation are a long way from being fully understood in relation to the climate.
Science is only ever settled until a better science, more capable of explaining the observed phenomena, comes about. Then there is a period of argument where the devotees of the old science are slowly converted to the new, or allowed to settle inconsequentially into scientific oblivion. Then once the new science is established in humanity's minds, the process repeats.
So the entrenchment of positions carries with it the implication of unreason somewhere in the mix, and the psychologist might ascribe some blame to the involvement of the political mindset of the UN in what should certainly be a dispassionate and indeed essentially humble scientific endeavour that recognises the limits of our knowledge.
Sadly professional hubris and the understandable propensity to work within the confines of the views of those that fund us do not facilitate this humility.
So it is with some surprise that I note the World Climate Declaration by upwards of 1100 "scientists and professionals" (not to mention the odd Viscount) who have got together a veritable broadside to put into the public discussion:
"To believe the outcome of a climate model is to believe what the model makers have put in. This is precisely the problem of today’s climate discussion to which climate models are central"
Ah! The unthinking but erroneous assumption that clever modelling is always scientific.
"Should not we free ourselves from the naive belief in immature climate models?"
Time will tell.