Turkey, where the local climate is normal and where nothing unusual happened in the time since the green bandwagon hit the road, signed on to Kyoto and will most likely sign on to the Copenhagen compromise, Kyoto II. So there is a need to spread the word about that the science the media won’t mention, hence The Skeptics Handbook
A 2007 survey showed that even in Turkey some 70% of people are familiarized with the theory that carbon affects the climate, which shows the remarkable reach of UN propaganda1. The UN may not have any evidence, but they have widespread influence. The Politburo would be impressed.
Like most politicians, the Turkish representatives wouldn’t mind another excuse to tax everything that moves while being hailed as heroes (I ‘ll save you. Let me spend your money!). And with potential EU membership acting like a carrot with gold plating, there are reasons for Turkey to accept agreements it may not otherwise have chosen to.
It’s a country caught in a patchwork of third world unmechanized farming and modern megopolis development. Pop music has arrived in a big way; mass produced electronics goods are finding markets; and satellite and cable TV is common, but at the same time, people still chant five times a day — only now the most fanatical can do it with Bang and Olufsen megaphones. This is “modern” third world style. Adaptive Bass Linearisation meets the Koran.
The state may provide free hospital care, but you need to bring your own nurse. Seriously, family members may have to provide non-medical nursing. Sewers are still uncovered and storm drains are inadequate. Infant mortality is surprisingly serious. Babies born in places like Nicaragua or the Palestinian Territories have much better chances of survival. This is not a country where “going solar” is a top priority. People are dying from real preventable causes, and man-made climate change is not one of them.
Most people live in rural villages, and are dependent on coal and wood in winter, and gas for their cars, so the chances of “alternate energy sources” being affordable are seriously close to zero.
Turkey’s economy (like many others) hangs by a thread. It’s hard to imagine how they could seriously cut their emissions without crippling their economy. Current tax rates are at a level that almost every business struggles to meet. Income levels are much lower than the west, to the point where even children are breadwinners. Meanwhile unemployment is officially “above 13%”, and probably in reality, above 25%2. Those numbers have a special meaning in a land where there are no unemployment benefits. Hiking up food costs with an unnecessary carbon impost is dangerous for people already on a subsistence diet.
Energy-wise, Turkey has big gas reserves near the north coast of the Marmara and a well developed gas infrastructure, though not, it seems, a terribly well developed electricity network, as blackouts are still regular. There is plenty of work to do to get fossil fuel powered electricity running reliably before the country rushes into unproven and more risky alternatives.
Rather than establishing Research Centers in Atmospheric Chemistry, the Kurds in the east are more interested in establishing schools and hospitals, and, of course, their own government. This is a country that needs to spend money on health, on basic services, on education — not on inefficient energy sources, auditing carbon credits, or a new layer of bureaucrats.
The word from a cyber friend who lives there is that there aren’t many skeptics, but nor are there many AGW fans either. As I suspected, Turks view this mostly as a western creation and a western problem.
Once again, marvel at the worldwide grassroots network of volunteers. Email all your Turkish friends. Click on the image above to see The Turkish Skeptics Handbook.
Thanks to Zulloch Ltd for the translation. They are a professional translation service in Istanbul, so this was an easy effortless process for me. I just had to give permission and the cogs turned…
And just in case you ever need to arrange a Turkish translation:
Zulloch Tercume (Translation and Print Services) Ltd, Istanbul.
Phone: (0212) 641 1840 – 41
Fax: (0212) 641 1839
The full printable top quality 17Mb version can be downloaded too. (For all your friends in Turkey with four color printing presses.)
Finally! – I’ve got a translation in a language that Brian Valentine can’t read. (UPDATE! No. My mistake. Only 6 languages done so far, I’m sure we’ll get there soon…:-) Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Danish and Spanish are in the works.)
1 2007 polls of countries and climate change attitudes and knowledge. http://www.globescan.com/news_archives/bbc_climate/backgrounder.html
2 Turkish Unemployment. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/mar2009/turk-m18.shtml