Hoping for the best
Every time we run an item about climate change - which let's face it is quite often - we get a number of complaints about media hysteria.
"Oh no! Branson has just pledged 3 billion to fight Global Warming. ANOTHER excuse for Newsnight to champion the cause. It is becoming so tiresome."
"By your own standards tonight's item on global warming was a disgrace... One oversimplified interpretation of global warming is now force-fed to the public."
"Exxon funding groups critical of the increasing hysteria around climate change? Great news!"
Then you get articles like Tom Utley's in the Mail today, railing against the bien pensants of the BBC, using to dismiss concerns about melting ice-caps his own ice-in-gin-and-tonic theory. It goes like this. If the doomsayers are right why doesn't your gin and tonic overflow when the ice melts?
I remember debating that one myself - a little incoherently - over iced drinks in my student days about 20 year ago.
So are we at the BBC peddling some sinister international climate change myth, or are sceptics like Mr Utley in hock to the CO2 nay-sayers of big business?
Neither I think. For years on Newsnight we've reported concerns about the effects of climate change with caution, due scepticism and balance. But at a certain point I think you've got to assemble all the available evidence and decide whether the threat is real or not. I think we're past that point and that the threat is real.
It doesn't necessarily mean, as Mr Utley mocks, that his beloved Norfolk will be under the sea any time soon, it's much more likely surely that Britain will feel the strain from the refugees from the effects of climate change who will make their way to our shores.
So what explains the staying power of the sceptics' argument?
One possibility is that they're right. But I think the real reason is that subconsciously many of us hope they're right. If Mr Blair really believed climate change was a bigger threat than terrorism, for example, wouldn't he devote more of his energies more urgently to it?
And Ethical Man aside, wouldn't you and I change our lifestyles more than the bits around the edges we've done so far?
I think most of us have an inner George Bush, or a part which is in denial and believes it can 't be as bad as all that, that surely something will turn up.
I hope we're right.