by William Teach | January 17, 2012 8:52 am
So says the Washington Posts Michael Gerson, who starts out calling Katharine Hayhoe, who had written the chapter in Newt Gingrich’s forthcoming book that ended up being whacked, a “moderate voice.” She’s anything but.
A theory about the role of carbon dioxide in climate patterns has joined abortion and gay marriage as a culture war controversy. Climate scientists are attacked as greenshirts and watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside). Skeptics are derided as flat-earthers. Reputations are assaulted and the e-mails of scientists hacked.
What explains the recent, bench-clearing climate brawl? A scientific debate has been sucked into a broader national argument about the role of government. Many political liberals have seized on climate disruption as an excuse for policies they supported long before climate science became compelling – greater federal regulation and mandated lifestyle changes. Conservatives have also tended to equate climate science with liberal policies and therefore reject both.
And, Boom! Gerson hits on the true support by liberals of anthropogenic global warming: power, higher taxes, and increased Central Government. Funny how liberals never consider what their support for these ideals would mean for their own lives, but, then, they always think that the “solutions” will always affect Someone Else.
No cause has been more effectively sabotaged by its political advocates. Climate scientists, in my experience, are generally careful, well-intentioned and confused to be at the center of a global controversy. Investigations of hacked e-mails have revealed evidence of frustration – and perhaps of fudging but not of fraud. It is their political defenders who often discredit their work through hyperbole and arrogance. As environmental writer Michael Shellenberger points out, “The rise in the number of Americans telling pollsters that news of global warming was being exaggerated began virtually concurrently with the release of Al Gore’s movie, ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’”
Yes, the emails do show frustration on the part of the “climate scientists”: frustration that they are continually being asked to show their work in the public domain, how they got to their answers, and what the raw data shows. They do not like that, so the emails also show arrogance, attempts to circumvent freedom of information requests, attempts to block papers that do not agree with their views, and that the science was politicized and manufactured, among others. Not fudging, but fraud.
Gerson keeps going for a bit about the sociology of the issue, before moving on to
But however interesting this sociology may be, it has nothing to do with the science at issue. Even if all environmentalists were socialists and secularists and insufferable and partisan to the core, it would not alter the reality of the Earth’s temperature.
Since the 1950s, global temperatures have increased about nine-tenths of a degree Celsius – the recent conclusion of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project – which coincides with a large increase in greenhouse gasses produced by humans.
Except, the BEST data also showed that 1/3 of the stations reported cooling. And, despite increases in atmospheric CO2, the last 15 years have been stagnant or cooling. But, we see the Warmist “scientific” Underwear Gnome style belief: temps went up, CO2 went up, Man releases CO2, therefore, it is all Mankind’s fault. Who cares if the oceans put out 16 times the amount of CO2 that Mankind does. It’s all mankind’s fault. So, YOU have to pay for this by driving unsafe motor vehicles while Liberal Elites take limos and private jets to exotic vacation spots for climate conferences.
But any rational approach requires some distance between science and ideology. The extraction and burning of dead plant matter is not a moral good – or the proper cause for a culture war.
But, the theory of anthropogenic global warming, er, climate change, um, climate extremes, climate weirding, extreme weather, whatever they’re calling it now, hasn’t been about science since Keeling did an investigation into CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa volcano observatory in Hawaii in the 1950’s and immediately declared that it was all mankind’s fault. I’ve written it ad nauseum, but, if the Warmists really believe in their “science”, they’d change their own behavior to match their rhetoric. Yet, other than perhaps changing a lightbulb and turning a light off, they don’t.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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