2009-06-27 Deniers

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Date: 2009-06-27
Link: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018796.php
Author: Steve Benen (writingscat) Hilzoy (writingscat)
Source: Washington Monthly (articlescat)
Topics: global warming denial
Categories: global warming denial


Deniers

longer text

National Review's Victor Davis Hanson explained his rationale yesterday for denying evidence of global warming.

I just spent a few days in the Sierra in May during freezing cold temperatures and snow; a week ago it was quite cool and raining in New York; each time I have passed through Phoenix this spring it seemed unseasonably cool; and just gave a talk on the Russian River and about froze. Meanwhile the grapes look about ten days behind due to unseasonably cool temperatures. Any empiricist would be worried, as Newsweek once was, about global cooling. Will the planet boil, if we slow down a bit, review the science and dissenting views, and consider the wisdom in a recession of allotting nearly a trillion dollars to changing our very way of life (while the Chinese absorb market share)?

It's items like these that help explain why our political discourse is so routinely stunted. If the left and right disagreed on how best to address policy challenges, that would at least open the door to constructive dialog. But we're still stuck in a political environment in which prominent conservative voices at high-profile conservative outlets a) don't recognize the difference between climate and weather; b) find meaningless anecdotes compelling evidence of global trends; and c) are entirely comfortable delaying necessary solutions while trying to continue an already-completed debate.

Also yesterday, the Wall Street Journal editorial page ran an item from Kimberly Strassel that offered even less persuasive evidence. (via Jon Chait)

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers.

Ah, yes, the Inhofe list. Strassel sees "more than 700 scientists" who reject evidence of global warming, but a closer look reveals that the list includes economists, engineers, geographers, TV weathermen, and physicists -- none of whom has a background in climate science. Some of the "more than 700" actually accept global warming as fact, have asked that their names be removed from the list, only to find Inhofe ignore their requests.

shorter text

“If the left and right disagreed on how best to address policy challenges, that would at least open the door to constructive dialog. But we're still stuck in a political environment in which prominent conservative voices at high-profile conservative outlets a) don't recognize the difference between climate and weather; b) find meaningless anecdotes compelling evidence of global trends; and c) are entirely comfortable delaying necessary solutions while trying to continue an already-completed debate.”

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