So there the Internet’s in a tizzy over an apparent scheme by someone on the globe’s a’warmin’ side of the climate debate to discredit the “denier” side. I use the word “denier” purposefully and in quotes because that’s the word of choice the other side uses routinely to, I can only assume, stifle debate about the climate science behind global warming. I mean, can you think of another reason to use that pejorative?
In any case, the argument is that if you accept the argument that global warming is happening and that man plays a big part in that warming, you’re rational and accept science and all it has to offer. If you don’t, you’re a “denier” and anti-science. You probably–indeed likely–don’t accept evolution and probably–almost certainly–will vote for Santorum this fall.
If that all makes sense to you and if you accept my premise that the pejorative “denier” is intended to stifle debate, you’ll have trouble like I did making sense of the following by a guy named Peter Gleick, “head of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California and apparently until very recently, the chair of the American Geophysical Union’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics,” according to Megan Mcardle who writes today in The Atlantic about the aforementioned scheme. Quoting Mr. Gleick now (bolded emphasis mine):
I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed. My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved.
Now I’m not a climate scientist, but from my observations, I’d say that the “deniers” would love to have a debate, would love to argue their side in peer reviewed journals, would love to share the stage with global warming alarmist Al Gore. Maybe Mr. Gleick can make that happen–after he comes clean from his misguided efforts to “attack [‘deniers’] and scientists [who don’t accept the so-called global warming consensus] and prevent this debate.” Maybe. Not holding my breath, though that might help stave off global warming–if there is global warming.
Finally, and on a related note, the following quote from Mcardle’s pen should be carved in stone for all to read and re-read (people in the press, you guys and gals in Congress, Mr. President and all the candidates who are running to take their seats, I’m thinking of you):
After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else.
Folks, that last quote accounts for the economic mess we are in right now. Because the people I’ve just named have lost our trust, many of the tools we need to solve/fix this mess are off the table–until trust is restored–and that’s another blog post.
UPDATE: Judith Curry of Georgia Tech adds her two cents.