Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New York Times Inadvertently Supports Denial

In May 2012, the New York Times published an article by Justin Gillis titled, "Clouds' Effect on Climate Change Is Last Bastion for Dissenters." This article lends legitimacy to the climate deniers subterfuge by unwittingly casting doubt.The article seems to infer that if you cannot predict with certainty the way clouds will behave you cannot predict that the earth will keep warming. The article explains that scientists cannot predict future temperature, so the inference is that we cannot predict global warming. "The result is a big spread in forecasts of future temperature, one that scientists have not been able to narrow much in 30 years of effort." 

Deniers whose views are shaped by reason and science acknowledge that the Earth is warming and the climate is changing. These literate deniers have adopted a new strategy focused on the unpredictability of clouds and the mistaken believe that although the planet is warming it will not be catastrophic.

There are already climate induced catastrophes taking place all around the world. Apparently deniers do not believe that deadly extreme weather or mass starvation due to drought is catastrophic.

Dr. Richard Lindzen is a climate denier from MIT, he also gave the Heartland 2010 keynote address. Lindzen thinks we should not invest in emissions reduction, "If I'm right, we'll have saved money" by avoiding measures to limit emissions, Dr. Lindzen said in the New York Times interview. "If I'm wrong, we'll know it in 50 years and can do something." If only we had that much time.

Inevitably, even the deniers will be forced to acknowledge the catastrophic effects of climate change just as they are being forced to accept that the Earth is warming. In the interim, these slow learners cannot be allowed to impede progress towards a more environmentally sustainable world.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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