Monday, May 08, 2006

A Lethal Coalition

Over at NRO, Kenneth Green argues that climate-change "alarmism" is on the wane. His evidence, not surprisingly, consists of lies and non sequiturs:

Michael Crichton’s State of Fear...has educated millions of readers about climate science. Parody sites such as The Onion and are heaping scorn on scientists who are increasingly sounding like angry authoritarian oracles.
And why not? What are research and data, compared to the scorn of parody sites, and the ravings of a hack novelist? (Just for the record, I searched the Onion's archives for terms like "climate change," "global warming," "atmosphere," "climatologists," and "greenhouse," but I didn't find anything that matches Green's description.)

Green attacks "the positively silly idea of establishing global-weather control by actively managing the atmosphere’s greenhouse-gas emissions." Demonstrating a fearsome grasp of climatological terms and methodology, Green helpfully explains that his ideological opponents comprise a "lethal coalition" of "one-worlders" and other "temperance fiends" who hate "fossil fuels, cars, large houses, urban sprawl, highways, rich people, fat people, industrial economies, airplanes, meat consumption, non-recycled paper, and just about everything else that might make someone smile."

But he sees a silver lining:
One used to hear near unanimity among the scientists beating the drum of climate alarmism. There was, invariably, only one possible course of action supported by “the consensus of scientists”: reducing greenhouse-gas emissions immediately, even if it meant the collapse of national economies. Not any more. On April 18, a group of 90 scientists wrote an open letter to Canada’s prime minister observing that “Advances in climate science . . . have provided more evidence supporting the need for action and development of a strategy for adaptation for projected changes.” The group goes on to emphasize that as “mitigation measures will become effective only after many years . . . adaptive strategies are essential and must begin now.”
This emphasis on "adaptive" response, needless to say, is necessary in part because the industry-funded antics of morally dysfunctional denalists like Green made taking timely action impossible.

More to the point, though, Green is lying consciously and with malice aforethought. Here's what the letter in question actually says:
There is an increasing urgency to act on the threat of climate change. Stopping the growth in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations by reducing emissions would also have benefits for air quality, human health and energy security. But since mitigation measures will become effective only after many years, adaptive strategies are essential and need to begin now.
You don't have to be a "one-worlder" to understand that these scientists are saying we should immediately reduce emissions, while preparing for serious problems. The letter shows plainly that the experts whom Green hails as representative of "cracks in the climate coalition" are predicting scenarios he calls "alarmist," and recommending actions he calls "positively silly."

At the risk of being uncivil, what a despicable fucking asshole this guy is.


dan mcenroe said...

i honestly don't understand how anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the english language and critical thinking skills superior to those of a starfish can read the national review and not realize how thoroughly they're being bullshitted.

i am convinced that national review readers pick it up because they want to be lied to.

Phila said...

I think you're right, Dan. Green links to the Canadian letter with the insouciance of a man who knows that his dishonesty won't be noticed, and won't harm his career if it is noticed.

That said, NRO says the article was edited after its initial posting. You gotta wonder how bad the first version was!

Anyway, it's no surprise that people want to hear comforting lies. What amazes me is that so many people dish them out year after year, knowingly, without being motivated to blow their brains out.

Anonymous said...


roger said...

i see that you endorse thersites' view of the limited utility of civility, as do i. green's language may appear civil, but how is it civil to lie. the denial of reality, with authoratative emphasis, has become the norm for some, like the cia-chief-nominee hayden insisting, in a public argument with a reporter, that the 4th amendment does not contain the words "probable cause" in reference to searches.