Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Few Bad Snowstorms

Irving C. Sheldon, Jr applauds St. Mark's School in Providence, RI for inviting climate skeptic Richard Lindzen to reassure students who've been scared stupid by An Inconvenient Truth:

Lindzen has been a minor affliction to those like Gore who maintain that the science on global warming is settled and the debate is over.
Who does he mean, exactly, by "those like Gore"?

Well, you know...those people. Stupid people, fat people, alarmists, foreigners, Wiccans...the usual crowd. The kind of people who throw common sense out the window by predicting "the melting of the Greenland ice sheet," or daydreaming about "rising sea levels," instead of cheerfully doubting, with Lindzen, "that the effects of warming are necessarily bad."

Some people claim that Lindzen may not be objective. But if that were the case, however could he have "infiltrated one of the country’s leading science institutions"? Accusing "those like Gore" of bias is one thing. But casting doubt on the veracity of members of "leading science institutions" is something else entirely. Not quite pukka, don't you know. Not our sort at all.

Ultimately, the only real danger the climate change "consensus" poses is to environmentalism itself:
[W]hen the theory is inevitably discredited and dismissed, possibly after a few bad snowstorms, the whole package of environmentalism will be discredited too, along with all the worthy parts involving the reduction of harmful pollutants and preservation of wildlife habitat.
Too true, begob. And with Old Man Winter preparing even now for his annual rounds, the warning couldn't be more timely. Two or three serious blizzards, and the public will rise as one to demand more pollution in its drinking water and more clearcutting in its national parks. And who'll be to blame? Those like Gore.

Meanwhile, Tom Teepen pokes a bit of fun at arguments like Sheldon's, and manages to cook the denialist position down to its pitchy essence:
The U.N. panel has it that if climate change isn't checked, North America will suffer longer, hotter heat waves and water shortages, Europe will lose many of its species, Asia will be hit by huge floods and, worldwide, new diseases will evolve.

Yeah, right. Well, we'll just see about that!
UPDATE: Tim Lambert reports on a pair of French denialists who don't seem to realize that the world is round. Teach the controversy!

(Painting at top by Philip Vaughan, after the 1934 Ub Iwerks cartoon "Jack Frost.")

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