Planet Gore's Drew Thornley is irked with "Harvard’s John Holdren" for arguing that the global warming debate is over, and for not showing quite the proper respect to "those who question the inevitably catastrophic effects of anthropogenic global warming."
Holdren criticizes “skeptics” for their lack of scientific proof and lack of scientific credentials, yet he offers not an ounce of scientific proof for his own position.Perhaps that's because this is an opinion piece about skeptics and their tactics, rather than a primer on climatology? Seems like a good working hypothesis to me.
Thornley complains that Holdren — who's the director of Woods Hole Research Center, for whatever that's worth — namedrops a gaggle of scientific bodies that accept AGW, but his counterargument is even more skeletal: he simply says that "much has been written on PG and elsewhere about the growing numbers who question AGW theory."
It's not clear to me why Holdren isn't allowed to prop up his claim of consensus with evidence of that consensus, while Thornley can essentially say "go fish!" to his own readers.
To be fair, this may be because I don't understand the difference between the "politicians and professors" who foolishly accept AGW, and the "scientists" and "policymakers" who wisely reject it.
Well, I guess that settles it. Science is not advanced or settled by the testing and retesting of hypotheses but rather by how many politicians and professors join in your theory.It looks as though Thornley is implying that the theory in question has not been tested and retested. If so, I'm sure that "much has been written on PG and elsewhere" to justify this claim.
Holdren’s piece is in step with the repeated assertions that “the debate is over,” that a “scientific consensus” has been reachedSo those scientists who claim that a scientific consensus has been reached agree that a scientific consensus has been reached. Shocking proof of collusion! If they were honest, they'd admit that their knowledge is atomized and incomprehensible, and refrain from advancing any theory that couldn't be confirmed by a close reading of Atlas Shrugged.
You'll never guess what all this talk of "consensus" proves:
Holdren’s piece is just another example of why we need a real climate debate.And how will we know when we've had a real climate debate, after the last two decades of languid dilettantism? When AGW stands revealed as a neo-Marxist fraud, natch! Or, failing that, once action has been staved off long enough that it's no longer feasible.
Personally, I find it kind of compelling that AGW is widely accepted despite the fact that it's neither reassuring, nor anticipated in The Road to Serfdom, nor useful as an incentive for thoughtless hyperconsumption.
But of course that's sentiment talking, not intellect.
(Illustration at top by Martin Sharman, via Carbon Planet.)