Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Monday, July 22, 2013

Climate Monday: Twilight of the Clods?

I know that I usually focus on the "bad news" aspect of climate change, but I think I want to be positive for a change. There's still plenty of bad news to go around, but in terms of acceptance of the science, public awareness, and vindication of it against the denialists, I think there have been some good signs that maybe humanity can grasp a clue before we are thoroughly sunk. Kind of. I guess. For a degree of "clue" that means "knocking off our shit" and "before we're thoroughly sunk" meaning "adapting to a changing environment without pretending nothing has changed/is changing". The most meaningful thing, then, that I think can happen is what I'll term "The Twilight of the Clods"--the era when denialism ceases to be even marginally persuasive to any but deliberate and obvious hacks and fringe personalities.

I think we might be getting there--for one thing, climatologist Michael Mann has been vindicated, once again, this time in a court of law.  For anyone who has followed this saga, Mann has been regularly slurred as being a fraud by denialists, even though his hockey stick graph has been virtually reproduced by other researchers looking at the data and investigations into his own work have repeatedly absolved him of any charges. It isn't enough that he has been proven right--it is meaningful that those who have tried to discredit him and his work with ad hominem attacks to skew the perception of his work, be exposed for the hacks they are.  This should go some way to those attacks no longer being repeated. (Not that bullshit can't reverberate in wingnuttia for a long time, but it would be nice to see some skullduggerous fingers well and truly slapped, and the slurs appearing in WND and not so much WSJ, you know?)

For another thing, denialists aren't really holding their own end up, what with their own end being made of sloppy bullshit, and all. I really had to link to this article as a nice account of open dialog leading to factual and earnest debunking. I'm pretty much for public spankings of contrarians when they have determined that their sense of style holds sway over facts in their presentation of information. (I feel a bit bad that I hadn't followed Matt Ridley as a science writer more--I actually have enjoyed some of his books regarding genetics, but oh well.)

Which leads me to this interesting plea from a Republican senator regarding "tolerance":

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said Thursday that people should be more open minded to differing opinions on climate change.
“At the very least, I think it’s time for some tolerance in the public discourse regarding the many scientific viewpoints on climate change. Respect should be shown to those who have done the research and come to a different conclusion,” Wicker said during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on climate science.
I find this interesting because, if anything, I've thought the media at least, showed an awful lot of "tolerance" regarding denialism, to the point of false equivalence.  If that "tolerance" is fading, it probably has a lot to do with a reservation of respect only to those who have done research that comes to a different conclusion--"Nuh-UNH!" not being a valid opposing hypothesis, and all. But I have found that denialists' version of "intolerance" seems to merely rest in having a differing view and defending it. Sen. Wicker doesn't seem to realize he's already being afforded a heaping helping of "tolerance" and the rest has to be earned. If he feels like denialists are losing...

Oh. Well.

1 comment:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The sad and undeniable fact, though, is that there is big money behind doing nothing about it.

And our politicians respond to big money like nobody's business.