One has to wonder if global warming promoters are oblivious to the manner in which their talking point narratives are plagued with crippling contradictions. Consider the following statements, paraphrased from my own experience of being on the receiving end of such assertions:
“You have no climate science expertise allowing you to comment on whether global warming is happening.” Neither does Al Gore, nor scores of book authors declaring the issue settled, or the collective lot of environmental organization administrators, or any mainstream media reporters.
“You’re a denier of climate change.” But not one skeptic climate scientist or prominent skeptic speaker has ever been seen saying the climate has remained static over the last century, nor has any actually advocated for an unchanging climate. Global warming promoters, on the other hand, appear to advocating for exactly that.
“You’re ignorant.” Of what? Avid followers of the issue who are skeptical of man-caused catastrophic global warming are often adept at citing specific IPCC material in order to point out which climate predictions are failing to happen, and they are often well-versed in related facets of the issue, such as the fine details and overall scope of the ClimateGate scandal.
“You oppose stopping global warming because you are guided by your religious beliefs / economic greed / political views.” Again with advocating for an unchanging climate? But what church do I belong to / what is my economic situation / what political party am I registered in? Can anyone hazard a guess that has any hope of being confirmed? Can anyone do the same on other skeptics?
“You oppose President Obama’s global warming reduction efforts because you’re a racist.” Vice President Biden holds the same views, as does Hillary Clinton. President George W. Bush suggested global warming reduction efforts could be accomplished through voluntary means.
“If you don’t see what runaway global warming is going to do to us in the future, you are crazy.” Diagnosing a person’s mental health is usually left to those having psychology expertise. But we are talking about events that have not yet happened.
“There’s a 97% consensus among climate scientists saying global warming is happening.” It’s more like 100%, but this goes back to the assertion about ‘deniers’ above. Regarding the “97%” talking point, that largely stems from just three reports having highly suspect methodologies, not restricted to just the loaded too-simple question of whether global warming is happening. On top of that, a show of hands has never validated scientific conclusions any time in the entire history of the Scientific Method.
“A minority of denier scientists have long been given media balance by reporters when they never deserved it.” Again with the denier talking point? But show all of us the last ten times when any mainstream media news outlet balanced their news reports about global warming with equal time given to purely scientific viewpoints offered by skeptic scientists.
“Denier scientists don’t publish papers in peer-reviewed journals, the gold standard of determining science conclusions.” Could we stop with the denier talking point? Skeptic scientists most certainly do get their papers published in peer-reviewed journals, they also describe in great detail how that process has been stacked against them by biased science journal editors, and there is at least one instance of where a science conclusion was seen in a science journal and its conclusion was widely cited as a situation to make decisions from. However, the paper’s author was later found guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data for his work The mere presence of a science conclusion in a science journal is therefore no validation of the conclusion’s merits.
“Denier scientists deny that cigarettes cause cancer, that there is an ozone hole, or that acid rain exists.” Each time the ‘denier’ talking point is repeated, it undermines the critic when that individual never proves skeptic climate scientists deny climate change or that global warming has happened over the last century. As for the other points, they would be devastating if only they were supported with actual evidence to prove such a denial took place.
“Well, you and they are shills of Exxon / the Koch brothers / ‘dark money’, and are paid to lie, deceive, and fabricate false reports.” Two words: prove it. If that accusation had any merit, it would have wiped out the skeptic scientists’ credibility more than a decade ago. One more thing, remember who accusers are talking to in this particular situation: I am the one who has access to my bank accounts and my correspondence, and there is no way on Earth anyone can make that accusation stick to me.
“You are an idiot and no amount of reason will change your closed mind.” It must be first proven I am an idiot, that I’ve been presented with reasonable arguments, and that I have rejected such arguments.
I have no climate science expertise, and have said so from the beginning. All I ever did from the start was point to one side of the scientific consideration of the issue completely contradicting the other side. Rather than receive any informed degree of information on why the contradiction existed, I was told to ignore the skeptic side out-of-hand, usually culminating every time with the latter two responses above. The bit about skeptic scientists being paid to lie via industry money at least sounded plausible, but I didn’t proceed farther than just one day into a serious look into where the accusation came from before I ran into irreconcilable differences on who had discovered ‘smoking gun’ evidence proving the accusation to be true, and I could not even find the so-called ‘evidence’ – leaked industry memos – in order to read them for myself. Long story short, when I did find partial copies of the memos seven months later buried in Greenpeace archive scans in a way that ordinary internet searches would not dredge them up, it turns out the memos are not evidence of a sinister top-down industry-wide directive. Worse, narratives about who discovered this ‘industry plot’ are full of holes, and the people surrounding the initial push of the accusation have a lot of explaining to do if they want the accusation to stay afloat.
Basically, the entire global warming issue can be boiled down to a 3-point mantra on “settled science” / “corrupt skeptics” / “reporters may ignore skeptics because of points 1 & 2.” Its promoters almost seem to be praying to whatever god they believe in that nobody will question those assertions.
However, we don’t have to be climate scientists, or really any kind of scientist at all, in order to ask tough questions about the whole issue. We most certainly do not have to be a scientist to ask whether their accusation about ‘corrupt industry funding’ is true, and when it is readily seen how that one folds up like a cheap suit, then the central point in their 3-point mantra implodes, wiping out the other two by default.
[Originally published at New York Analysis]