Leave it to the Washington Post to twist climategate into knots, so it’s the scientists who were caught green-handed are actually the good guys. Chris Mooney, a science journalism Knight fellow at MIT, writes today’s column with the promising headline, “On issues like global warming and evolution, scientists need to speak up.” But, soon enough, we remember what WaPo is all about.
Mooney begins by telling us the the latest polls show trust in scientists dropping sharply. But, you don’t learn that it’s because people now understand many global warming academics and scientists have not been pursuing the truth about global warming, but instead grants, peer pressure, and their own agenda. No, he says, it’s because the scientists have not communicated well enough their message of global warming. Apparently, the world has not yet heard enough about the “fact” of global warming.
The central lesson of Climategate is not that climate science is corrupt. The leaked e-mails do nothing to disprove the scientific consensus on global warming. Instead, the controversy highlights that in a world of blogs, cable news and talk radio, scientists are poorly equipped to communicate their knowledge and, especially, to respond when science comes under attack.
No, those emails didn’t say anything about the manipulation of data, the deletion of emails, the fear of the Freedom of Information Act, the “tricks” in the programming, propagandizing Wikipedia, the hiding of the medieval warming period and the last decade of cooling, did it Mr. Mooney?
And poor Michael Mann, the Penn State University climatologist at the center of the global scam; he complains that he’s had to defend himself and the science largely alone: “I haven’t had all that many other scientists helping in that effort.” Could it be they don’t want to back the sneaky Mr. Mann, and it could it be they know the data is flawed and the science is not really settled. Heavens no. It’s simply “that scientists had never been trained in how to talk to the public and were therefore hesitant to face the media.”
And remember the hurricane season of 2005? Apparently the message that they were due to global warming didn’t get drilled into our heads enough.
Consider another failure to communicate from the global-warming arena: the scientific fallout after a devastating trio of hurricanes — Katrina, Rita and Wilma — in the fall of 2005. Just as these storms struck, a pair of scientific studies appeared in top journals suggesting, for the first time, that global warming was making hurricanes more intense and deadly.
Notice he said that “for the first time” studies suggested that global warming was to blame for more deadly hurricanes. No mention that they were also some of the last hurricanes we’ve seen in the gulf since the doomsday predictions of Al Gore, the media and I’ll bet the author.
We haven’t even got to the best part yet.
Looking for another way to attack skeptics, and conservatives while he is at it, he compares the climate change “deniers” to creationists who deny evolution.
If the global-warming battle has any rival in its intensity, its nastiness and its risk to scientists if they do not talk to the public, it is the long-standing conflict over the teaching of evolution. Science’s opponents in this fight are highly organized, and they constantly nitpick evolutionary science to cast the field into disrepute.
The scientific response to creationists has long been to cite the extensive evidence for evolution. In book after book, scientists have explained how DNA, fossil, anatomical and other evidence indisputably shows the interrelatedness of all species. Further, they have refuted creationist claims that evolution cannot explain the complexity of the eye or the intricacy of the bacterial flagellum. Yet such down-in-the-weeds messages probably miss most of the public — polls repeatedly show that a large portion of Americans have doubts about evolution.
Let’s see if we’ve got this right. It is the global warming gang who has science on their side, and it’s the skeptics who stubbornly hold on to faith. We are the flat-earthers, insisting “the science is settled” and Al Gore, the UN, East Anglia and the rest of the useful idiots are the ones who are open, honest and welcoming of skeptical analysis in order pursue the truth?
And you thought 1984 was fiction.
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