Latest posts by Joe Bast (see all)
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Great piece by Matt Ridley, titled “Apocalypse Not: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry About End Times,” in Wired magazine:
It’s the cover story, even, so we can hope it gets a lot of attention. But it’s all been said and written before, so often in fact by so many of us, by Rael Isaac and Jay Lehr and even this writer, that one has to wonder if it’s worth repeating one more time. Environmental alarmism is perfectly immune to facts. Maybe we’re the stupid ones for believing otherwise.
Ridley doesn’t mention climate change until near the end of the article, and then ends his article with some good points on the controversy. I found this paragraph especially interesting:
So, should we worry or not about the warming climate? It is far too binary a question. The lesson of failed past predictions of ecological apocalypse is not that nothing was happening but that the middle-ground possibilities were too frequently excluded from consideration. In the climate debate, we hear a lot from those who think disaster is inexorable if not inevitable, and a lot from those who think it is all a hoax. We hardly ever allow the moderate “lukewarmers” a voice: those who suspect that the net positive feedbacks from water vapor in the atmosphere are low, so that we face only 1 to 2 degrees Celsius of warming this century; that the Greenland ice sheet may melt but no faster than its current rate of less than 1 percent per century; that net increases in rainfall (and carbon dioxide concentration) may improve agricultural productivity; that ecosystems have survived sudden temperature lurches before; and that adaptation to gradual change may be both cheaper and less ecologically damaging than a rapid and brutal decision to give up fossil fuels cold turkey.
Unfortunately, Ridley thinks he’s defining “lukewarmers” when he’s actually summarizing arguments that skeptics use – see Heartland’s position statement on climate change, for example. He seems to believe that skeptics simply deny that climate change takes place, or that it’s all just a scam to advance the liberal agenda. The skeptic position is more nuanced than that.
The “hoax,” though, is real. It is the false certainty claimed by those predicting a pending man-made climate disaster. Expressing any doubt about the causes, extent, and consequences of climate change – as Ridley does here and in his past work — gets you branded as a “denier” at RealClimate and Desmogblog, and then by their sycophants in the MSM. If global warming were about real science and not a political campaign, that wouldn’t be happening. And it answers Ridley’s implied question, why are most skeptics, a.k.a. “lukewarmers,” rarely heard outside the blogosphere?
Because they’ve been mislabeled, then defamed, and then censored.