“Why Do People Still Deny Climate Change?”

Because of stupid articles with this title, from Gene Lyons in Salon.com yesterday.  Is another pathetic catalogue of recent extreme weather events—Lyons lists “drought . . . catastrophic floods . . . warm winter temperatures across Russia . . . low Arctic sea ice . . . wildfires in Texas . . . tornadoes on the great plains”—really going to change anyone’s mind?  And what about more hurricanes, as we were promised after Katrina?  Oh, that’s right, we’ve now finished the longest stretch without a landfalling hurricane in the U.S. in a century.  Oops.  Guess we’ll have to drop that talking point.

It has become beyond tedious to point out the basics, let alone the data showing no trend in the extreme weather events Lyons cites, that even the IPCC and the so-called “consensus” scientists say you can’t extrapolate climate conditions from annual weather variation.  But folks like Lyons just can’t help themselves.

Professional apocalyptics like Lyons and Gore have no clue that they are the best allies the climate skeptics have.  I hope Gore, Lyons, and others keep writing these kind of articles.  Make our job so easy.  Of course, the purpose of such articles is to serve the needs of moral preening on the part of the author.  It’s hard to believe they think they are actually persuading anyone at this point.

Okay, I guess I have to make this simple for Lyons: no one is “denying” climate change.  Most people have the good sense to notice (or read history) that the climate changes a lot.  What people contest is the opinion that we are going to experience a catastrophic 4 degrees C of further warming 100 years from now based solely on computer models with more flaws than a 50-year old swimsuit model, and still more that people like Al Gore and James Hansen and the UN are the right people to solve the problem even if it were well-founded.  The real denialists are the people who won’t reckon with this point of view.

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