Climate change drops into the news again, as the president takes another swing at advocates, other countries, and all of his opponents here in the United States. You know when the reporters turn to that topic, because their language becomes overheated. “We’re all gonna burn up!” If you have a lede like that for your story, you grab people’s attention.
I’ll have to say though, a number of things about climate change reports simply exasperate. One is that if you do not voice full throated agreement with every point of climate change orthodoxy, you receive the label ‘climate change denier’. I’ve even seen the word ‘denialist’. I’ll wear the label with pride, if it fires up the advocates. When they get fired up, they reach superlative levels of dishonesty, not attainable in normal discourse.
Their go-to move right now, after they dismiss your denialist views, is to say their arguments are ‘settled science’. That seals their unwillingness to discuss anything related to their position, and demonstrates their profound misapprehension of science as well. ‘Settled science’ for them is not up for negotiation. It’s a waste of time to discuss something that’s settled. I understand. I’m that way about some of my beliefs. I don’t try to dismiss people who disagree with me as idiots, though.
The first sign of dishonesty is sometimes the most difficult to spot. People apply standards to others that they don’t care to apply to themselves. In the case of climate change, advocates are eager to claim that denialists have politicized the issue. We have whole marches whose main message is: take the politics out of science. Science, unlike politics, shows us the truth. Let’s not let dishonesty, feuds, backstabbing and bickering from one sphere infect the other. We have to protect science from dirty political battles.
Well I’ll be fried in oil and turned over well done. If climate change advocates spot an argument that enables them to don white hats, they’ll go for it. If comparing opponents to Holocaust deniers isn’t enough, we’ll tar them as anti-science. Ultimately, these deniers are a danger to the planet, and that makes them a danger to you! Your children will burn, drown, starve, or simply die young in some catastrophic event if we let them have their way. They are beyond salvation if they’re willing to let the earth become an uninhabitable cinder.
I don’t care to listen to self-righteous, authoritarian advocates who belittle you in order to disguise the chicken little foundation of their outlook. I want to talk with people who have some self-revealed recognition of what they are about. Climate change advocates introduced politics into this discussion from the outset, and they have not shown any self-restraint since then. They do not wear white hats, no matter how hard they would like to make them fit.
If you want tell a story about how to politicize a scientific question in order to achieve certain outcomes in the public sphere, the modern history of climate science would be a good one to tell. Advocates have not let up, either in their accusations against opponents, or in their desire to buttress their aims with government coercion. They have been ruthless, relentless, and transparently untruthful in the way they have dealt with their so-called settled science.
I should add before I close, not one argument I’ve made here implies that global warming is a hoax. The word hoax comes from climate change advocates, not skeptics. Recall climate change ideology develops in four distinct parts: 1) earth’s climate has warmed over the last century and a half; 2) global warming is due to human activity; 3) effects of global warming will be catastrophic; 4) humans can curtail global warming if they submit to policies that reduce the effects of their activities. Even if curtailment cannot head off catastrophe, we have to try. Advocates treat all four parts as a unitary set of doctrines.
A question about any part of the argument earns you the label denialist. Advocates say you have called the whole thing a hoax. For comparison, consider why the Catholic church become involved with legal proceedings against Galileo. For church authority, to say the earth was not the center of the universe amounted to denying the existence of God. That’s why they cared. Galileo replied, “I don’t deny the existence of God. I’ve just been doing some research about how the earth orbits the sun.” That didn’t matter. The church forced him to cease research, because his findings cast doubt on a unitary set of beliefs. For them, God would not have created a sun-centered solar system, let alone a universe where earth floated as a tiny speck in infinite space.
Climate change advocates treat their incontrovertible doctrine the same way. They are not interested in science. They are interested in certain kinds of authority, authority that shapes the world to their liking. They have shown their willingness to ostracize, coerce, denigrate, and intimidate doubters. That is not science. They do not appear interested in why the earth warms and cools over eons, let alone the endogenous and exogenous influences on that cycle. Their behavior, as it becomes more extreme and predatory, is not even politics. Advocates’ attitudes toward science, and toward politics, indicate they began as do-gooders who evolved into bullies. They merely want to have their way.
Afterthought that started out as a forethought:
Look what we’ve seen happen to science and politics. Climate change serves as our case, though we might pick others, such as evolution, vaccinations, or environmental protection. In every case, a small group of people arrive on the scene with data, and a set of apparently incontrovertible arguments. Why do we disallow dispute? Because the data are scientific, and you cannot argue with science!
Lest we become too serious about science, here’s an observation about how mainstream news treats stories about drugs, and their ability to create altered states of consciousness:
“Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration—that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we’re the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather.” ~ Comedian Bill Hicks