Friday, December 11, 2009

This is what I was bitching about.

Okay, so my post about global warming might not have been "controversial", but it seems like I wasn't exactly clear. Brian makes the reasonable point that serious commentators aren't talking about a conspiracy. Granted. But a lot of know-nothing commentators are. Here's an article from the New York Post on the "Global warming con job". In the article, the writer claims that global warming is an "imaginary beast", an "imaginary problem", and "fraud". (I guess we can debate about whether the NYPost is talking about an actual conspiracy, or just unintentional fraud.) My point was that people who make such claims (regularly) should have pretty airtight evidence for them. So, let's see what evidence the writer offers:

* A claim from the Science & Public Policy Institute that temperatures have recently increased. The Science & Public Policy Institute, incidentally, is a conservative think tank that was founded by Republican politicians with the express purpose of convincing the public that global warming might not be caused by humans and definitely does not require any action.

* Four sentences picked out of those 3,000 stolen emails with no context or even explanation of them. We don't even get their respective paragraphs or a link!

* The claim that CRU dumped data, for reasons that are never explained, and actually what sort of data is never explained; we're just to understand that it was nefarious, for sure.

And this is supposed to be much stronger evidence than NASA and all these other groups have offered for the theory of global warming! I just don't find this sort of cherry picked and misrepresented "evidence" as fully convincing as a lot of other people do, including this columnist. Should there be an investigation into what happened at the CRU? Absolutely, and there is one ongoing apparently. I definitely don't buy Al Gore's argument that all the questions about the CRU are "silly" either. However, after a few weeks of reading breathless articles along the lines of "Yippee! The global warming theory is collapsing!", I felt compelled to explain why I remain skeptical that the right wing think tank theory has won the day. But, we can agree (I think) that articles like this are not making a serious argument.

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