Saturday, February 06, 2010

No Recognition

Speaking of liberal condescension, we are approaching the third anniversary of a prominent example-- Ellen Goodman’s column on climate change in the February 7, 2007 Boston Globe. Excerpts follow, with especially choice passages in bold:
By every measure, the U N 's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change raises the level of alarm. The fact of global warming is "unequivocal." The certainty of the human role is now somewhere over 90 percent. Which is about as certain as scientists ever get.

I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.

There are astonishing gaps between Republican science and Democratic science. Try these numbers: Only 23 percent of college-educated Republicans believe the warming is due to humans, while 75 percent of college-educated Democrats believe it.

This great divide comes from the science-be-damned-and-debunked attitude of the Bush administration and its favorite media outlets. The day of the report, Big Oil Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma actually described it as "a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain." Speaking of corruption of science, the American Enterprise Institute, which has gotten $1.6 million over the years from Exxon Mobil, offered $10,000 last summer to scientists who would counter the IPCC report.

This works for some. But a lot of social science research tells us something else. As Ross Gelbspan, author of "The Heat is On," says, "when people are confronted with an overwhelming threat and don't see a solution, it makes them feel impotent. So they shrug it off or go into deliberate denial."
Ms. Goodman and her ilk aren't wrong necessarily; the record snowfalls burying the Atlantic coast don't disprove anthropogenic global warming. But developments since her column was written--the falsification of climate data, the manipulation of computer models, the substitution of conjecture as fact about glacial and rain-forest recession--should at least merit an apology from her for the calumnies ["Holocaust deniers"] heaped upon those who had questioned the "settled science." But such an apology from a dyed-in-the-wool liberal is as likely as her recognition that the President's call for civility applies to her as well as conservatives.

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