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Maybe if you told the truth

03 Apr 2019 | OP ED Watch

A professor of panic, sorry, English, says the plan to frighten people by mentioning climate change in every story about extreme weather has mysteriously backfired. He has a new plan: “a kind of ‘jiu jitsu’ persuasion that aligns with pre-existing attitudes” while “social scientists… continue to investigate ways to combat the stubborn boomerang effect, even as the consequences of climate change intensify all around us.” We have a plan too: Admit there aren’t increases in extreme weather so you don’t fry your credibility.

For instance UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who has summoned an emergency meeting for… six months from now, is all in a lather that sea levels supposedly rose 3.7mm last year with more and worse to come! But as Eric Worrall notes on Watts Up With That, if the oceans raged upward at the relentlessly accelerating pace the new World Meteorological Organization report (press release here) predicts until the year 2100 it would amount to a total of 2 feet. “How will our grandchildren or great grandchildren cope with economic burden of constructing an extra foot or two of sea wall?” Ah, the costs of adaptation.

Likewise, opportunistic efforts to link the recent cyclone in Mozambique to climate change simply repel people because there is no evidence of an increase in cyclones and frankly it comes across as ambulance-chasing. (A more rational approach would be to note that in poor countries like Mozambique extreme weather is far more deadly, in part because health care and infrastructure were already lacking, so we should not seek to deprive the Third World of affordable energy that makes people richer and safer.)

It might also be prudent to close the “so cold it’s hot” department from which, for instance, Fortune warns that efforts to cope with climate-change-driven extreme weather are causing more of it because, for instance, the U.S. saw such a cold winter that people used more energy to heat their homes rather than responsibly succumbing to hypothermia. If that trend keeps up we’ll all freeze to death thanks to warming.

Or just get tired of theories that explain everything after the fact, predict nothing accurately, and substitute abuse for argument.

As Robert Tracinski writes in Watts Up With That the alarmist cliché “I believe in science” stands words on their head. It once represented “vague shorthand for confidence in the ability of the scientific method to achieve valid results, or maybe for the view that the universe is governed by natural laws which are discoverable through observation and reasoning. But… most people use it today—especially in a political context… as a way of declaring belief in a proposition which is outside their knowledge and which they do not understand.”

To think that such an approach could fail to persuade. What blockheads the public must be. A basket of deplorables, even.

One comment on “Maybe if you told the truth”

  1. "believing in science":
    What the superficial folks who utter nonsense like this fail to distinguish is between the day-to-day publications in scientific journals and the scientific method which operates on a much longer time frame. I compare it to the difference between mutations and adaptation in natural selection. The vast majority of genetic mutations are harmful, often fatal. Yet natural selection works on the few beneficial mutations to bring about spectacular adaptations over many generations.
    Likewise, the crap you find in most science journals is mostly incapable of replication, mostly unimportant or irrelevant. But every once in a while, an important scientific paper is published which leads to great discoveries and practical uses. In the long run, the scientific method weeds out poor science and elaborates on good science. In a field like climate science, which is still in its infancy, the scientific method has not been in operation long enough to produce much in the way of results that can be "believed in." (Insofar as climate science draws from the established findings of other branches of science - physics, chemistry, etc. - its conclusions are better but not alarmist.)

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