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The War Against Earth

05 Jun 2019 | OP ED Watch

Google publishes a Splinter news story headlined “Trump Administration Joins Climate Change in War Against Earth”. Oooh, that awful Donald Trump. (Not sure what “War Against Earth” means, but it sounds bad.) But since Splinter might be, well, a splinter group, let’s go to the New York Times for some balance: “Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science”. At least he’s not attacking the planet.

Just the people trying to save it. In what might be taken for an attempt at generosity, the story says “Mr. Trump is less an ideologue than an armchair naysayer about climate change, according to people who know him. He came into office viewing agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency as bastions of what he calls the “deep state,” and his contempt for their past work on the issue is an animating factor in trying to force them to abandon key aspects of the methodology they use to try to understand the causes and consequences of a dangerously warming planet.”

So he’s not dogmatic, he’s paranoid. As for the Times, they’re, well, concerned that “parts of the federal government will no longer fulfill what scientists say is one of the most urgent jobs of climate science studies: reporting on the future effects of a rapidly warming planet”.

It might be obvious to the Times how one reports on things that haven’t happened. But there are those who think one of the most urgent jobs of climate science studies is checking predictions of current effects against actual evidence. Which is apparently an attack on “climate science”, even if it’s a defence of normal science that welcomes skepticism and tests theories against facts.

What comes through even in the Times’ moderate language, replete with terms like “a new assault” and “impose Mr. Trump’s hard-line views on other nations” and “seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests” is that there is no room for legitimate debate. There are just the very good guys (yay us) and the totally evil morons (boo Trump). And anyone who thinks it’s important for climate models to make accurate predictions is pitchforked into the latter camp.

It’s like a war on the planet, man.

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