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Warming melts snowflakes

31 Jul 2019 | OP ED Watch

Judith Curry roasts climate scientists suffering “pre-traumatic stress disorder” because of things they think might be going to happen, with particular reference to a Mother Jones article quoting some prominent alarmists saying things like “I have no child and I have one dog, and thank god he’ll be dead in 10 years.” She urges them to develop “psychological hardiness”, which one might also label toughness, character or just common sense. Especially as Curry notes that other alarmists aren’t curling up in a ball and whimpering, and that nothing in the IPCC’s own reports justifies anyone doing so.

Emotional fragility has somehow become a badge of pride in the modern world, as well as a polemical weapon. If you can manage to be triggered by someone’s opinion, you can shout them down or worse (although if you’ve really crumbled you should lack the aggressive vigor for such deplatforming). But as Curry says, crediting Jeff Kiehl, “whining scientists aren’t going to help either the science or their ‘cause.’”

It’s a rule that can be applied far more widely. And in fact Curry quotes some more resilient alarmists including one who said he maintained perspective by reflecting that “I had a girlfriend once who was a social worker who had to deal with abused children…. Climate scientists have it easy.” And another who tweeted “In a world where people have to deal with racism, inequality, and resurgent fascism, the notion that climate science is uniquely depressing is…weird.”

Of course if the world really is about to end it would be uniquely depressing for all sorts of reasons including that we would not have time to quash this “resurgent fascism”. (Though on the plus side, if Prince Charles is right that “the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels” fascism won’t have time to hurt us much either.) Whereas if “inequality” is worse than climate change then somebody’s been overhyping the latter. But in any case, as Curry notes, people like Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt, instead of being paralyzed by gloom, react by redoubling their efforts to do something. We’re not persuaded by their analysis and we don’t endorse their solutions. But we certainly do applaud their attitude in the face of what they believe is an imminent crisis: When the going gets tough, they get going.

One comment on “Warming melts snowflakes”

  1. Instead of redoubling their talking, I'd rather see Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt reduce their carbon footprints. Claiming a "climate emergency" while holding a platinum air-miles card rings a tad hollow.

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