Friday, January 25, 2008
Global Warming Denialism Part 1
I love the anthropogenic global warming debate more than the evolution vs creation debate for a couple of reasons. They are both very similar in that they are science issues with large unidirectional consensus that are systematically attacked by a group of very angry people with an obvious agenda. These people, amazingly, are usually led by someone with a giant megaphone who surprise! has no degree in science.
Anthropogenic Global Warming(AGW) is more interesting in a way because it is not a wholly religious issue. It is a politically motivated debate over an issue which has already begun to have direct consequences within our lifetimes. Almost all AGW denialists who are non-scientists are right wing ideologues. Why is this? The obvious reason is that corporate interests have the most to lose over climate change policies which may restrict the way they do business.
What is fascinating is that these right wing ideologues will continually blame the left for "politicizing global warming". The main man to blame of course, is Al Gore. So you have a whole group of science uneducated right wing talk radio/Fox news listeners who jump on the global warming denialism bandwagon despite the overwhelming worldwide science consensus that AGW is true, and blame Al Gore for scaring the shit out of everyone. The obvious question is, how could anything be more of a display of "politicizing" a science issue than a bunch of armchair crackerjacks ignoring a worldwide science consensus over data they are completely incapable of understanding, and claiming that all these peer reviewed science papers in peer reviewed science journals are wrong, while their favorite talk radio guru (who has never taken a college level science class in his life, let alone one on climatology) who totally cherry picks his data and is an unashamed transparent spokesman for corporate interests just *happens* to be right.
Don't worry, I left nothing out. There are *no* peer reviewed papers in peer reviewed science journals by AGW denialists. Only debates over the *degree* at which mankind is causing warming.
Within the scientific community, the consensus is overwhelming and ever growing that mankind is responsible for the preponderance of warming. There is not one credible science agency left which is not in accord. This is not to say that every climatologist agrees. But the denialist ranks are shrinking as new evidence has come in.
None of this deters people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage-Weiner, and it certainly doesn't deter their listeners who swallow their upchuck blindly like baby chicks from their mother. They know what their ideology demands that they believe, and by Gawd they will find a way to make it so!
I have had the wonderful fortune of witnessing cross-arguments from denialists and climate experts recently and I have learned a hell of a lot about this issue. It has been highly entertaining. I mainly observed, since I am no climatologist. I didn't understand all the numbers and everything, but I learned the gist of the denialist motivation and I hope to share it in the next two entries.