The war over the war of the words

On the Weather Channel, the climatologist presented an editorial defending her advocacy for banning heretics. Then at PhysOrg the UCS complains that Groups Allege Pressure on Global Warming. This is a two front attack: one is to ban those with ‘incorrect’ views and the other is to complain that those you are trying to ban are banning you!

It is something to consider trying to find congruence between “Our goal at The Weather Channel has always been to keep people out of harm’s way” and “Many of you have accused me and The Weather Channel of taking a political position on global warming. That is not our intention.” Keeping people out of harm’s way requires a political judgment. It is not the role of science to promote or advocate what human behavior should be. That is the role of politics. The role of science is descriptive with an honest assessment of that description’s limitations.

And then consider the snide ‘reporting’ in Popular Science’s State of the Climate. “Hindsight has rendered silly the breathless reporting of Bush’s eureka moment [link] nearly five years ago” – and references to the President’s alcohol abuse and recovery (this is called an ad hominem argument and generally disdained as a less than honest approach). And then there’s the “how to dance around the issue of global warming” assertion as if it is a tactic engaged by only one ‘side’.

The big deception in all of these arguments is the issue at hand. It is not climate change or global warming but rather what we know about the phenomena, how we know it, the limitations of that knowledge, and what, if anything, anyone should do about it. The pattern is that those who do not advocate massive governmental intervention and regulation are presented as heretics and ignorami trying to dictate their views on others while they are doing it themselves.

We have headline stories about polar ice melting and raising the sea level many feet but no one explaining how an average temperature change of only a couple of degrees is going to have this effect. And that is only one example of the disconnect between hysteria about predicitons and what is known.

On the political front there is the attack on the current administration facing the reality that the US rejected the Kyoto treaty in 1997 by overwhelming Senate vote. This is just one example that illustrates that it is not climate that is the issue but rather partisan political advantage.

What all of this does is to obfuscate rather than clarify. That does not help anyone.

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