Slate‘s Emily Yoffe shows just how successful the Denyers’ disinformation campaign has been. Here is what she wrote in the Washington Post today:
Since I hate the heat, even I was alarmed by the recent headline: “NASA Warns of 110-Degrees for Atlanta, Chicago, DC in Summer.” But I regained my cool when I realized the forecast was for close to the end of the century. Thanks to all the heat-mongering, it’s supposed to be a sign I’m in denial because I refuse to trust a weather prediction for August 2080, when no one can offer me one for August 2008 (or 2007 for that matter).
There is so much hubris in the certainty about the models of the future that I’m oddly reassured. We’ve seen how hubristic predictions about complicated, unpredictable events have a way of bringing the predictors low.
It’s also hard to believe assertions that the science on the future of our climate is settled when climate scientists can’t agree about the present — or the past (there is contention about the dates, causes and even the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that followed).
Sad that a smart writer like Yoffe would buy into 4 or 5 major Denyer talking points by my count, including the infamous: “we can’t predict the weather, therefore, we can’t predict the climate” — a favorite of Michael Crichton’s.
These myths are all debunked here, a valuable resource I will comment more on later in the week.
Note that Yoffe is right that “hubristic predictions about complicated, unpredictable events have a way of bringing the predictors low” — but that could just as easily apply to predictions (like hers) that we don’t have to worry about climate change. I’ll stick with the predictions of climate scientists, especially since they have so far underestimated climate impacts and feedbacks.