Conservatives who attack climate science are becoming increasingly shrill and ideological, as the mountains of evidence that burning fossil fuels is disrupting the climate grow. In Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens declares the global warming “religion” to be dead:
So what to make of the U.N.’s latest supposedly authoritative report on extreme weather events, which is tinged with admissions of doubt and uncertainty? Oddly, the report has left climate activists stuttering with rage at what they call its “watered down” predictions. If nothing else, they understand that any belief system, particularly ones as young as global warming, cannot easily survive more than a few ounces of self-doubt.
Meanwhile, the world marches on. On Sunday, 2,232 days will have elapsed since a category 3 hurricane made landfall in the U.S., the longest period in more than a century that the U.S. has been spared a devastating storm. Great religions are wise enough to avoid marking down the exact date when the world comes to an end. Not so for the foolish religions.
Other conservative pundits piled on, loving Stephens’ anti-science rant. “The warm has turned,” adds the Daily Caller’s Sean Medlock, who goes by the pseudonym Jim Treacher. “Buh-bye, global warming. Say hello to the Ptolemaic system for us!” The Daily Mail’s Don Surber, calls climate science “phrenology.” Climate science is a “substitute religion,” argues PJ Media’s Ed Driscoll.
These zealots are not only ignoring the incontrovertible warming of the planet, they are dismissing the catastrophic weather that has caused billions in damage and suffering for millions of Americans in the last six years:
In 2011 alone, there has been the freak Alaska hurricane-strength storm, the freak Snowtober storm, the extremely destructive Hurricane Irene, freak storms in Illinois and Iowa, historic flooding from Tropical Storm Lee, killer storms in Indiana, record rainfall in New York and Montana, and the horrifying tornado outbreak in the Southeast. So far there have been 14 different billion-dollar weather disasters in the United States this year.
Oddly, Stephens did not mention that News Corp, the Wall Street Journal’s owner, is working to fight climate change and reduce its carbon footprint.