Eric Allie

Eric Allie

Stupid, Cowardly or wicked? In the comments Tom raises this question about the media. I thought of it as willful stupidity.

From the Anchoress:

If the true-believers of AGW got this wrong, and they’d attached it to all of their politics, all of their hate, all of their superiority, then everything is in a free-fall.

And this is why the mainstream media cannot possibly report on Climategate until they have an acceptable counter-narrative that they can haul out in order to either debunk the story or soften its edges, even as they break the news.

The press, who spent a huge portion of their credibility convincing America that President Bush was a “liar” and a “power-abuser” and an “arrogant chump who made the world (read Chirac and Schroeder) hate us” and then spent the balance of their capital carrying into office a man whose every utterance comes with an expiration date, who seems to have very quickly abused his power and has treated our traditional allies (who were partnering well with the United States from 2004-on) with contempt or disinterest. The press really cannot afford to admit that almost nothing they have said in the past 9 years has escaped ideological or political framing to suit their agenda. Implode, they will.

So the story must not be told, until it can be told from their self-protective angle which is undoubtedly under development as you read this.

Read the whole thing. It’s quite good.

J Adler sums it up for me:

As I’ve noted before, I don’t believe these revelations “disprove” global warming.  The weight of existing scientific evidence still firmly supports the hypothesis that human activity is contributing to climatic warming.  The releases do, however, demonstrate that many climate researchers have sought to stifle debate, downplay uncertainties, and exaggerate the risks posed by climate change.

Hulme’s point above about the effect of the IPCC process is particularly important.  The effort to compile an “official” scientific “consensus” into a single document, approved by governments, has exacerbated the pressures to politicize policy-relevant science.  So too has been the tendency to pretend as if resolving the scientific questions will resolve policy disputes.  This is a dangerous pretense.  Science can — indeed must — inform policy judgments, but it does not determine such judgments. It can tell us what is, and perhaps what will be, but it cannot tell us what should be.  A more honest climate policy debate would acknowledge that there are uncertainties, acknowledge that there are risks of action and inaction alike, and focus on the relative merits of different ways to address the real, albeit necessarily uncerain, risks of climate change.

That’s been Bjorn Lomborg’s approach. He’s my kind of environmentalist. This from 2006!