Can’t Stand the Heat

In Retreat
As a heat wave of record temperatures punishes most of the country, millions of Americans have retreated to the relative comfort of air-conditioned houses and apartments. America’s largely coal- & oil-fired power plants strain to meet the increased demand for electricity. For many elderly in cities like Chicago and St. Louis, the summer swelter will prove fatal.

Another kind of mass retreat can be witnessed every Summer — that of the global warming (“GW”) deniers. For GW denial is a dish best served cold. The deniers find it much easier to get people to swallow their lies and confusion when it’s 21º in Boston (January 21st) than 100º (July 6th). GW denial simply can’t stand the heat.

“Lying” in Wait
The deniers needn’t worry about losing strategic ground over the Summer. They take full advantage of the tendency of the human brain to continue to lend credence to a falsehood, even after it has been exposed as untrue.  Come winter, when November blizzards have made the public forget August scorchers, the deniers will spread some more lies. No matter that the unprecedented severity and wild fluctuation of recent Winter weather actually confirms GW — the deniers have tarnished the term “climate change” with an unfounded stigma.

For victory in their guerrilla war against Reason, it’s not necessary for the deniers to convince the public that GW is not real. It’s enough to instill sufficient confusion and doubt to prevent concerted efforts to combat the causes of GW, which coincidentally are the source of so much wealth to the deniers and their patrons.

Just released is the Muir Russell Report, commissioned by the British government to investigate the work of the researchers of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Old emails from the CRU scientists were hacked, and the seemingly damning quotes extracted from them were hyped as “climategate” – proof that GW was a hoax.

In contrast, the report finds of the CRU scientists:

  • “rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt”
  • “behavior has not prejudiced the balance of advice given to policy makers”
  • “were not in a position to withhold access to data or tamper with it”
  • “showed no evidence of bias”

On the CRU analysis of data, the report concludes that:

  • the analysis “ is robust to a range of station selections and to the use of adjusted or unadjusted data”
  • its ”level of agreement between independent analyses is such that it is highly unlikely that CRU could have acted improperly to reach a predetermined outcome”
  • “data derived from tree rings is not misleading”
  • “the references in a specific e-mail to a ‘trick’ and to ‘hide the decline’ show no evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture”
  • CRU ”did not withhold the underlying raw data”
  • there is “no evidence to substantiate allegations that there was subversion of the peer review or editorial process”

The only critique leveled at the CRU scientists was that they failed to “display the proper degree of openness” and “displayed unhelpfulness in responding to requests” for data access.

Bottom line: the real hoax was “climategate” . Nothing’s changed; we’re still in deep trouble, GW is still real and it’s still real bad.  You’ve surely heard all about this, as FOX News will be broadcasting about the Russell findings as energetically as they covered “climategate”.  No?  Well read the truth for yourself:

Muir Russell Report

Climategate scientists cleared of manipulating data on global warming

In fact, the ice caps are melting much faster than scientists previously believed, at what are described as “runaway” rates.

Like Cancer

For decades, the tobacco industry successfully sowed doubt as to the carcinogenic effect of cigarettes. Faced with a report by doctors saying cigarettes were bad for you, the cancer deniers would simply crow, “Yeah? Doctors also told us leeches were good!” For every hundred stories of an Auntie Em who succumbed to emphysema in her mid-fifties, the cancer deniers only needed one tale of an Uncle Ernie, the chain smoker who lived to ninety. One freak snow storm in Atlanta serves as the climate version of the ninety year-old chain smoker. That the GW deniers are using the same devious tactics as the cancer deniers should come as no surprise, because in most cases, they are the very same people.

Mental Insulation
Insulating your house is one of the best ways to ameliorate heat and cold, and a concrete, simple way to fight GW. This Summer, while you’re sweating and cursing the heat, may we recommend a little mental insulation against the coming wave of GW denier lies. On a piece of paper or in a note card, write down how you feel about this heat. Record the date and the temperature. Then read the links above on the Russell Report. Write down your thoughts and assessment of them. Then place your note in an envelope, address it to yourself “to be opened during first Winter storm.”

We all live busy lives, and are inundated with too much information, most of it shoddy. Let’s not get distracted, and let’s not forget — climate change is a serious threat. We need to keep the fight against it a priority, twelve months of the year.

(c) 2010, by ‘tamerlane’. All rights reserved.

4 Responses to Can’t Stand the Heat

  1. Fionnchú says:

    I too am flabbergasted about the vehement denial of GW by many otherwise intelligent folks. I cannot fathom why there’s such a determined effort to undermine science, when the same folks place such credence in it for every other aspect of their lives. So many people act as if a cold day in summer or a warm one in winter now throws off the data amassed over recent decades. By the way, last night while reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals,” I learned that 40% more of an impact than all of transport combined to worsen climate change comes from “animal agriculture” of factory farming.

  2. John Smart says:

    Great piece. I am linking it in the AM with my morning stories.

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