A recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal by Daniel B. Botkin* warns of the delusions many have about climate change and argues that, if it exists and has an anthropomorphic component, its effects will likely be minimal.
Mr. Botkin trots out his credentials as emeritus professor of ecology at UC Santa Barbara to assure us he has no agenda and is speaking from a platform of pure science. We shouldn’t be concerned, therefore, that his platform is presented in the pages of the Wall Street Journal.
A good rebuttal to Mr. Botkin’s specific argument is given in RealClimate.org so I won’t go into great detail here (though I do encourage you to click on over and read it).
Exploring Global Warming Delusions
My task today is to explore the global warming delusions, and why people, even alleged scientists, continue to cherry-pick, mislead, and, in fact, do exactly what it is they accuse others of doing – namely: mislead people and foster dangerous delusions.
The Wall Street Journal is hardly a bastion of peer-reviewed science, and is, in fact, one of the most biased mainstream media outlets in the business of active and ongoing delusion about climate change.
Over the years the WSJ has proffered every lame theory in the book: it’s the solar radiance, it’s water vapor, it’s a vast left-wing conspiracy, ad nauseum.
Misleading Climate Change Data
Now that even their fearless leader, Dubya, is talking like he’s just as concerned about climate change as anyone else (even though he’s done nothing to prove that his words mean anything), the journal takes on a different tack: “global warming will be just fine, maybe even kinda nice. All those bad consequences we keep hearing about? Well, that’s just delusional people talking. We’ve even got a scientist here to prove it. Isn’t that right Mr. Botkin?”
I don’t really know what motivates Daniel Botkin. Perhaps he truly believes what he says. It’s hard to imagine, given the arguments he presents in the WSJ.
Ask the native fishermen living in a small village in Alaska if they are concerned about global warming. Ask the firefighter battling yet another monster forest fire in the Southwest. Or the peach farmer in drought-stricken Georgia. Ask anyone living on the island nation of Tuvalu.
In fact, ask anyone that doesn’t have their head stuck in the sand: “Are you concerned about global warming?”
We expect the Wall Street Journal to refute sound science in the name of political agenda – even a failed political agenda. It’s a proud tradition that has become all too common under what passes for leadership under the current administration in Washington.
But from a professor emeritus of ecology, while we shouldn’t expect him to necessarily agree with any particular point of view, we do expect – and should demand – that he use sound logic and valid arguments.
Alas, the delusions will likely continue in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, where science is the endangered species.
*In fairness to Mr. Botkin, I intended on providing a link to his full article, which I had access to when it first published last week – somewhat mysteriously apparently, since now all I can access is a partial version available to the unwashed masses that don’t subscribe to the WSJ. That abbreviated version is available here. Subscribers to the Wall Street Journal can access the full article here