The Denier's Progress

By Chris Mooney | February 21, 2011 10:36 am

My latest DeSmogBlog post is about the move we’ve seen from sowing doubt about climate science to not even thinking it’s worth hearing any more–as epitomized by the recent IPCC defunding effort. It begins like this:

Over the weekend, the U.S. House of Representatives voted along partisan lines in favor of an amendment sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri (pictured at left) to cut funding for the Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). When I flagged this incredible news on my Discover blog, the clean energy activist Michael Noble tweeted back: “Gone, even that old refrain: ‘needs more study.’”

The more I think about it, the more profound that little remark becomes….

You can read the full item here.

Comments (15)

  1. John

    So let me get this straight, the scientific (government funded) community tells us that Global Warming is real and there is no logical arguement against it. Now you do think that you still need money to study it? If the arguement is sound then there is no need to study it further lets use those dollars to fix the problems.

  2. Brian Utterback

    John is right, in a backwards kind of way. If you are going to ignore the results, why pay for the research?

  3. Jay Fox

    So just shoot the messenger and pretend nothing happenned? Wonderful.

  4. While John is, in a sense, right (and I use that description with full awareness of it’s double meaning) the real facts of the story are that the same people who act to defund the IPPC and NASA climate research, also are moving to defund all work (EPA) to resolve the problem that we all agree exists.

    Can’t have it both ways, John.

  5. Nullius in Verba

    #4,

    And do we not also all agree that the EPA’s proposal would not, in fact, solve the problem?

  6. Jon

    The next time they declare “the science is uncertain”, we can point out that they are not even committed to finding things out.

  7. Democrats are crooks

    Discover is a second rate junk science publication that participated in the corruption of the peer review process, with the active encouragement of climate junk scientists and democrats.

  8. Chris Winter

    John argues: “So let me get this straight, the scientific (government funded) community tells us that Global Warming is real and there is no logical arguement (sic) against it. Now you do think that you still need money to study it? If the arguement is sound then there is no need to study it further lets use those dollars to fix the problems.”

    You don’t think everyone can acknowledge that a problem is real and still need to study its details?

    For one thing, much better understanding of the potential feedbacks is needed, so we have a better idea of when they might kick in. This, I expect, is going to be a major emphasis of AR5, due out in 2013.

  9. Chris Winter

    “Discover is a second rate junk science publication that participated in the corruption of the peer review process, with the active encouragement of climate junk scientists and democrats.”

    You forgot to mention Al Gore.

    You can go on tossing out random, unsupported charges of corruption till the cows come home, and still not cut any ice.

    Meanwhile, Greenland continues to melt.

  10. etudiant

    The problem of the climate scientists is that they focused too hard on selling the message.
    They failed to even suggest a course of action to mitigate the consequences, neglecting the essential second step.
    You cannot simply alarm people, they will tune you out after a while.
    Absent a logical decarbonization program, which would of course imply a massive nuclear power expansion,
    there was nothing to get people working towards a productive goal.
    Hence the loss of support.

    A separate but related issue is that the projections of AGW being a gradual, linear event are not in keeping with past history. The ice cores show the climate flips on a dime, in a decade or even much less. So the reality is, as one of Pres Johnson’s science advisers said, that climate is a ferocious beast that we are poking with a stick. We may not have much warning before we get surprised.

  11. etudiant

    The abuses of cap and trade as well as the food for fuel programs are also drags on the environmental and AGW movements. While these abuses have been perpetrated by others, it is the proponents responsibility to set up the structures that maintain public confidence and respect. This has not happened.
    Hence again, loss of support.

  12. Jocie

    I agree with John, but it’s the deniers that will halt the funding making fixing the problems virtually nonexistent. But the fact that there are even still deniers of climate change running our government poses a problem for any funding to begin to make changes.

  13. Dunc

    John: Cancer is real. There is no logical argument against that. Do you think we should stop funding research on it?

    “Hey guys, we’ve verified the existence of the problem, so we can all go home now!”

  14. We were wrong. Let’s move on.
    Climate Change was for gullible fools and we former believers now clearly see that “crisis”, “catastrophic”, “sever” and “unstoppable warming” were a climate cowards death threat. It was an embarrassing era of environMENTAL environmentalism and I wish I could take back the times I implied to our younger minds that “they“ will die on a dying planet from CO2. If any of you stay behind believers and your faded “worst-case-scenario profiting” scientists had any stones at all, you would call climate change what it was supposed to be, death. Not unpleasant weather. How is a little crisis possible anyways? History is not going to be kind to our Disco Doomsday Science and modern day witch burning and even Obama himself bailed on the “crisis” in his state of the union speech. Add to that, the Republican majority just voted to pull all American IPCC funding and there is wide spread talk now of arrests coming. Failed calls for crisis always back fire and now Obama and the press have a new enemy, those who led us to war against climate variation. A wave of former believer rage has arrived and I dare anyone to say unstoppable warming is absolutely true. It’s no different from any old freak standing by the side of the road holding a sign with THE END IS NEAR, SAVE THE PLANET scribbled on it.

  15. John Edwards

    IPCC has done a terrible job of selling the science. It needs real actors with fake blood running out of their mouths to prove the junk science is real.
    That’s why it needs more funding….not less.

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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