Environment

The Climate Ground War Grinds On

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorSep 26, 2011 2:23 PM

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Here's the publisher promo for James Lawrence Powell's new book, The Inquisition of Climate Science:

Modern science is under the greatest and most successful attack in recent history. An industry of denial, abetted by news media and "info-tainment" broadcasters more interested in selling controversy than presenting facts, has duped half the American public into rejecting the facts of climate science"”an overwhelming body of rigorously vetted scientific evidence showing that human-caused, carbon-based emissions are linked to warming the Earth. The industry of climate science denial is succeeding: public acceptance has declined even as the scientific evidence for global warming has increased. It is vital that the public understand how anti-science ideologues, pseudo-scientists, and non-scientists have bamboozled them. We cannot afford to get global warming wrong"”yet we are, thanks to deniers and their method.

Gary, one of the scholars at Ecological Sociology, explains why the "anti-denier crusade" is itself in denial over the deficit model's failure. (Hello, Al Gore?) Moreover, Gary observes:

Powell's rhetoric, like that of many other scientists pushing the deficit model, preaches to the choir of believers. It has little to offer in terms of the real task, engaging in active dialogue with the deniers.

That's obviously true. But was that ever an objective? Powell's book and, to cite another well known example, Joe Romm's blog, have no interest in engaging with "the deniers." Their efforts are part of a ground war. Their battle strategy is simple: crush the enemy. Others, who share the same larger goals of AGW proponents (taking action on global warming), see this tactic as self-defeating and suggest that neutralizing climate skeptics via other means would provide better results. Alas, as Gary notes in his post, a typical feature of the "anti-denier crusade" is

a general lack of self-reflection, particularly as it relates to the use of rhetoric.

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