Environment

The Climate Skeptic as Political Proxy

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorDec 8, 2011 12:20 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Shawn Otto, author of the recent book, Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America, left an interesting comment at the thread of my recent Yale Forum post:

The reason the [climate] skeptics have any power at all is not because what they say is credible, because based on the facts it is not, but because policymakers don't want to have to do anything and the skeptics supply an excuse for inaction. In the case of Iraq, for example, the policymaker motivation (and public sentiment) was in the opposite direction: the direction of action. Thus, the inverse equivalent of a climate skeptic, the gadfly Ahmed Chalabi, though apparently equally without data-driven evidence, was equally listened to because he provided an excuse for action.

Actually, it was Curveball that provided some of that key false intel, in addition to Chalabi, who served as a convenient vessel for neocons, and whose story is a more complicated, fascinating one than commonly known. But that doesn't take away from Otto's larger point.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.