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Environment

The Reality Challenged

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJuly 24, 2011 5:46 AM

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If you want to know why the old school, inflexible wing of environmentalism is rotting from within, look no further than this gem of a comment at Dot Earth:

Keith Kloor, Mark Lynas, Steve Nordhaus, and Roger Pielke Jr. share several characteristics: rudimentary knowledge of climate change (absent any scientific discipline), a way with words, and, worst of all, rank careerism. Each has tried to carve out a niche by covering the middle ground, thinking that this will gain them credibility. The problem is that each time they try to do so they betray their glaring weakness, which is knowledge of the actual science. They deserve zero respect, and should be ignored. The world is careening toward a crisis on an unimaginable scale. Their petty and ill thought out solutions gain nothing except ceding ground to the oil, coal, and gas companies. These corporate horror shows will seize that ground and launch giant tanks from it.

The funny thing about this comment is that it doesn't even speak to the issue of GMO's, which is the topic of Andy Revkin's post. It's just an absurdist rant. I mean, as Revkin responds:

How in the world can you possibly place Mark Lynas in the climate "middle ground"? Because he's okay with nuclear power, or...? Have you read anything by him?

Heck, has the commenter read anything by me, other than what appears in this blog? Anyway, as nutso as this comment is, it's not the most disturbing one on this particular Dot Earth thread. I'm still trying to comprehend this response from NYT food columnist Mark Bittman, who wrote:

The one thing you might have left out is "does this GM stuff do anyone any good?" I agree there's no reason to attack the stuff. I agree the fears are likely unfounded. I think the GM boom is likely unfounded also "“ what has it done so far, besides produce herbicide resistant seeds that have spawned herbicide resistant weeds?

Does this GM stuff do anyone any good? What has it done so far...? This has to be a statement borne of willful ignorance. But for anyone who wonders the same, here's some good answers.

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