The Sciences

Warming and Winter Storming

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyDec 29, 2010 8:32 PM


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My latest DeSmogBlog post is up--it's about the perennial problem of climate misinformation in relation to winter weather. It starts out like this:

It’s a typical blog comment for this time of year. “I hope,” wrote one of my 'skeptic' readers, “the folks in the NE USA and Europe didn’t hurt their backs when shoveling all that global warming.”

Har har.

This common insinuation--that somehow, human-caused climate change is refuted by the perennial occurrence of bad winter weather--puts us scientific rationalists in a bind. The problem is that unlike many denier talking points, there isn’t really even an argument being put forward here that might be refuted. It’s more of a “nyah nyah,” followed by, “I never believed you to begin with, but this time of year, I just feel sorry for you.”

The article then goes on to describe the role of mental models and confirmation bias in making people quickly leap (or default) to the idea that global warming is no big deal, or not happening, whenever there's a snowstorm. You can read the full piece here


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