In a review of a couple of books on climate change, at the New York Review of Books, physicist Freeman Dyson concludes with these observations:
Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate. Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true. Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their arguments on these issues deserve to be heard.
Too bad Dyson wasn’t in charge of organizing the skeptics. Dyson sounds so reasonable. Surely he would not have opened a discussion about global warming with attacks on the scientists, censoring of the science findings, and a crass political campaign maligning science and environmental protection, and especially the people who stand for conservation, as the campaign against action for global warming action actually unfolded.
My experience may be odd, but generally I find those who claim to be skeptics of global warming, and those opposed to action to clean our air, also are not much concerned with “problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice.” If they were not running a Swift Boat Veterans-style campaign of calumny against Al Gore and anyone who calls for action, they’d be running similar campaigns against people who advocate control and non-proliferation of nuclear weaponry, or they’d be campaigning against people calling for clean water, or they’d be arguing that the poor, sick, aged, imprisoned or unemployed deserve the trouble they get.
Perhaps we should be grateful to the issue of global climate change for having attracted and occupied so many nuts who would be messing up affairs on other issues, if they weren’t already engaged in creating a massive, planetary cluster screw up to stop action against global warming.
An energetic shaking of a the wet scrub brush to RWDB.