environment Politics: denialists media irresponsibility scientific consensus
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Eugene Robinson of the WaPo, printed here in the Richmond, Indiana, Palladium-Item:
WASHINGTON — We’ve had two once-in-a-century storms within the span of a decade. Hurricane Sandy seems likely to be the second-costliest storm in U.S. history, behind Hurricane Katrina. Lower Manhattan is struggling to recover from an unprecedented flood and the New Jersey coast is smashed beyond recognition.
Will we finally get the message?
How, at this point, can anyone deny the scientific consensus about climate change? The traditional dodge — that no one weather event can definitively be attributed to global warming — doesn’t work anymore. If something looks, walks and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Especially if the waterfowl in question is floating through your living room.
For decades now, researchers have been telling us that one of the effects of climate change would be to make the weather more volatile and violent. Well, here we are.
And here we will remain, perhaps for the rest of our lives. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when humans began burning fossil fuels in earnest, the concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by an incredible 40 percent. We have altered the composition of the air.
Nate Silver:Dick Morris — James Hansen:Willie Soon. Reality rox:
Now that the post-election period of reflection has arrived, we can begin to understand how number-crunchers like the New York Times’ Nate Silver got it right, while conservative pundits without exception got it so wrong. By relying exclusively on data that confirmed their own preconceptions, the prognosticators of the right wing built a bubble of denial that was finally shattered by a flood of real, irrefutable, data — votes. The statisticians were right all along.
And what if those math-and-science types are also right on climate change? If the research and analyses of respected climatologists like James Hansen and Michael Mann weren’t part of a liberal hoax after all? Why, that would mean that the GOP’s reality-rejection strategy has cost America (and the world) over twelve years of preparation and mitigation — years we’ll never get back. When it comes to climate change, it’s time for conservatives to face the facts — and the future.