Year 2, Month 11, Day 4: Paraphrasing WHO?

Dr. Richard Muller continues to be the gift that keeps on giving, this time with an opinion piece in the Midland (MI) Daily News:

Richard Muller has been quoted by climate skeptics the world over as one of the leading authorities on why we should not take the climate science behind global warming on its face.

This past week, a study that took Muller two years to complete, concluded that climate scientists are right about one thing: The land is 1.6 degrees warmer than it was in the 1950s.

Muller, who works at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, conducted the study by focusing in on two chief criticisms of the skeptics — that weather stations are unreliable and that cities, which create heat islands, skew results.

“The skeptics raised valid points and everybody should have been a skeptic two years ago,” Muller said in a telephone interview. “And now we have confidence that the temperature rise that had previously been reported had been done without bias.”

How often do I get to evoke Don Rumsfeld? Sent on Halloween:

Stop the presses! A scientist confirms other scientists’ results!

Of course, science is supposed to work like that, with constant checking and cross-checking leading to ever-more-accurate descriptions and analyses of the world. Dr. Richard Muller’s readiness to change his mind when confronted with irrefutable proof of climate change’s factuality is simple responsibility to the norms of his profession.

In a sane world, this wouldn’t be news.

Unfortunately, ours is not a sane world, but one where billionaires push ideologically-driven distortions of the scientific process, politicians are the captives of corporate interests, our media promotes a false equivalency between petro-funded contrarians and genuinely worried climatologists — and the best interests of the American people are betrayed. In a sane world, we’d have started addressing the dangers of climate change long ago. But as Donald Rumsfeld might say, we live in the world we’ve got, not the world we wish we had.

It’s crazy.

Warren Senders

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