Year 2, Month 2, Day 5: Keep ’em Ignorant!

The Attleboro Sun-Chronicle (MA) runs a fairly standard “hey, it’s snowing! Does that mean global warming is bunk?” piece, replete with a quote from an Accuweather denialist at the end.

So-called “climate skeptics” are fond of pointing out extreme snowfalls as somehow “disproving” the whole notion of global warming, thereby demonstrating the dismal state of science education in our country. A warmer atmosphere means that more water evaporates and turns into precipitation, be it rain, snow, hail or any of the peculiar combinations for which Massachusetts is rightly famed. The science of evaporation is hardly controversial — and the science behind the greenhouse effect has been firmly established for many decades. One of the first predictions of climatic instability as a consequence of increased atmospheric CO2 appeared in Popular Mechanics — in 1953! — and climatologists have been refining their analyses ever since. But most “climate skeptics” are unworthy of the term; a skeptic is one who relies on evidence and understanding, while the current crop of naysayers wear their ignorance of basic scientific concepts as a badge of honor.

Warren Senders

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