Year 2, Month 8, Day 19: We’re Still Learning More About Gravity!

The August 2 edition of the Deseret News (UT) contains more false equivalency bullshit:

In the face of repeated assertions that the science on global warming is “settled,” ongoing studies and developments in the area leave some insisting that claim remains true, while others say the science is anything but.

According to Gallup’s annual environmental poll, the percentage of Americans saying they worry a great deal or a fair amount about global warming has fallen from a high of 66 percent in 2008 to a stable 51 percent in 2011. Furthermore, 43 percent of Americans say the seriousness of global warming is exaggerated in the news.

A breakdown of global warming poll data shows that the issue remains mainly ideological, with 72 percent of Democrats saying they worry about global warming compared to 51 percent of Independents and 31 percent of Republicans.

As the global warming debate becomes more politicized in individual attitudes, state governments, Congress and even within the United Nations, the possibility of the science becoming truly “settled” appears unlikely.

In a study published July 25 in the science journal Remote Sensing, William Braswell and Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, suggest the Earth’s atmosphere is more efficient at releasing energy into space than models used to forecast climate change have been programmed to “believe.”

As an atheist I strive to avoid theonormative expletives. So I have a limited rhetorical palette available for properly cursing these fuckers. Sent August 2:

It’s amazing how much faith Republican politicians and members of the media place in science. Just watch as they cite the Braswell/Spencer study as an invalidation of the work of hundreds of other researchers. Their readiness to trust a paper which has already been criticized as methodologically flawed is touching in its innocence. Of course this has nothing to do with the study’s usefulness to the anti-environmental agenda; such a suggestion is terribly cynical!


Scientific integrity demands that experimental results must be regarded skeptically; ideologically convenient findings should be even more subject to careful scrutiny. The scientific consensus on human causes of climate change is built on an enormous body of work that has withstood attempts at falsification. To say the “science isn’t settled” does not mean the basic principles are invalid, only that there are still gaps in our knowledge. The science of global warming is as settled as it needs to be, despite the wishful thinking of denialists in Congress and the media.

Warren Senders

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