Year 3, Month 8, Day 10: Breathing Oil Fumes Will Do That To A Guy

The Boise Weekly, on Richard Muller:

One of the most-outspoken global warming deniers has reversed his stance on climate science, saying it is indeed human-made. The news that physicist Richard Muller had gone public with his reversal was even more surprising because his Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project is heavily funded by the climate change-denying billionaire Koch brothers.

Muller said that his new opinion stems from his own Koch-funded project, whose meticulous work, he said, led to the only explanation for rising temperatures was human activity.

In an Op-Ed in the New York Times, Muller was blunt about his reversal.

“Three years ago, I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming,” Muller wrote.”I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”

Dr. Muller is about to encounter the vicious, ignorant, gratuitously stupid face of modern American conservatism. Sent July 30:

Dr. Richard Muller has long been one of the go-to guys for conservative politicians and media figures who wanted scientific credibility for messages of climate-change denial. Along with a few other professional climate-science contrarians (such as Dr. Richard Lindzen, who’s noteworthy as one of the vanishing few who still hasn’t accepted a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer), Muller publicly doubted the overwhelming consensus on the human origins of the greenhouse effect.

“Was,” not “is.” With the release of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project’s conclusions this week, Muller is now firmly aligned with the rest of the climatology community in accepting the reality and the dangers of anthropogenic climate change. At least, he’s caught up with the conclusions of climate science from the late 1990s, which is a step in the right direction.

Muller’s results, important though they are, won’t convince anyone who isn’t convinced already. If his experience is similar to that of other climatologists, he’s going to receive hate mail and death threats from the same people who, a few months ago, were lionizing him as a scientist of great integrity and a courageous voice of dissent.

Warren Senders


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