Year 4, Month 10, Day 27: The Earth Sucks

Joseph Bast is the fetid mouthpiece of the Heartland Institute, and he’s been given a big mouthpiece by USA Today:

Environmentalists hoped the latest study from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) would finally end the increasingly acrimonious debate over the causes and consequences of climate change. It has had the opposite effect.

MIT physicist Richard Lindzen called the IPCC report “hilarious incoherence.” British historian Rupert Darwall labeled it “nonsense” and “the manipulation of science for political ends.” Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology says the IPCC suffers from “paradigm paralysis” and should be “put down.”

The most precise criticism of the IPCC’s report came from the editors of Nature, one of the world’s most distinguished science journals: “Scientists cannot say with any certainty what rate of warming might be expected, or what effects humanity might want to prepare for, hedge against or avoid at all costs.”

Just shoot me. Oct. 17:

When the Heartland Institute’s Joe Bast blithely asserts that the IPCC report “exaggerates” the risks of global climate change, his cherry-picking of scientific criticism of the report is grossly mendacious. For example, Bast cites an editorial comment in the journal “Nature” which notes that “scientists cannot say with any certainty what rate of warming might be expected” — but ignores the rest of the article, which reaffirms both that warming is happening and that its consequences are likely to be disastrous.

The IPCC document is the result of collective decision-making, which means that the report’s conclusions actually minimize, rather than inflate, the dangers of runaway climate change. Mr. Bast’s statements are fundamentally dishonest and do a grave disservice to the national discussion of a genuine threat. For USA Today to offer the voices of climate-change denialism such a public forum in a time of genuine planetary emergency is sadly irresponsible.

Warren Senders

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