Global warming skeptics get louder — during a record dry spell

The drumbeat of anti-global warming activism is on the rise — the drier it gets.

If you needed another reason to ignore our provincial community newspaper, check out Greg Goodknight’s “Catastrophic global warming theories have not been proven” Other Voices.

I enjoy attempts by locals such as Greg, who have no expertise in the subject at hand, to “educate” us. “Thomas Crosswhite” is another that comes to mind. (In a small community, the pool of letter writers is small, so you can memorize their names. There’s never anything new.)

I have never read a newspaper, ever, filled with so much information that is written by people without any expertise of the subject matter —though we applaud it as “community” journalism.

Rather, it reminds me of the “no child left behind rule” of an op-ed page. “We will run whatever you send us. Just subscribe.” And a lot of these folks seem to have no shortage of spare time.

In one long sentence Greg writes: “As I write, a shipload of activist scientists and climate tourists are stuck in a sea of frozen irony in Antarctica, there to witness a loss of summer ice but instead awaiting rescue by helicopter after two modern icebreakers were unable to reach the distressed ship; climate skeptics would be fewer in number were there nothing to be skeptical about.”

Then Greg’s like-minded friend Russ Steele runs a chart “January-December 2013 statewide ranks” on his blog and concludes: “Looks like California is in the minority, mostly due to the extended La Niña pattern.”

“And the cause of this?” writes Steele’s friend Anthony Watts: “Certainly not ‘global warming’ though I’m sure the activist idiots will use every trick in the book to try to create a linkage.”

Wait a minute. Who’s the “activist idiot” here? Maybe it’s the ex-TV weatherman turned global warming skeptic/expert.

Watts goes on to blame “environmentalists and their campaigns to stop new water storage systems” for the poor water resource planning. Or is it the global warming “activist idiots” who keep us tied up in political knots on this issue when we could be planning for it.

Their recent rants remind me of the phrase “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

Some studies have linked climate change to California droughts. The drought goes well beyond California too — Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, and Oklahoma.

Global warming skepticism is more about money and politics than science. Studies show that “dark money” from well-funded conservative foundations funds climate denial effort.

So no matter how fast Greg, Russ and Anthony keep shoveling their you know what at us, the debate will continue — and only grow louder.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

14 thoughts on “Global warming skeptics get louder — during a record dry spell”

  1. Jeff: Don’t forget there are people who continue to believe that the world is flat and has only existed for six thousand years. Nothing that you or I can say will make any difference to them so why waste your time? Neither you or I are jackass whisperers.

  2. What I don’t understand is why any reasonable person, when confronted with the issues of climate change, would not want to err on the side of caution and take steps to mitigate the problem rather than denying it is a problem all-together. Big Oil began its climate denial propaganda campaign as early as the mid 1980’s. That is when they realized what was happening and how that might effect future profits. Shortly thereafter big oil funded the Heritage Foundation and other pseudo science think tanks to “create” science to back their claims. Unfortunately, those folks with an overabundance of ideological baggage bought into the notion of “government conspiracy” and continue to do so.

    1. I cornered Greg Goodknight on that very question about: Why wouldn’t a reasonable person err on the side of caution, especially when there is such strong disagreement and the consequences are so huge. After considerable back and forth, his answer was that there was zero chance of him being wrong.

      1. There you have it from Mr. Goodknight—there is zero chance of him being wrong about ANYTHING. In all my years watching and unwisely posting on the sites I have marked in a folder in my browser “Crazy A**hole Blogs” I have never heard one of them say, “Upon further reflection and evidence I have come to the conclusion that you are right and I am wrong.”

      2. The “precautionary principle” is just Pascal’s Wager re-purposed. One might as well ask why Steven Frisch chooses atheism over gnosticism since there is no downside to believing in a supreme being who will torment you in perpetuity if you do not believe in Him before you die, because he loves you so much.

        I suspect if Greg Zaller could actually produce the quote behind his 6:49PM claim, it would be a bit more nuanced than he recalls, and I also suspect if the usual suspects here had valid and devastating arguments to counter my facts or conclusions in The Union piece they would not be resorting to the same old argumentum ad hominem ad infinitum.

        It should also be noted The Union’s headline for the piece is wrong since a theory in the physical sciences can never be proved to be correct; experiments that confirm a theory have value, but experiments that counter a theory’s prediction mean the theory is wrong, all or in part.

        The Union also altered my final sentence by dropping the second half. My conclusion was “The case for a future catastrophic global warming has not been made and it is time for this as a litmus test for intelligence or education to be dropped.”

      3. Greg,
        This is your first and final shot. In the meantime, learn some manners, including a “thanks” to The Union for running your Other Voices.

  3. Greg,
    Maybe you should take my Jr Climate Change course, as you described it, so you might understand the science better? It is obvious you either haven’t looked at the real science or don’t understand it. Reading the headlines and cherry picking statistics in articles isn’t really studying the science of the issue.

  4. If this country has to wait until every denier is onboard with climate change, we are screwed. We need to push the bulls&!t aside and move forward on all levels of government, businesses, agriculture and do planning and modeling for what needs to happen with impacts to landscapes and human development. In California we need a major investment in base data for spatial modeling of forests with fire behavior and hydrologic outputs for any given year’s weather pattern. It can be done, it will be expensive up front, but the return on investment could far outweigh the costs. If we continue with future development of urban areas, agriculture and forest practices based on looking in the rear view mirror at precipitation averages, the cost of that is going to wreak havoc for everybody. The right wing Union commenters and bloggers around here, they are nobodies a few years away from being gone forever.

    1. I forgot to mention that Greg Goodknight’s LinkedIn profile still reads, “Independent software engineer at my place.” Cool.

    1. This clown Gregory continues to “deduce” out loud that I’m “Jon” on George Rebane’s blog. No Gregory I’m not Jon. Never was, and never have been. But thanks for proving your ineptness at deduction. Instead of “Six Easy Pieces,” I think I’ll get him a copy of “The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature” to bone up on his deduction skills! ROFLOL.

      1. This is the fallout on the hard-right blogs. Gregory’s IQ gets dragged down to Todd’s level. LOL.

        “Todd JuvinallApril 26, 2016 at 7:03 PM
        Gregory, you may be right about Pelline and his sock puppet “jon” ‘

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