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Tags: Climate Change | Global Warming

Censorship Won't Win Climate Debate

Censorship Won't Win Climate Debate
Arresting climate protesters, Paris (AP)

Larry Bell By Monday, 25 January 2016 09:52 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Prevalent media reports that the “climate debate” has been settled never seem to explain exactly what debate arguments they are referring to. In any case, woe be unto those “deniers” of climate change they continue to warn us about.

That climate crisis skeptic intimidation strategy appears to be working. Environment and Energy Publishing’s Greenwire news service reported that while the word “skeptic” was nearly twice more prevalent than “denier” in English-language climate-related news reports back in 2009, references to the latter term pulled ahead by 2013.

And whereas “denier” appeared only 10 times during 2000, that number grew to 3,183 times in 2014.

Some Internet outlets and news publications want such contentious views banned altogether. Censors include the BBC, Reddit, The Los Angeles Times, and Popular Science.

The BBC rebuked one of its stations for featuring Lord Nigel Lawson who chairs the Global Warming Policy Foundation for views which were not “on the same footing” with those of Sir Brian Hoskins who chairs the Grantham Institute for Climate Change.

Lawson’s sin was in daring to point out that the as-of-then 18-year-long warming “pause” wasn’t consistent with UN climate model predictions, therein creating “a false balance." 

Reddit’s science moderator, i.e., censor, Nathan Allen announced that he would no longer allow postings from “contrarians” who challenge the notion that man-made CO2 is causing an existential warming threat.

Although the popular website describes itself as “passionately dedicated to free speech," an Allen essay title in Grist proclaims: “Reddit’s science forum banned climate deniers. Why don’t all newspapers do the same?”

Los Angeles Times’ letters editor Paul Thornton followed suit, declaring that he too would no longer publish commentary from climate change skeptics. While maintaining that he generally values a variety of opinions, he sees no reason to direct attention to the “factual inaccuracy” of those which run counter to an “overwhelming scientific consensus” that attributes global warming to human CO2 emissions.

Popular Science’s online content director Suzanne LaBarre not only agreed that skeptical climate alarm challenges were “undermining scientifically sound” information, but went so far as to disable skeptical site comment opportunities altogether.

This decision was reportedly influenced by a study which found that negative comments adversely influenced readers’ perceptions of science and technology.

Some organizations such as Forecast the Facts don’t believe that banning skeptical non-mainstream-compliant media opinions goes nearly far enough, unsuccessfully petitioning the Associated Press to “Establish a rule in the AP StyleBook ruling out the use of ‘skeptic’ to describe those who deny scientific facts." AP compromised by adopting the term “climate change doubters." 

And just who are these climate change deniers, aka, doubters? Are they the same ones who don’t believe in global warming? I have yet to meet a sane adult who doubts that climate changes . . . or who don’t recognize that it began occurring long before sweaty dinosaurs drove SUVs.

People who keep track of such matters will recognize that while temperatures have fluctuated between periods which were both hotter and colder than now, our planet has been gradually warming in fits and starts ever since the “little ice age” (not a true ice age) ended about 200 years ago.

Although despite those “record high” atmospheric CO2 levels, satellite records show that other than our current El Niño, it just hasn’t happened for going on two decades.

By the way, ice-core data indicates that Earth’s recent temperatures already rank in the lowest three percent recorded over the past 10,000 years since the last ice age ended.

Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if that warming trend resumes again until the next regularly scheduled 90 thousand-year-long real ice age begins about 3,000 years from now. So yes, I not only “believe in global warming," but am very grateful for it as well.

But back to that overheated climate debate thing . . . what’s that really all about?

Former Georgia Institute of Technology School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences chair Judith Curry summed up the real debate during House Science Committee hearings.

The “central issue," she said, is the extent to which climate changes are driven by man-made greenhouse gas emissions versus natural climate variability. Curry infuriated Democratic attendees by pointing out that President Obama’s mega-costly plan to slash U.S. CO2 emissions 28 percent by 2100 would likely reduce warming by only 0.03 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, perhaps we should all be very skeptical regarding reasons why the president, along with Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, strongly oppose proposed new Secret Science Reform Act (S. 544) legislation, which would require the EPA to open scientific data behind its siege of climate alarm-premised regulations to expert scrutiny.

After all, why should there be any debate regarding a legitimate need for scientific transparency? Instead, let’s work on changing the political climate and challenge the true deniers . . . those who dismiss our right to know.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.


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Prevalent media reports that the climate debate has been settled never seem to explain exactly what debate arguments they are referring to. Woe be unto those deniers of climate change they continue to warn us about. That climate crisis skeptic intimidation strategy appears to be working.
Climate Change, Global Warming
Monday, 25 January 2016 09:52 AM
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