Home Energy and Environment More Nails in the Coffins of the Climate Change Deniers

More Nails in the Coffins of the Climate Change Deniers

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As if we needed any more evidence demonstrating that anthropogenic climate change is real, that it is occurring right now, and that it poses a major threat to the planet’s environment, we now have it — in spades. Let;s begin with the assessment by a Penn State University investigation, which completely exonerated climate scientist Michael Mann from any wrongdoing in the ridiculous, trumped-up, never-any-truth-to-it, pseudo-“scandal” known as “climate-gate.” In reaction to this report, former House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) — full disclosure, Boehlert’s on the NRDC Action Fund board — issued a statement which read:

This exoneration should close the book on the absurd episode in which climate scientists were unjustly attacked when in fact they have been providing a great public service. The attacks on scientists were a manufactured distraction, and today’s report is a welcome return to common sense. While scientists can now focus on their work, policy makers need to address the very real problem of climate change.

Well said, Congressman, and keep up the great work, Professor Mann!

Next, just to pound the final nails into the coffins of the climate change deniers, a major, independent review by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency was released on July 5. The report’s main conclusions were crystal clear:

*”no errors that would undermine the main conclusions in the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on possible future regional impacts of climate change”

*”the summary conclusions are considered well founded, none have been found to contain any significant errors”

*”ample observational evidence of regional climate change impacts, which have been projected to pose substantial risks to most parts of the world, under increasing temperatures”

In fairness, the Dutch report leveled several criticisms of the IPCC report: 1) even the few, minor errors shouldn’t have been allowed to slip by; 2) the report’s summary statement should have been written to provide a higher amount of transparency regarding its sources and methods; and 3) the report tended to focus solely on the adverse consequences of climate change, not on potentially positive impacts. These are non-trivial issues that need to be addressed. Having said that, as Joe Romm points out, “the overwhelming majority of research since the IPCC has found that the IPCC has consistently underestimated many key current and future impacts, particularly sea level rise (and carbon-cycle feedbacks).”

In the end, the bottom line from these reports is clear: the science behind human-induced climate change has emerged from this entire, ridiculous, episode overwhelmingly intact — if not strengthened. The only real question now is, what are we going to do about it?

  • jack russell

    the deniers aren’t listening to anything that you or anyone other than Faux have to say.  They aren’t interested in debate.  They aren’t interested in logic.  They have already made up their minds, so anything you come up with that contradicts their view must be somehow biased.

    The question is, how do we break past the wall – what will it take to get them to question their beliefs that climate change is false?  Until we figure this one out, the debate is going to just drag on and on with no resolution.  Which I suppose is what the deniers really want in the first place.

  • jack hughes

    and unfortunately they don’t all fit into a coffin to nail shut.

    They’ll disregard Penn St. for being part of the ivory tower conspiracy, and the Nederlanders are pot-smoking soccer nuts, and Joe Romm was a Clinton appointee, so its the same-old crowd.

    Sorry.  Between heat waves, oil worker death & destruction, coal miner death & destruction, and general ennui I’m fed up.  More facts don’t give me a lift.  

  • Teddy Goodson

    As near as I can figure out, anything which is supposed to be considered “evidence” that might damage or undermine a faith-based belief only makes the believer resist more stubbornly. Either Rupert Murdoch must be converted, so that he changes the tune at Fox News, or the rest of society will simply have to smother any and every effort by deniers to drag things out further.

    We have long since passed the point of courteous debate. Pretending that we have to have consensus and democratic agreement will ultimately kill not just democracy but the planet. Oh, for the “unitary executive” of dumbo George W, who would simply issue an executive order and be done with it.

    There are, among the deniers, those who have finally acccepted that the climate really is changing—- but even so, they do not want to do anything about a “natural” event, claiming that people will simply adapt, as they have in the past. After all, the Earth has passed through many climate changes in the past, and, say some, it is God’s work so don’t mess with it. Does humanity have a death wish?

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    The type of people who deny what is obvious about the climate crisis we are in don’t listen to any scientific evidence. They listen only to the forces that drive their actions. In Virginia, that means the coal industry, the oil barons who want to see if there is any oil worth investing in off the Atlantic coast, the family that is lusting after developing a uranium mine in Pittsylvania County on land they own. In other words, they worship at the altar of “Almighty Dollar.”  

  • Pain

    When I was a school kid in the 70’s they were teaching us about basic recycling. 20-30 years later most of us do it, because we as children grew up with it.

    The deniers today will never change, but they will die eventually and the kids will grow up and take their place.  Unfortunately, it will be another 20 years for them to become adults.

    The rest of us just will have to live with change at a glacial pace and hope by the time we die there will be evidence of change for us to appreciate.