Saturday, August 20, 2011

Anthropogenic climate change and its deniers

In the bid for the next US President it is not at all hard to believe that some conservatives are the only ones still denying anthropogenic climate change (ACC). Not all of them, just the most popular ones like Perry and Bachmann. Olbermann dealt with the topic on last Thursday's show. Perry for example made the claim that such climate change research is corrupted by a conspiracy in order to keep getting federal money. And yet it was Perry who took $11 million from oil companies in the last 10 years. Who is being bought off here?

Such deniers often make the spurious claim that there is legitimate dispute on ACC. But take note of this from the National Academy of Sciences:

"We use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC (anthropogenic climate change) outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers."

A rare conservative exception is Huntsman, whose campaign said the following:

"We are not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party. American people are looking for someone who believes in reality... To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warning. Call me crazy."

The tragedy of this is that he is considered the crazy one on the conservative side, when it is the deniers who are the ones on the anti-scientific fringes. But that is bizarrely their appeal to their ignorant base; they distrust any of them there smart alecks, what with their science and education and all. Do we really want this type of ignoramus in the White House?

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