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Calling the Light Brigade: I'm asking for your help in freeping the comments on a letter to the editor I just wrote to my local paper, which greeted the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference by doubtmongering on global warming. The letter is reprinted below along with links to the editorial and the cartoon to which I refer.

No abuse against the paper or the other commenters, please -- just good, hard whacks of climate science reality. And please note that comments are moderated, so they don't show up right away (sometimes not for hours).

Freeport, Ill. -
You did your readers a disservice Tuesday, Dec. 8, with your deeply irresponsible pairing of the Peoria Journal Star editorial headlined “We need truth on global warming” and the political cartoon comparing climate science to belief in Santa Claus.

Climate science was not “cast into doubt” by the theft of scientists’ e-mail messages. Skeptics have held up the use of the word “trick” as if it were some sort of smoking gun, but as Chris Mooney notes on the blog Science Progress (, “trick” referred to an innovative technique, as in the “tricks of the trade” that we all use in our jobs. In the case of the e-mail, the writer wasn’t talking about fooling anyone, but rather about an efficient way of combining and presenting data.

At worst, these stolen e-mails show that, like any group of people, some scientists have personality flaws. “Just because a group of scientists were found to have behaved like imperfect human beings ... does not mean that we don’t have to worry about global warming,” Mooney writes.

The release of these e-mails just before the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference hints at an attempt to discredit more than two decades’ worth of accumulated data on global warming and levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. From melting Arctic (and now Antarctic) sea ice to equatorial drought, every indicator shows global warming advancing faster than scientists’ most pessimistic predictions. Stunts like the “Climategate” hack, editorials like the Journal Star’s and cartoons like Dave Granlund’s perpetuate the notion that there’s still an ongoing debate over whether climate change is real and caused by human beings. There is not. That debate is over. We lost. Warming won.

It’s time to move on to the next debate: how to halt the increase in atmospheric CO2 and bring it down from the current 387 ppm to 350 ppm.

Until we do, it’s the future of human society that’s really in doubt.

Keith Ammann

Originally posted to Geenius at Wrok on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 04:58 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 04:58:17 AM PST

  •  Here's a better comic for you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, DWG, jlms qkw, hillgiant

    "He's one of these people who doesn't need much, much less much more."

    by Eclectablog on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 05:09:54 AM PST

  •  Very good job (0+ / 0-)

    Reading your piece, the first thing I thought was why didn't they use the Jesus manger myth for a cartoon, since that's the image most of the denialists revere. Oh wait, it's not a myth?

    Dream, that's the thing to do (Johnny Mercer)

    by plankbob on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 05:29:56 AM PST

  •  Honestly? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To begin with, the cartoon is a cartoon. I've never understood why the Left feels being humourless is ever a good thing - I'll protest cartoons when they are hate-fillled, but otherwise cartoonists have a right to be completely wrong as long as they are vaguely funny (which is subjective).

    What I suspect you miss about the editorial is that it is written for a post 'Climategate' world. The idea that the strategy of "you really need to read the thousand-or-so emails in context to realise that they aren't as bad as they sound ... oh, and did I mention they were stolen emails" would work is a DKos-ism.

    Rightly or wrongly, and I think wrongly, this has cast doubt over climate science. Unfortunately, the harder you protest that "NOTHING HAS CHANGED AT ALL", the more fringeworthy and religious you sound.

    The editorial essentially says "so there was this sort-of-scandal which has caused some doubt. Maybe doubt is ok - even a good thing (we don't hate you people who aren't sure, but aren't yet signed-up deniers). But green energy, clean air, and coming off foreign oil are good things anyway, so we should do them"

    You might not like it, but that's a more convincing case than is made by angrily arguing the details of Dr Phil Jones' emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

    49% of American's believe in catastrophic AGW. About 20% agree the world is warming but think it's probably naturally-caused, and 19% are unsure. Only about 12% are 'deniers'. There is 39% who seem to respond badly to certainty, but could be led to support radical action - and we would be stronger in demanding tough action with 88% than with 49%, surely?

    I understand that the Climategate emails and how they are reported irritates you. But it's not about being 'right', it's about being effective. This editorial, supporting the green policy agenda whilst conceding that the emails thing was bad for public faith in AGW, is more persuasive for non-DKos readers than your rebuttal.

    Forgive me, but I won't be writing to the newspaper.

    "I, for one, would like to welcome our new Belgian overlords..."

    by Morus on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 05:32:44 AM PST

  •  Here's the link to a website for kids (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Global Warming Kids .Net is a project of ClimateChangeEducation.Org

    We are California science museum docents; Students, staff and scientists at the University of California. Teachers, Artists. Plus elementary, middle and high school student volunteers & interns.

    Kids anywhere in the world can help on this website using email.

    An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Mohandas Gandhi

    by msmacgyver on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 05:33:33 AM PST

  •  Great letter. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, hillgiant

    I think the cartoon's funny, and in favor of our POV, frankly.

    To quote New Scientist:

    You can't fake spring coming earlier, or trees growing higher up on mountains, or glaciers retreating for kilometres up valleys, or shrinking ice cover in the Arctic, or birds changing their migration times, or permafrost melting in Alaska, or the tropics expanding, or ice shelves on the Antarctic peninsula breaking up, or peak river flow occurring earlier in summer because of earlier snowmelt, or sea level rising faster and faster, or any of the thousands of similar examples.

    "They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. [...] That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary." -Handmaid's Tale

    by Cenobyte on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 06:05:05 AM PST

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