Sometimes climate change disinformation is hard to identify. Other times, the denial is hard to miss. The Wall Street Journal's opinion page is consistently the latter.
The latest intentionally stupid climate disinformation comes from columnist and climate denier Andy Kessler. And we say "intentionally stupid" because you don't preemptively deny being a denier if you're confident you're right:
"But what if the entire premise is wrong? What if the Earth is self-healing? Before you hurl the 'climate denier' invective at me, let’s think this through. Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years—living organisms for 3.7 billion. Surely, an enlightened engineer might think, the planet’s creator built in a mechanism to regulate heat, or we wouldn’t still be here to worry about it."
We'll admit to not being engineers, and being unenlightened, in Kessler's sense, if he'll admit that rejecting the scientific consensus (shared even among evangelical scientists!) and instead putting faith in an Almighty Father to adjust the planetary thermostat is exactly what it means to be a climate denier.
Since it's the WSJ opinion page, liberals can't be right (even when they're rationally responding to science) so apparently the business-minded WSJ audience needs to be told that surely God would have foreseen that humans would burn the fossil fuels (planted in the Earth's crust as a test to see who's wicked enough to believe the world is more than 6,000 years old and therefore had dinosaurs on it to one day turn into fossil fuels) to the point that it would disrupt the climate, and would therefore have built in a fail-safe to keep creation livable.
Makes perfect sense!
And Kessler even describes the secret saving grace that thousands of climate scientists have supposedly either overlooked or hidden in their zeal to steal away your gas stove and SUV and hopes and dreams: the Iris effect.
Yes, it’s none other than thoroughly debunked scientist Richard Lindzen's zombie myth that clouds will naturally offset any and all warming from greenhouse gasses. In a way, it's encouraging, because it's indicative of just how desperate deniers like Kessler are to find any possible excuse to deny the scientific fact that fossil fuel use needs to be curtailed.
It's 2023, and Kessler is dredging up a denier's excuse that was already dismissed way back in 2012 when the New York Times described how, given "errors in his papers," and a lack of supporting evidence, "most mainstream researchers consider Dr. Lindzen’s theory discredited."
"However," the Times’ Justin Gillis reported, "politicians looking for reasons not to tackle climate change have embraced Dr. Lindzen and other skeptics, elevating their role in the public debate."
Of course we can't expect Kessler to listen to the consensus of scientists, because he's looking for reasons not to tackle climate change and only believes people who tell him what he wants to hear, like Dr. Lindzen.
But even Dr. Lindzen recognized one of his own papers had "some stupid mistakes" that were "just embarrassing" and "really sort of grotesque."
It turns out that “embrrassing” and “grotesque” is a pretty accurate description of Kessler's climate denial column, too.