Denying 'climate change'

Here is Dana Milbank of WaPo celebrating the “retreat” of climate change deniers: “There is no denying it: Climate-change deniers are in retreat.”  He concludes his op-ed by noting “that corporations are becoming reluctant to bankroll crazy theories,” and “the surrender of climate-change deniers will follow.”  For Milbank, this marks the historic turning point marking the collapse of flat-Earth science “crazies.”

The AGW (anthropogenic [man-made] global warming) thesis was initiated by the United Nations environmental program that was established in 1972 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established in 1988.  It got its biggest boost with the now discredited hockey stick model advanced by Michael Mann in 1999.  It now has a distinctly religious fervor, led by Al Gore and his acolytes, including world leaders from English PM David Cameron to President Obama.

Yes.  Many scientists have all along denied the consensus “settled science” claim advanced by Gorites.  But denying the settled science thesis is not denying climate change.  The Earth’s climate has been changing, probably is changing, and indubitably will continue to change.  What the so-called climate change deniers like MIT Professor Richard Lindzen have really denied is any or all of the following:

(1) That the scientific community has solid knowledge of the direction or duration the current phase of climate change.

(2) That the scientific community has solid knowledge of the extent of the role of C02 in climate change.

(3) That the scientific community has solid knowledge of the extent of the role of man-made C02 in climate change.

But by flipping back and forth, as if interchangeable, between “global warming” and “climate change” and failing to distinguish between denying conclusive knowledge to predict the extent and direction of climate change and outright denial of climate change, the IPCC has managed to brand those who maintain any of (1) - (3) as climate change deniers – which would indeed be ridiculous.

The turning point?  Maybe the turning point is the reverse of what Milbank would have us believe.  The conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful group that pushes for states to pass laws often drafted by industry, is threatening to sue those who label its staff “deniers.”

It is time for the Heartland Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and other conservative “think-tanks” to get on board and sue those who would brand them as climate change deniers and fail to make the distinction between denying knowledge of what is the case and asserting knowledge of what is not the case.

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