Some Ethics Catch-Up Due on Climate Change

It is clear that the Obama Administration, if only to bolster the fading support of its most Left-ward constituency, is going to try a full-court press to get some form of carbon tax or “cap and trade” bill. These were once referred to as “climate change” measures, but since polls are showing that the American public’s belief in Al Gore’s jeremiad is waning fast, now these are “prevent more oil spills like the one going on now” bills. Obama, much to the global warming zealots’ dismay, only snuck in one little “climate” in his Oval Office speech, and that was without “change.”

This is all just politics, but the fact is that the American public has some straight talk coming, and it doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the horizon, or even the Deep Horizon. In the past year, the Climate Change Express has pretty much jumped the rails, with the collapse of international summit; the East Anglia “Climategate” revelations that supposedly objective scientists were blocking dissenting conclusions and hiding inconsistencies,  the uncovering of evidence of unprofessional  practices at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),  and some embarrassing pronouncements and predictions that appeared to be off by hundreds of years or so, or wrong entirely.

Despite all this, the U.S. media has been caught in a time warp, with no major news organizations altering their previous official conviction that the fact of catastrophic climate change and the main cause of it–human activity—are “settled science,” even though this is just plain false. Peter Foster of Britain’s National Post reports that the The British Royal Society, a major force in the climate change debate on the “For” side, now says that “Any public perception that the science is somehow fully settled is wholly incorrect,”contradicting its former president.  It has also convened a commission to decide where there really is consensus and where there isn’t, after a large number of its members signed a letter protesting that the Society was misrepresenting the scientific conclusions.

If the science isn’t settled, and there is no immediate consensus about what climate change findings have a consensus, then there is no consensus.


Still, the New York Times editors still say there is a consensus. Nancy Pelosi says so; Al Gore obviously says so, Keith Olbermann and John Kerry say so, among many, many other prominent politicians, elected officials, journalists and commentators. Not one of them,  it is fair to say, has the scientific background to interpret the data objectively themselves, so their repeated insistence that there is scientific certainty when the scientists are being forced, kicking and screaming, to admit there isn’t, is dishonest and irresponsibility in the extreme.

I know the mantra: “The political process and the public don’t deal well with uncertainty, so that justifies hype, exaggeration, and even lies.” Iraq definitely has weapons of mass destruction. The H1N1 flu endangers all humanity. The health care bill will save money, create jobs and let any American  keep his health care plan if he likes it.  Sorry: a democracy that is managed by lies is a dictatorship. It is true that the American public can be infuriatingly inattentive, careless, feckless and stupid (See: Alvin Greene, the people’s choice to run for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina), but it is the duty of the media and elected officials to try to make them less so, not to exploit it for their own gain.

Two things have to happen, if climate change energy policy is to be pursued fairly, honestly, and responsibly.

The first is that the public needs to be told, by climate change policy advocates and skeptics alike,  that the issue is a lot more complicated and uncertain than politicians, activists and documentary filmmakers have let on.

The second is that all the snide, smarter-than-thou columnists and politicians that called those who raised what are now being shown to be legitimate doubts “Flat Earthers,” the equivalent of Holocaust deniers, and morons should apologize. It’s time.

3 thoughts on “Some Ethics Catch-Up Due on Climate Change

  1. How “inconvenient” that climate change is unsettled, if viewed from politicians’ standpoints. When will the obvious political bias of mainstream media on this point be recognized as simply the “leading edge” of so much other “news” of questionable accuracy?

  2. As I’ve often said, the proof of the pudding in regard to the worth of a cause is in the worth of its adherents. Time and again, the character of global warming’s prime supporters has been called into serious question due to their inconsistancies of speech and personal behavior. Nor does the support of the media syndicates count for much, as they are committed to the leftist cause. And the leftist cause has already committed IT’S political capital to global warming… so much so that they’re now joined at the head. Thus, there can be no separation without a catastrophic “loss of face”… if you see my point! They have to continue to promote such environmentalist dogmas, even when hard facts cast their assertions into serious doubt. In other words, they’ve committed to a lie and are now caught in it and are unable to extricate themselves. Thus, they must continue to tell even bigger lies to remain viable.

  3. I can only say this — Give me an honest assessment before confiscating my money and telling me it is a good thing.

    Seriously, is it too much to ask, before insisting the American people fork over trillions in new taxes, to produce an honest look at climate change without all the hype from either side and including the revelations of the past few years, so that we can fairly judge if it is worth the treasure they are demanding that we forfeit?

    How is this a bad plan?

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