Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The NY Times attack on An Inconvenient Truth

Yesterday's NY Times had an inevitable article about the scientific community's discomfort with the alarmism of Al Gore's Oscar-winning power point presentation (a new category?), An Inconvenient Truth.

There are some legitimate problems with An Inconvenient Truth. It overplays the evidence for a link between climate change and hurricane intensity and for a link between climate change and infectious disease like malaria and West Nile Virus; it muffed a bunch of smaller details that I covered last year.

These issues are important. The whole question of Gore's alarmism, the politics of fear, is worth serious discussion. But the Times article? It is just plain bad.

Rather than speak to mainstream climate scientists with legitimate beefs about these details, the article opens with quotes from noted skeptics of the entire notion of human-induced climate change, and then falls into the same old ridiculous "he said, she said" arguments that poisoned public discourse on climate change in the past. The article is like a sad blast from the past. For a very thorough "debunking" of the article, read this by David Roberts at Gristmill.

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