Acton Institute Powerblog

I’m So Ashamed

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Well, it’s happened. Ellen Goodman, writing last week in the Boston Globe, effectively ended the debate over climate change by invoking the most dreaded comparison of all:

I would like to say we’re at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.

All-righty, then. One reasonable question: do those of us who are skeptical of the climate-change consensus now have the ability to claim ultimate victory in the debate by invoking Godwin’s Law? I leave it to you, gentle reader, to decide.

Meanwhile, David Warren has written a series of good columns in recent weeks on the latest fashionable doomsday scenario:

We have, I confidently predict, a repeat of the “ozone layer” imposture. The ozone layer is like a cloud in the upper atmosphere, that thickens and thins, disappears and reappears, constantly. But by selective readings of it, a scare was put about that, “The ozone layer is shrinking!” That controversy has itself blown over, because there was nothing to it. Likewise, the extrapolation of long-term trends from short-term temperature variations will blow over. The studies only misstate a truism: that the earth’s climates are in constant flux. (It was warmer in Europe in the 13th century, than the IPCC now predicts it will become by the 22nd. Was that caused by uncontrolled CO2 emissions from rampant industrialization in the earlier Middle Ages?)

The good news is, that it should not take long for the latest environmental scare to join the “ozone layer”, “global winter”, the Club of Rome forecasts, and many other crocks on the shard-heap of history. The bad is, it will be succeeded by more Chicken-Little expostulations, with the same propagandist theme: “Unless the planet is delivered immediately into the iron embrace of the environmental bureaucracies, we’re all going to die!”

Read the whole thing, and when you’re done, just keep clicking down the sidebar for a rollicking good series of commentaries.

Marc Vander Maas

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