So you know how we kind of use "climate change deniers" and "climate change skeptics" interchangeably, because news stories get super boring if you don't mix it up? We're not wild about doing that, because skepticism is in fact a great scientific value that people should embrace, whereas denialism is just sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la." And nothing has made that clearer than the skeptical scientists who, despite their Koch funding, found evidence of global warming — and the dogmatic deniers who refused to accept their results.
Richard Muller and his team at Berkeley approached climate change with actual skepticism; they needed to examine the evidence in order to be convinced, but they were willing to examine it assiduously. They did, and their reexamination found that global warming is real. So far so good.
But then there are the climate deniers, who aren't going to be swayed by anything so prosaic as fact. For instance: Denier Anthony Watts, who had pledged to accept the results of Muller's investigation no matter what they were, is now claiming that he can't get behind the findings because — really — they incorporate too much data.
Mr. Watts, a former television meteorologist, contended that the study’s methodology was flawed because it examined data over a 60-year period instead of the 30-year-one that was the basis for his research and some other peer-reviewed studies. He also noted that the report had not yet been peer-reviewed and cited spelling errors as proof of sloppiness.
Watts is right that the report hasn't been peer-reviewed, though deniers claimed the peer review process was fundamentally untrustworthy until approximately … now.
This raises the question: What will it take to convince deniers? What if they burned up in their shoes, would that do it? What if God came down and drew a hockey stick graph on the wall? What if Dumbledore explained it using his Pensieve? Look, if science doesn't work, it's going to have to be God, magic, or spontaneous combustion; that's just a fact of nature.
- Climate Study Does Not Placate Skeptics, New York Times
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