There is dancing in the streets in the climate world these day after another of the deniers bit the dust. I’m talking of course about Richard’s Muller’s study that shows warming is, in fact, happening.
Not only that, but the big baddies at Koch funded the study. And even better, the biggest baddie of all, the Wall Street Journal op ed page, published the public mea culpa by the scientist in question. Told you so.
But actually if you read Muller’s piece, you realize he’s debunking something that even most of the deniers now take as fact–the idea that the earth is warming. Most everyone now agrees it’s warming. The question, the deniers say, is the cause of the warming. And that allows them to launch into wrong and debunked talk of volcanoes (wrong, humans emit way more CO2 than volcanoes ) the sun (wrong, our hottest temps have occurred during recent solar minimum) or predicted cooling in the 70s. (Wrong, most studies predicted warming.) Muller’s oped ends saying: we didn’t look into how much of the warming is caused by humans.
But that’s the only question the deniers are asking these days, and it’s brilliant that the Kochs funded a study that showed what everyone, pundits and scientists alike, already agreed on but at the same time pointedly ignores the only issue the right still uses for its destructive politics. Deviously, the act of doing the study ingeniously and subtly questions causality; it even highlights the question. But at the same time, they appear to be conceding something in their great nobility and respect for science. But it’s like giving your typewriter to charity–you’re not being generous, you just didn’t need it anymore.
So now what? At best, the Kochs will fund Muller for two more years to show that, in concurrence with all other peer reviewed science, the bulk of warming is anthropogenic. But they’d likely never do that because they know the answer to that one too, and it’s not an answer their business model can sustain.
In short, by doing a study on whether the earth is warming, and by running Muller’s oped, the Wall Street Journal and the rest of the anti-science community keeps the door open for years of continued “debate,” while appearing to be “science based” and honorable. But they are not honorable, and the continuance of the “debate’ is craven, immoral, corrupt, cynical, unchristian, un-any religion, and wrong.