In an editorial in this week’s Science Magazine, Donald Kennedy writes:
With respect to climate change, we have abruptly passed the tipping point in what until recently has been a tense political controversy. Why? Industry leaders, nongovernmental organizations, Al Gore, and public attention have all played a role. At the core, however, it’s about the relentless progress of science. As data accumulate, denialists retreat to the safety of the Wall Street Journal op-ed page or seek social relaxation with old pals from the tobacco lobby from whom they first learned to “teach the controversy.” Meanwhile, political judgments are in, and the game is over. Indeed, on this page last week, a member of Parliament described how the European Union and his British colleagues are moving toward setting hard targets for greenhouse gas reductions.
I particularly like the credit he gives to the “relentless progress of science.” A while back, I blogged on what I considered to be the tipping point of the political debate (here).
And, perhaps coincidentally, just yesterday the Wall Street Journal ran another denier op-ed, this one by Bill Gray. It contains a bunch of knee-slappers, but one in particular stuck out:
A number of my colleagues and I have discussed the physics of Atlantic THC variations in our seasonal hurricane forecasts and in various conference talks for many years.
Translation: We couldn’t get our theory published in the peer-reviewed literature because no one with any scientific sense believes it. Thus, the only place we can present it is in non-peer-reviewed venues like conferences and press releases.