Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Axis of Climate Evil Three Groups Deny Climate Change for Selfish Reasons

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Axis of Climate Evil Three Groups Deny Climate Change for Selfish Reasons

Article excerpt

A recent headline in The New York Times: "It's Not Your Imagination: Summers Are Getting Hotter," highlighted a decade-by-decade statistical analysis by climate expert James Hansen. "Most summers," the analysis concluded, "are now either hot or extremely hot compared with the mid-20th century."

The evidence for human-caused global warming just keeps getting more overwhelming, and scenarios for the future - extreme weather events, rising sea levels, drought and more - just keep getting scarier.

In a rational world, urgent action to limit climate change would be the highest priority for governments everywhere. But the U.S. government is controlled by a party in which, despite all evidence and lived experience, climate-change denial remains a defining marker of tribal identity.

Republicans can't seem to repeal Obamacare and recriminations among Senate leaders and the tweeter in chief are making headlines. But the GOP is completely united behind its project of destroying civilization.

Where does climate denial come from?

Just to be clear, experts aren't always right; even an overwhelming scientific consensus sometimes turns out to have been wrong. But what becomes clear to anyone following the climate debate is that virtually no climate skeptics are really trying to get at the truth.

I'm not a climate scientist, but I know what bogus arguments look like - and I can't think of a single climate skeptic who isn't obviously arguing in bad faith.

Take, for example, the people who seized on the fact that 1998 was an unusually warm year to claim that global warming stopped 20 years ago - as if one unseasonably hot day in May proves that summer is a myth. Or all the people who cite out-of-context quotes from climate researchers as evidence of a vast scientific conspiracy. Or anyone who cites "uncertainty" as a reason to do nothing - when it's obvious that the risks of faster-than-expected climate change if we do too little dwarf the risks of doing too much if change is slower than expected.

What's driving this epidemic of bad faith? Three groups are involved - a sort of axis of climate evil. …

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