How Dare I Not?

Anthony Watts rightly points out that if I wish for people to support my work in progress, I should let them know what it is they are supporting.

While I fought a long and  strenuous battle to make Don’t Sell Your Coat as accessible as I possibly could, I am committed to making my next book more so. It is less academic, and more conversational. It has fewer graphs. So, after reading the (mercifully brief) chapter that follows, please do hit the tip jar if you are so inclined.  

From Aztec Nation (working title):

Among the results of becoming a person who doubts the mainstream view of climate change have been the following experiences:

  1. Having my integrity questioned. Despite copious evidence to the contrary, there remains a belief among the public that anyone who dares to question mainstream science on climate change is being funded by Big Oil. The hilarious part, as I pointed out in Don’t Sell Your Coat is that Big Oil has been funding alarmist climate scientists for decades now, to the tune of billions of dollars, and that it has not been doing the same thing for skeptic scientists. The widespread perception when it comes to climate science that the warmists have integrity and the skeptics don’t, while based on faulty logic and bad information, makes being a skeptic something less than fun. I’m not asking you to cry for me, Argentina. But I’d be lying if I said my life got easier when I became a skeptic. The truth is that it became dramatically harder. And the difficulty show no signs of letting up anytime soon.
  2. Having my children drawn into an attack on me. Ah, the glories of the comments section on Amazon.
  3. Having a Canadian blogger suggest that someone might want to consider burning down my home during Christmas week.

I get that anyone entering the public fray on a topic as hotly debated as climate change is going to get their pretty little feelings hurt from time to time. I get it. What I actually find interesting, though, is the willingness on the part of the Left to demand silence when it comes to climate change skepticism. Silence! The refrain you hear as a skeptic can be summed up with a series of questions: “How dare you? How dare you question NASA? How dare you question the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration? How dare you question the National Science Foundation? How dare you question the Royal Society? How dare you question tenured science faculty at prestigious universities?”

The people who have asked me these questions in print and in person have presumed that on a given day, at a given time, at a given place, I stopped caring. I stopped caring about humanity, and started only caring about … I’m not sure what, exactly. Pats on the back from fellow skeptics? Ensuring the most difficult possible career path for myself? I still don’t have that one figured out

What not one of those impugning my motives, and character, seems to have considered: I’m still trying to save the world, just like I was when I fought Apartheid in college, organized anti-war protests in graduate school, and, yes, warned people of the perils of global warming before it was a household phrase. It’s just that now I’m trying to save the world from an unprecedented abuse of trust by scientists, politicians, and the media. Global warming extremism (which is the mainstream view!) represents nothing less than that.

That scientists expect Earth not to repeat past behavior, in terms of warming and sea level rise and all other oceanic and atmospheric phenomena, is profoundly illogical. It used to be that science was the pinnacle of reason in Western society. That time has come and gone. Science has gone more or less completely off the rails, when it comes to global warming, and I’ll say here that those who dare to point this out arguably care more about science than those touting the party line.

To the question “How dare I?” I have a simple response: “How dare I not?”

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About Harold Ambler

I am a lifelong environmentalist. I started my journalism career at The New Yorker, where I worked as a copy editor. Since then, my own work has appeared in The New York Daily News, The National Review Online, The Atlantic Wire, The Huffington Post, The Berkeley Daily Planet, The Providence Journal, Brown Alumni Monthly, The Narragansett Times, Rhode Island Monthly, and Providence Business News.
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One Response to How Dare I Not?

  1. John W. Garrett says:

    As a fellow victim of “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness Of Crowds,” I fully comprehend the perils of challenging orthodoxy. Mencken wrote entire books on the theme.

    Climate is complicated and far too many people simply accept the first thing they see or hear.

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