Summary: Climate change is among our most important public policy issues, and shows our broken ability to see and understand our world around us. Today Esquire gives us a powerful but misleading story about our imminent doom, one rich with lessons for us. Expect to see many more of these before November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. (2nd of 2 posts today.}
“The unwise man is awake all night, worries over and again. When morning rises he is restless still.”
— Norse proverb.
Today’s reading is “When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job” by John H. Richardson in Esquire — “Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can’t really talk about it.”
It’s a sad story, but not the one Richardson thinks he’s telling. Glaciologist Jason Box has an apocalyptic forecast for climate change. This has taken a psychological toll on him and his family. Richardson misrepresents the story, however, by neglecting to mention that Box’s views are outside the consensus of climate scientists as seen in the reports of the IPCC.
Like most alarmist articles in the media, the letters “IPCC” don’t even appear. Focusing on the views of scientists with forecasts more extreme than the IPCC while discrediting those on the other side of the curve (“skeptics”) is an attempt to shift the Overton Window — and increase public support for large-scale regulation of energy and economic activity.