Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Taking off the blinders

So a number of "skeptics" have come around and said, "Oops! Guess I was wrong" about climate change. Gregg Easterbrook took some time off from blaming Jews for movie violence to pen an op-ed in the New York Times saying he's come around based on new data. Tyler Cowen posts an ideological update of sorts, saying he's come around too.

Of course, neither of these men has been convinced by anything really "new." What's changed is that, for whatever personal reason, they cannot maintain their willful ignorance any longer. My suspicion is that both see the contrarian position on climate change becoming less and less tenable, and have changed their minds just in time to say they were a late convert.

Easterbrook doesn't actually cite anything particularly new in his column, and Cowen doesn't cite any new evidence at all. Both men have simply taken the (admirable, if overdue) step of admitting that the decade-old scientific consensus might just in fact be a decade-old scientific consensus.

Of course, Cowen responds that he doesn't know what to do next, and takes the necessary swipe at US participation in Kyoto. Why, God, can we not have people who a)admit climate change is real, and b) actually support doing something about it?

Frankly, I have no time for those people who at best kept themselves stupid for too long, and at worst actively spread disinformation at the behest of the carbon lobby. That they've come around now impresses me not at all.

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