In Bret Stephens’ debut column for the New York Times, the Pulitzer prize-winning author cautioned global warming activists to maybe perhaps not claim “total certainty” about the science behind their proposed policies.
Using the Clinton campaign’s reliance on data versus traditional campaigning as an example of certainty leading to a disastrous loss, he turned to topic of global warming. He said the right words to lead off (emphasis mine):
“…while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the NorthernHemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming…
What he added next had heads exploding:
“…much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities.
It should be obvious to scientists or anyone who even took a science class in school that projections of how climate change will affect us 20 years from now are just that – projections. And projections are rarely, if ever, 100 percent correct. Still, global warming activists claim absolute certainty.
Stephens quoted a Times reporter who covered climate issues, who said that while the science activists relied on was scrupulous, the “boosters” themselves weren’t – using hyperbole to effect policy changes (a fancy way of saying “scare tactics”).
“Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts.”
Nowhere did he dismiss global warming concerns or say he personally didn’t believe in it; he simply offered a strategy that might help others win people to their point of view.