John McClaughry’s column, “That really scary climate report,” disparages the recent National Climate Assessment. One might imagine that Mr. McClaughry is a climatologist or other expert, but he has no serious background in climatology.
His view of climate change conflicts with consensus opinions of the National Academies of Science, the American Physical Society, the American Meteorological Society and virtually every other scientific organization which could provide sound guidance. What does Mr. McClaughry know that the best scientists among us have missed?
A recent report by the NAS and Royal Society says: “Climate change is occurring, and most of the recent change is almost certainly due to emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activities. Further climate change is inevitable; if emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated, future changes will substantially exceed those that have occurred so far. There remains a range of estimates of the magnitude and regional expression of future change, but increases in the extremes of climate that can adversely affect natural ecosystems and human activities and infrastructure are expected.”
Instead of addressing these conclusions directly, Mr. McClaughry prefers to cherry pick statistics and statements, cite technical findings that seem to support his views, and disparage the opinions of his ideological enemies.
Here are examples of the last tactic: News reports were “predictably contrived to induce panic.” He refers to “climate alarmists” and “the government flacks who craft the IPCC’s Summary,” not simply those who summarize the data, draw obvious inferences, but who also disagree with his foreordained conclusions.
Mr. McClaughry argues that “whether human activity is the ‘dominant’ cause remains debatable,” in stark contrast to the opinions of the distinguished researchers and actual scientists who wrote the reports.
Political views should be informed by science. Instead, Mr. McClaughry disparages science in the service of his political ideology.