climate change reality confirmed by skeptical researchers using Koch money. Can we move on yet?
Here’s a beautiful sentence to share this Friday morning: A massively scaled study funded (in part) by the Koch Brothers and overseen by a skeptical physicist has concluded that global warming is real. What do you know?
The study was headed by Richard Muller, a physicist long skeptical of the climate change results that have been funded by governments, and thus skeptical of climate change (skeptic here being used in the true sense of the word, not to be confused by the deniers funded by the denial industry). So he and a team of researches collected private dollars to conduct their own study, on an incredible scale, to see if independent research conducted outside government purview would follow the line on global warming.
Now, the data is analyzed and the study is concluded and the result remains the same. The first four words of the press release sum it up: ”Global Warming is real.” This is an important study, and as the press release continues, can hopefully help “cool the debate over global warming by addressing many of the valid concerns of the skeptics in a clear and rigorous way.” It is being submitted in four studies for peer-review, and will make its way in to the literature, adding to the bloc of evidence that already exists.
Let me say that Richard Muller carries some weight among climate change deniers and skeptics. So much so that (as Brad Plumer writes) Anthony Watts of the denial-blog Watts Up With That, said: “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.” Hopefully Watts and others are able to see beyond their bias and accept what science has been telling us all along.
But as the science of climate change becomes more and more indisputable, it is important to remember the denial movement will become ever more intransigent and unreasonable. It must do so to survive, because if people are open to evidence and reason, they will eventually be convinced by science.
Phil Plaitt reminds readers that this is not, and there never will be, a watershed tipping point for deniers to suddenly come around and accept the science, no matter how well reasoned an argument Richard Muller makes to abandon the skeptical position (see WSJ link, below). Instead, Plaitt calls for patience and vigilance.
I know this new study won’t sway climate change deniers. It can’t, because nothing can. The reason for that is simple: This isn’t about the science. If it were, the conversation would have been over years ago. Instead, it goes on, because it’s about ideology, not facts….It’s nice to see the previous scientific studies bolstered by this independent one…But, as I have been saying all along, there will never be a “crossing the finish line” moment. (emphasis Plaitt’s)
This is becoming every day more self-evident. Denialism continues its steady path throughout the US and its Government, even as the mountain of evidence continues to expand. Maybe this study will bring us one step closer to reality.
Read: Richard Muller, The Case Against Global Warming Skepticism in today’s Wall Street Journal.