Nate Silver over at 538 is pushing a new phase of Global Warming denialism which I believe could end the final chance we have to save the planet based on moral grounds.
I've always believed that Global Warming denialism, because it is so laughably based on pseudoscience and not real science, is in reality based on good ole fashion greed. The rich Oligarchs don't want more costly regulations to effect their profit margins, and their Tea bagger/country club puppets simply don't want to pay any more taxes, even if it means a hellish future for their children.
Have you noticed that over the last 3 decades that the face of Global Warming denialism has changed? First it was pure and simple in denying that the earth was even warming. But when it got too hard to argue with a thermometer, the story changed to, sure the earth is warming, but it's due to natural causes; too many sunspots, not enough sunspots, the sun getting brighter, volcanoes, the distance from the sun... or just wrap it all up in one phrase, "it's natural".
There's even a bit of truth to some of the "natural causes" the current phase of Global Warming denialism is pushing. But science is about facts! And everyday, a new flood of facts shows that "natural causes" are microscopic concerns compared to the tsunami of man made greenhouse gases we dump into the atmosphere every day.
Since the 2nd wave of denialism is now losing traction and is beginning to fall apart, it looks like Nate Silver has decided to help push the 3rd wave of global warming denialisim.
Update: Laurence Lewis who wrote a great diary linked to below, has just informed us that Michael Mann has just had a twitter discussion with Sahra Laskow and others about her latest 538 article about evolving to climate change. He refers to it as the NoahsArk approach to climate change. The article is discussed below, and he apparently had the same reaction as I did to the article. Nate isn't doing himself any favors with these articles.
more below the fold.
Here's some excerpts from a 538 article titled: Can Evolution Outrace Climate Change?
In the face of climate change, scientists like Shaw have begun to measure how effective evolution might be as a survival strategy.I've handpicked excerpts from the article that support the point of the article, which is that evolution may help the planet adapt to Global Warming. Of course the article never mentions that having a very few rapidly reproducing species evolve to adapt to Global Warming has a slim to none chance of keeping many entire ecosystems from collapsing as many keystone species have absolutely 0 chance of "adapting".
But in the past 50 years, studies of evolution have shown that adaptation can happen much faster than anyone imagined.
If experiments like Shaw’s could predict how likely a particular population was to survive on its own, we would have another set of tools to help deal with the mess we’ve made. The better we can predict which species are likely to adapt to climate change, the more we’ll be able to focus on moving the ones that otherwise have no chance.
As the predictive power of evolutionary rescue models increases, though, scientists could be able to boost that capacity. Understanding how evolutionary rescue works can help us “take steps to make sure those conditions are in place for species that we’re concerned about,” Shaw said.
Combined with field data, these models could identify the populations that aren’t big enough or genetically varied enough to stage their own rescue, but could get there with a little help. In that case, the models could guide human interventions that are less dramatic than airlifting a population to a more suitable climate. Maybe a small influx of new individuals from nearby could raise a population’s numbers and its gene pool over the tipping point. Or they could simply tell us when we can leave a population be and trust it will survive on its own.
An article published several days ago at 538 by the denialist Roger Pielke Jr. was titled Disasters Cost More Than Ever — But Not Because of Climate Change . This article was covered very nicely by Laurence Lewis who states this in his Dkos diary.
In the comments of Pielke's post, it is being pointed out that Pielke (yet again) cherry-picked data, citing a study by the German reinsurance company Munich Re, while using the data from 1990 onward, even though the study itself compiled data starting 10 years earlier, in 1980. There is no reason to omit the first 10 years of data, except that doing so is the only possible means of pretending the data prove what Pielke wants them to prove. Munich Re itself, using all the data, came to the exact opposite conclusion of Pielke, an inconvenient truth that Pielke somehow neglects to mention.Last night on Jon Stewart's show, Nate Silver said he was sensitive to the criticisms that the Pielke BS column created, and that he would offer a rebuttal to the column. A rebuttal? Really? This is supposed to be the science section of 538, and you're going to offer a rebuttal to the deliberately misleading article you let get published? Are you going to be the "fair and balanced" statistical website that allows rebuttals to bigfoot claims, or perpetual motion machines, or maybe a biblical statistical analysis of when the rapture is coming? 60 minutes suspended Lara Logan for sloppy and questionable reporting, but Pielke has a long history of misinformation. Either you publish about REAL science, or you become just another whacko pseudoscience denialist website.
The 3rd wave of Global Warming denialism is going to be the ADAPTATION/GEO-ENGINEERING phase. This is not going to be the bat-shit craziness of denying what a thermometer says, or it's cold outside my door today so the rest of the world must be cold too, or the sun doesn't have the right number of spots... The Oligarchs and their supporters who don't give a damn about our future and want us to do absolutely nothing about the fast train coming at us, are going to be much more sophisticated with the 3rd wave of denialism.
Roger Pielke outright says he believes in man made Global Warming, but then goes on to deny all the horrendous consequences that doing nothing will have on our children. Sarah Laskow, who shows no sign of being a denialist but knows the audience she is writing for, writes a fairly balanced article, but leaves the reader with the impression that many species may simply adapt to Global Warming.
It's the "don't worry be happy" approach to Global Warming. Sure Global warming is happening, but we'll simply build thousands of miles of giant sea walls to protect our coastal cities, genetically alter our corn and wheat crops against biblical droughts, floods, and pests, dump some iron into the oceans, and every country around the world will join hands with their neighbors and sing kumbaya when their rivers run dry, their forests die, and their croplands turn to desert.
But will this, we can adapt message, play with the public and cause the public to give up trying to stop the suicidal dumping of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere? Here's what The Gallup Organization found out about how seriously American's view Global Warming.
How do you think the 65% of the population is going to react to, don't worry it's not as bad as they say and a few walls here, a few drainage ditches over there, and a couple of extra wells in the corn fields and we'll "adapt"? Once the public believes we can "adapt" and it won't be as bad as they say, we will have absolutely 0 chance of preventing every gallon of oil and every pound of coal from being pulled from the ground.
Is there a way to prevent civilization from going over the Global Warming cliff? Yep, there sure is! The Koch brothers rely on the public's greed to keep them pumping oil and to keep their politician buying, propaganda producing machine in business. And we can turn that public greed into a tool to put an end to the insane path we're on. When Alternative renewable energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels, the era of fossil fuels comes to and end, that's the ball game, no mas, hit the road...! Nobody is going to put $40.00 worth of gas in their car when they can put $15.00 worth of electricity in their car and go the same distance. But, but, that's way in the future, right?