>Jeffrey Simpson has articulated a thought that has long been ill-formed in my mind about the irresponsible, and fundamentally dishonest, position of what he calls climate change “scoffers”. Not full deniers, who are willing to take a position on what we should do about it (nothing, in their case). But those who just “throw darts” at the science, while maintaining they do not deny the basics climate change.
Climate Change Scoffers
The problem is that, by holding the science to levels of proof not asked of the skeptic, they are effectively advocating we shouldn’t take action, but never actually commit to the position. As Simpson puts it:
” … scoffers on the sidelines of the Canadian debate, the ones who throw little darts at this or that revelation of scientific overstretch while never denying the reality of global warming, [are] thereby adopting the ultimate position of justifying doing nothing without ever actually counselling that position”
Brilliantly put. A scoffer is a coward. A denier is not.
A climate change skeptic willing to be open about their skepticism, in the sense that they take responsibility for a logical connection to a policy commitment in which we do nothing – put their money where their mouth is (so to speak). Those who argue climate change is not real, and connect to the conclusion that we do nothing – or wait to take real action – are being intellectually honest. I think they’re dead wrong, and don’t understand the science, but they’re honest. They put their stake in the ground, and take responsibility for their position – “do nothing” they say, “it’s not real.”
But those who are happy to throw mud on the science – but never admit that climate change is not real, or that we should not act – are effectively dishonest. Holding the science to a level of certainty normally reserved for mathematical proofs, while not publicly advocating that we actually do nothing, is having your cake and eating it too. When the poop hits the fan, they ensure they hold a safety card that says “I never actually said it wasn’t real!”
The ‘scoffer’ holds a cowardly position. Throwing darts is easy. Grown-ups needs to take responsibility for an actual decision – do we act, or don’t we?