The morality of global warmingGloves on. Time to fisk a wingnut. This one is taking on one of the current favourite wingnut issues: all those scientist types are just imagining global warming so that they can, erm, sorry, lost the talking points, not sure what the purpose of the Big Lie is.
As a scientist, I find the current strategy of the global warming crusade to be fascinating. Particularly because I am a scientist, I also find it insulting. Everyone should find it very disturbing.
I'm not sure what kind of scientist Tim is. I found a couple of people by that name online. One seems to be a chemist, the other a religious type. It doesn't matter though. Tim's ready to be insulted on behalf of all of science. Let's see why.
I am referring to the fact that the global warming issue is now regarded as a "moral" matter by its advocates.
Hang on though. Let's put ourselves in the shoes of the "global warming advocates". (One notes that very few people actually do advocate global warming and Tim means those who believe it's really happening.) If you believe that the planet is warming because of human actions, and that that warming will be disastrous for some of the people of this world and some of its other life, is it not moral for you to want to do something about it and have others do something? Would it not be immoral to do nothing? Or at least arguably so?
Of course, there is some obvious humor in this because the liberals will also tell you that you "cannot legislate morality". Well, it does not take complicated logic to conclude that if global warming is indeed a moral matter and if it is true that you cannot legislate morality, then it should hold that you cannot legislate global warming.
Well, whatever kind of scientist Tim is, let's hope that it doesn't require any logical analysis. It should be obvious that global warming might have as one attribute that it is a moral issue, without that being all it is. Those who believe that something should be done about global warming can believe at the same time that it would be moral to do something and that it is expedient to do something quite aside from the morality of it.
But fuck it, wingnuts don't use the same logic as the rest of us, after all.
Tim proceeds to a discussion of "morality".
Morality should not be used to simply deny the facts
Which is an interesting thing for a global warming denier to say. Anyway, his point is that morality should not shape facts, but should take them and run with them. I couldn't agree more.
Here's the thing, Tim. The facts are that the world is warming, and that warming is caused by human beings. If we don't stop doing it, everyone in Bangladesh is going to need a submersible. Now let's talk morality.
For many years, global warming seemed to be a fact-focused debate. But a persistent problem for the advocates has been dissenting scientific opinion. Some very reputable scientists hold that global warming may be attributed to natural phenomena like the intensity of solar radiation.
For values of "reputable" that equal "discredited", "ill informed", "insane", "paid by Exxon".
Rightists have a real problem with consensus. Mostly because it doesn't agree with them. The consensus view on global warming is very widely held. It really is only a lunatic fringe (and the disgusting creeps who are paid to disbelieve it by Exxon) who don't believe it's happening. It's similar in this way to evolution. Some scientists do not believe in evolution (which is not far off not believing in China, or not believing you have teeth) but they are marginalised. Not because we're all ignoring the facts, but because they are.
It is one thing to write these dissenting opinions off as factually false
Which they are.
but this is apparently no longer regarded as adequate by the global warming advocates.
Maybe because those "advocates" are sick of hearing the nutters with their unsubstantiated hypotheses, and sick of having to knock them down over and over again.
The dissent keeps popping up,
Yes, but never any more credibly. The right suffers from the illusion that repeating something enough times will make it more correct. Sadly, no. They are just as full of shit the hundredth time as they were the first.
it backed by some very reputable people wielding very credible facts,
One notes only that the notion that facts should be "credible" is mindboggling. Facts are facts. They don't become any more factual just because they are more believable!
But of course Tim has inadvertently hit the core of the faith-based right's problem with facts. Science begins with facts and builds them into structures that explain the world. The faith based start with the structures and then sift the facts, deciding to keep only those that are "credible" (in other words, those that fit the structures they began with). Does science occasionally do this too? Yes, of course. We all do. But we don't generaly consider it a virtue.
and the availability of alternate information outlets has made it impossible to smother the doubters and dissenters.
So here is Tim's thesis in a nutshell: if you're wrong, and are shown to be wrong, that doesn't matter, so long as you keep saying it and have enough places to say it in. Dude, that's the rightist theory of information right there.
Now enter the moral angle. If global warming is now a moral matter, it would seem to suggest an associated implication that these inconvenient viewpoints are immoral. Apparently it is now the duty of "good" people to reject these opinions on this "moral" basis and without regard to whether they are factually true or false.
And here's the problem with Tim's analysis: what is immoral is lying. Denying a thing in the face of a mountain of evidence is not having an "inconvenient viewpoint". It's lying, plain and simple. If one thinks it's moral to do something because there is a problem, one likely feels it is immoral to do nothing.
Tim is making a misstep because he has disallowed the first step in the process those who believe there is global warming have gone through in considering the contrarians: asked what the facts are. That's it. We look at the facts, and then we look at what the guy from Exxon says, and we see a mismatch. Then we consider the morality of their stating a plain lie.
The most bizarre aspect of this strategy is that it is exactly what the liberals have always (unfairly) accused us conservatives of doing.
Or would be if you conservatives were ever in possession of, or even barely acquainted with, the facts.
In all honesty, this should scare the heck out of everyone. This is an atmosphere in which scientific inquiry is steered not by factual truth, but by a pre-ordained "moral" position.
Poor Tim. He has allowed himself to get it almost entirely arse-backwards. Scientific inquiry -- in the form of the huge, worldwide, coordinated effort led by the IPCC -- almost entirely supports the global warming "advocates"' view. A preordained position leads a few nutjobs -- of which Timmy is one -- to deny the facts and insist on hypotheses that are not borne out by observation, but remain entirely based on faith.
Worse, and here is where the immorality comes into it, he describes those who want to stop the world from frying as "advocates" for global warming, when in truth it is his crowd who advocate for it. They'd have us do nothing but sit back and watch half the world drown. Base as that is, it's not as bad as the truly immoral thing they do: not just sit back and do nothing but actively encourage us to continue to fuck the world up. Yeah, it's a moral issue, and as with so many moral issues, the wingnuts, bastions of "morality" that they are, are on the side of the immoral. Quelle fucking surprise!