Bret Stephens, formerly of the Wall St. Journal, has written his first column for The New York Times.
It is indeed making heads of the usual suspects in the media and political left explode:
Would the NYT give a column to someone who used it to argue that the Earth is flat? Then why give a platform for climate denial?— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) May 3, 2017
My column: "climate-change agnosticism" is a feel-good, meaningless cop-out of a phrase. https://t.co/bkQobZxIyB— Denise Balkissoon (@balkissoon) May 3, 2017
..Anyone who has read the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change knows that, while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the earth since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities. That’s especially true of the sophisticated but fallible models and simulations by which scientists attempt to peer into the climate future. To say this isn’t to deny science. It’s to acknowledge it honestly.
By now I can almost hear the heads exploding. They shouldn’t, because there’s another lesson here — this one for anyone who wants to advance the cause of good climate policy. As Revkin wisely noted, hyperbole about climate “not only didn’t fit the science at the time but could even be counterproductive if the hope was to engage a distracted public.”
Let me put it another way. Claiming total certainty about the science traduces the spirit of science and creates openings for doubt whenever a climate claim proves wrong. Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts...
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