Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Kerry Emanuel provides a perfect example of why climate change deniers can still argue that there is scientific doubt about global warming. As reported in the Cape Cod Times Oct. 30, 2005, Emanuel tiptoes around the link between climate change and the unprecedented 23 “named” storms in this year’s hurrican season, he does point – politely – in that direction. It’s typical of the integrity – the absolute insistence on total scientific certainty – among those who agree that climate change is a concern. It also stands in contrast to the loose use of fact that is epidemic in the other camp.
The CC Times story, “Everyone Agrees it’s Getting Hotter, But is That Why Storms are Getting Fiercer?” is worth reading, in part because of the awkward use of public survey data. A Washington Post-ABC News poll of American opinion on the reality of climate change and the likelihood of its link to the storm season is presented as evidence that there is still a debate. In fact, the article makes the point that, among scientists, the reality of climate change is now undeniable. This is only evidence that climate change deniers are still enjoying success among the mainstream media-informed masses.
Looked at another way, the Melbourne Age in Australia notes: “One of the problems appears to be that the scientific definition of certainty sounds like equivocation to the ordinary public, particularly to their elected and often scientifically ignorant representatives.” See that who discussion in the Age’s Oct. 31, 2005 feature: It’s climate change, as forecast.