Today’s New York Times includes an article by one of their veteran science writers, William Broad, about the many scientists who are uncomfortable with the exaggerations and extremism of Gore’s gerbil worming horror flick, An Inconvenient Truth. Broad quotes scientist Kevin Vranes, who, I noted in my Weekly Standard article last month, had this to say about the pressure for scientific conformity on this subject: “What I am starting to hear is internal backlash. . . None of this is to say that the risk of climate change is being questioned or downplayed by our community; it’s not. It is to say that I think some people feel that we’ve created a monster by limiting the ability of people in our community to question results that say ‘climate change is right here!’” Vranes saids this after attending the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, at which Gore made his standard pitch.
An even more bracing comment came late last year from Mike Hulme, who is the director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and one of Britain’s leading climate science figures:
“I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric,” Hulme told the BBC in November. “It seems that it is we, the professional climate scientists, who are now the [catastrophe] skeptics. How the wheel turns. Why is it not just campaigners, but politicians and scientists too, who are openly confusing the language of fear, terror and disaster with the observable physical reality of climate change, actively ignoring the careful hedging which surrounds science’s predictions? To state that climate change will be ‘catastrophic’ hides a cascade of value-laden assumptions which do not emerge from empirical or theoretical science.”
The backlash may be just beginning.