For a long time, I’ve used the term “delusionist” rather than “sceptic” to describe those who reject mainstream science on global warming. In general, the term “sceptic” is inappropriate for the vast majority of this group, since their position is hardly ever based on a willingness to look sceptically at evidence without reliance on a preconceived views. The gullibility with which so many delusionists parrot the latest talking points (“Hockey stick broken!”, “Global warming on Mars”, Warming stopped in 1998″ and so on) is clearly incompatible with any kind of scepticism. And, given the volume of evidence that has accumulated on the issue, only an adherent of some very strong form of scepticism could reasonably remain undecided. Such a sceptic has now appeared in the form of Adam Shand, a Channel 9 journalist who said, in a recent Sunday program on global warming “it’s only an assumption” that summer is warmer than winter. I imagine he gets great prices on ski holidays, by going in January!
Of course, once you’ve gone this far in scepticism, why not go the whole hog? Radical scepticism provides the perfect argument for rejecting action to mitigate global warming – if we have no reason to believe in the existence of the external world, then trashing it can’t be a problem, can it?
While I’m on delusionism in the media, I should note that Gerard Henderson has a piece in the SMH trying to have it both ways in claiming to accept mainstream science on while touting the views of delusionists (there’s no suggestion that attention should be paid to those who think the consensus view understates the dangers!).
Meanwhile, Graham Young continues to trash the credibility of Online Opinion which once promised to become a serious alternative to the mainstream media. Clive Hamilton bids OLO farewell after its publication of a delusionist piece written by Canadian energy industry PR man Tom Harris.