The problem is simple: CAGW alarmism is used to push the same old tired leftist prescriptions, like government control of economies, that the Left has been trying to get people to adopt for 150 years. When Naomi Klein, a confirmed hard-left advocate of state controls and ending capitalism, says that CAGW “changes everything”, what she means is that “maybe this time I can get my way if I hang my hat on it as justification”.
Those of us who understand that no state-managed economy can ever perform as well as the free market see this for what it is: the same old wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s getting long in the tooth, whole patches of fur are falling out, and he’s limping along on three barely working legs, but maybe this time he can get in among the flock!
You trot out the 97% number as though it is somehow dispositive. It’s been repeatedly debunked. Economist David Friedman has posted a clear, accessible takedown of the number — and it remains unrefuted, despite John Cook’s attempts to mislead and misdirect. In the face of such distortions, not to mention Climategate and the deliberate distorting of historical climate data without explanation or the ability to reproduce the work, is it any wonder that CAGW arguments are mistrusted?
If you want to depolarize CAGW, what must be done is to come up with answers that explicitly reject the usual leftist ideals. Don’t use the coercive power of government to pick winners and losers. Don’t, especially, hang arbitrary costs on it that have no basis in reality and use them to drive increased taxation. (For example, the carbon tax in Washington that was opposed by the CAGW alarmists because it was revenue-neutral; this revealed their clear leftist agenda.) And don’t tell me that if I don’t like the answers on offer, it’s up to me to propose better ones. I have yet to be convinced there’s a problem, rather than that the science is being perverted in the service of leftist politics.
Most of all, it’s time for the so-called “climate science” community to act like scientists instead of political advocates. Make your data accessible to all. Show your work. Invite refutation, even from your opponents. Welcome skepticism instead of labeling skeptics “deniers” in a clear attempt to link it with Holocaust denial. Don’t reject articles in peer-reviewed journals because they are “not helpful”. When a model is clearly busted because its predictions fail to match actual, observed reality within its own stated margin of error, throw it out or fix it, instead of continuing to depend on it. Quit saying “the science is settled”. No science is ever “settled”, and no true scientist ever says that it is.
From where conservatives sit, “climate science” isn’t science, but a religious cult that will stop at nothing to destroy economies in pursuit of leftist goals. Decouple the “science” from the goals, and maybe you’ll get somewhere.