Columnist Charles Krauthammer, though professing to be agnostic on the issue of climate change, takes to task those scientists who seem all too willing to smugly accept the “settledness” of the current consensus (“The Notion of ‘Settled Science’ Is in Itself Anti-Scientific,” Feb. 22). To illustrate his point he offers three or four examples of scientific overreach. How inconvenient, then, and ironic, that on the same day, two newswire articles in this newspaper largely debunked the very propositions he advanced to buttress his argument.
One addressed California’s historic drought; the other explicated the reasons for the perceived lack of atmospheric warming since 1998. Even in this question of atmospheric warming, however, the facts are other than Mr. Krauthammer claims. RealClimate, the go-to site for practicing climatologists, tells us that, according to NASA, the years 2010, 2005, 2007 and 2002 were all warmer than 1998.
This, then, is rather weak beer proffered to us by Mr. Krauthammer, and the cynical reader might well conclude that there is another dynamic in play. Considering certain descriptive phrasing, e.g. “the propagandist in chief,” “he ostentatiously visited California,” “your [climate-change proponents’] high priest,” used when referencing President Barack Obama, could it be that Mr. Krauthammer’s thematic approach is less a matter of science and more a sour expression of political ideology?