Global warming and the antithesis of reasoned debate

Wesley Smith writes at National Review Online about global warming enthusiasts’ latest campaign to shut down debate on the topic.

… [I]t is a huge advocacy mistake for global-warming alarmists to refuse debating their opponents. After all, if global catastrophe is really coming, one should accept any and every opportunity to persuade doubters.

Now, global-warming public intellectuals have warned the media that if they allow skeptics to have a voice in stories, they will boycott giving comment. From the open letter appearing in the Guardian:

“Balance implies equal weight. But this then creates a false equivalence between an overwhelming scientific consensus and a lobby, heavily funded by vested interests, that exists simply to sow doubt to serve those interests. Yes, of course scientific consensus should be open to challenge — but with better science, not with spin and nonsense. We urgently need to move the debate on to how we address the causes and effects of dangerous climate change — because that’s where common sense demands our attention and efforts should be.” …

… This “We are too right to debate” variation is also folly. Pressuring media to only present the alarmists’ side of the case — which already happens much if not most of the time anyway — will not change minds. To the contrary, it will raise the acute suspicion that they are silencing dissenters because their their hypotheses are actually very debatable and they can’t stand the contest.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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