James L. Powell Discusses The Inquisition of Climate Science on Climate Progress

James Powell The Inquisition of Climate ScienceEarlier this year, James Powell, author of The Inquisition of Climate Science , was interviewed by Climate Progress. (You can listen to the interview here.)

In the interview, Powell discusses the book and the ways in which the “debate” about global warming has been hijacked by denialists who rely on demagoguery rather than science. The interviewer Sean Pool summarizes Powell’s breakdown of some of the common tactics of the denier movement:

* Engage in publicity stunts designed to gain media attention and that promulgate disinformation.
* Repeat claims long after scientists have shown them to be false.
* Make assertions without presenting any evidence to back them up. Had a speaker at the AGU meeting said that carbon dioxide does not cause global warming, the audience would have demanded to see the evidence.
* Have no scientific findings that falsify global warming.
* Have opposed global warming for twenty years. True, back then, many scientists were also skeptical, but as the evidence mounted, they changed their minds. Deniers do not change their minds, a sure sign that they base their denial not on science, but on ideology. To paraphrase Richard Lindzen, ‘global warming denial has always been about politics, not science.’”

In the interview Powell argues that:

It’s time for scientists to stand up and be counted. Not be reticent. Not be cautious. Not say for instance that there’s no way to tell whether Katrina was caused by global warming, but to say very forcefully that Katrina is exactly the kind of thing we can expect more of under global warming.

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