A Climate Skeptic’s Conversion

Here’s a good piece at The Times Online by Bryan Appleyard, explaining how he changed from climate skeptic/denier to accepter of the scientific evidence for global warming: Global warming is real.

No wonder opinion polls show a majority of the population are sceptical about global warming. Just scanning the papers, the internet or watching TV is enough to convince anyone it’s just the usual apocalyptic hype. And, if they want to dig deeper into their own disbelief, there are shelfloads of books to give them a hand. There’s Nigel Lawson, ex-chancellor of the exchequer, with An Appeal to Reason. There’s Scared to Death by Christopher Booker and Richard North. There’s Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg. There was even a very serious documentary on Channel 4 called The Great Global Warming Swindle with some serious-looking science guys pouring cold water on the warming atmosphere.

Just a couple of weeks reading and watching and you can be out there, crushing dinner-party eco-warriors with devastating arguments based on cold, hard facts. You will be a stern, hard-headed denialist, your iron jaw set firmly against the tree-hugging, soft-headed warmists in their irritating hats.

That was me, once. I thought global warming was all bog-standard, apocalyptic nonsense when it first emerged in the 1980s. People, I knew, like nothing better than an End-of-the-World story to give their lives meaning. I also knew that science is dynamic. Big ideas rise and fall. Once the Earth was the centre of the universe. Then it wasn’t. Once Isaac Newton had completed physics. Then he hadn’t. Once there was going to be a new ice age. Then there wasn’t.

Armed with such historic reversals, I poured scorn on under-educated warmists. Scientists with access to the microphone, I pointed out, had got so much so wrong so often. This was yet another case of clever people, who should have known better, running around screaming, “End of the World! End of the World!” and of less-clever people finding reasons to tell everybody else why they were bad. And then I made a terrible mistake. I started questioning my instinct, which was to disbelieve every scare story on principle.

I exposed myself to any journalist’s worst nightmare — very thoughtful, intelligent people.

Thus began Appleyard’s conversion. And the process Appleyard describes is very similar to my own rethinking of the subject.

I was also a “skeptic” for a long time, although that word implies a reasoned opposition that really wasn’t the case. In truth, I had been fooled by the massive amount of anti-AGW propaganda being fed into the national debate by right wing groups. Almost two years ago, I began detecting a distinct fishy odor, when I read articles debunking the British documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” pointing out the numerous errors and deliberate deceptions in the film. And since it was clear that the issue was going to be a serious point of contention in the US I made a determined effort to educate myself. Instead of getting all my information from “skeptical” blogs and news sources, I started reading books and scientific journals and everything else I could get my hands on. I’m kind of obsessive when I get interested in a subject. (OK, not “kind of” — “definitely.”)

At some point during that process I began to realize that I couldn’t deny any longer, and that my opinion had changed from unreasoning “skepticism” to acceptance of the scientific evidence. I didn’t go into this expecting to come out as a proponent of AGW, but the vast weight of the evidence forced me to accept it.

The kinds of policies that need to be implemented to stave off the danger are another matter; my main focus right now is providing as much factual information as possible to try to get past the first hurdle — the huge, ongoing campaign of disinformation and denial.

Read the whole thing…

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Detroit News Editorial: Dump Trump By now Republicans must recognize the evolving train wreck that is Donald Trump. If they continue to ride him as their presidential nominee, they can’t say they weren’t warned when he takes their party and its slate of candidates ...
The Vicious Babushka
26 minutes ago
Views: 89 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 6 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Brexit: EU Spells Out Procedure for UK to Leave The European Union has clarified the way the UK can kickstart formal negotiations to exit the bloc following Thursday's referendum. It says Britain can trigger Article 50, which sets a two-year deadline for a deal, by making a formal ...
Thanos
1 hour, 39 minutes ago
Views: 79 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
With Donald Trump in Scotland, Hillary Clinton Rails Against His ‘Brexit’ Response Asked about Britain's plummeting currency in a part of the nation which had voted overwhelmingly to stay in the E.U., Trump noted a money-making opportunity: You know, when the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly. ...
Thanos
1 hour, 41 minutes ago
Views: 56 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Former Kansas Governors Form New Political Action Group to Oppose Brownback Four former Kansas governors and other state leaders have announced an effort to raise money to oppose policies and laws created in recent years by Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature. The Save Kansas Coalition, which sent out ...
Thanos
11 hours, 54 minutes ago
Views: 251 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 12 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Cops Nab 3 ‘Vigilantes’ With Arsenal in Van at Holland Tunnel Last Week's good guys with multiple guns. blockquote>A search turned up five pistols, an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, four knives, 10 loaded clips of ammunition and a military-grade helmet. Along with Smith, John Cramsey, 50, and Kimberly Arendt, ...
Thanos
12 hours, 17 minutes ago
Views: 178 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Today’s Good Guy With a Gun Teaches Us How to Open a Door With a Sig Sauer Hey, it only took two magazines to open that door. Neighbour 'Refused Him Sex' So He 'Shot the House 33 Times' Cops suspect that Sparber had become infatuated with his neighbour and after getting drunk he attempted to shoot ...
Thanos
18 hours, 38 minutes ago
Views: 406 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Turkey Guilty Verdict for Depicting Erdogan as Gollum Did you ever notice how thin skinned bullies like to silence and punish their critics? A court in the south-western Antalya province gave Rifat Cetin a suspended one-year jail sentence and stripped him of parental custody rights. He has ...
Thanos
19 hours, 7 minutes ago
Views: 216 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Britain Is Leaving the EU. Here’s What That Means. Subscribe to our channel! goo.gl vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out vox.com to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan ...
Thanos
19 hours, 27 minutes ago
Views: 204 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
At Least 20 Dead as Historic Floods Sweep West Virginia At least 23 people, including an 8-year-old boy who was wading in a foot of water, died in massive floods in West Virginia from a storm system that has dumped a historic amount of rain in parts of the ...
Thanos
1 day, 2 hours ago
Views: 221 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Kindergarten Teacher Allegedly Killed by Mother-in-Law With Children Inside Home A kindergarten teacher was allegedly shot and killed by her mother-in-law with her children in the home, WSB-TV reports. Investigators were called to a home Thursday morning on a report of a gunshot wound. When they arrived, they discovered ...
Thanos
1 day, 18 hours ago
Views: 501 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0