The Wall Street Journal Trots Out a Former Chief Scientist for BP to Argue Against Action on Climate Change

Just roll over and go back to sleep

As hundreds of thousands of people demonstrate across the world to demand action on the growing threat of climate change, the Wall Street Journal trots out the former chief scientist of BP, one of the world’s top fossil fuel producers, to say Climate Science Is Not Settled.

And the argument boils down to this: roll over and go back to sleep, everyone.

Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future. Recognizing those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies. To do otherwise is a great disservice to climate science itself.

Did I mention that the person described by the Wall Street Journal as “leading scientist Steven E. Koonin” was previously the “leading scientist” for BP — the company responsible for one of the worst oil spill disasters in history? I did?

Dr. Koonin was undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term and is currently director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University. His previous positions include professor of theoretical physics and provost at Caltech, as well as chief scientist of BP, where his work focused on renewable and low-carbon energy technologies.

Well, you should also know that Koonin is not a climate scientist. He’s a computational physicist. And this “do nothing” strategy is just the latest in a long line of conservative chicanery.

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