Climate: In Denial?

We've all heard the term "global warming" used to denote the observed fact that the earth is getting warmer. A better term for it is ACC, or Anthropomorphic Climate Change, since it doesn't always just involve warming - when heat is moved around, for example, some parts of the earth get cooler than normal ("Ice storm in May? How chilling!") while others get warmer. There is a great dichotomy between the scientific community and the general public, particulary in countries where gasoline consumption is rampant (that is to say, almost everywhere). The scientific community - at least the parts of it that spend their lives studying sciences that are directly or indirectly related to the climate - really is largely aware and in agreement that the climate is changing much more rapidly than at any point in the past few hundred thousand years, and that human action is one of the major causes of this change. The parts of the general public who deny ACC say that "well, the climate has always been changing, this is nothing new", which of course is true but not the whole story. Imagine a hypothetical newscaster, transported into the universe of the _Jurassic Park_ movie. Thinking of mosquitoes and snakes, he or she might say: "Well, animals have always been biting people. This is nothing new"...

In some ways this is analogous to the dichotomy between evolution and creationism, with many of the same people on the same side in each case. Biologists universally agree that evolution is a fact, and so do farmers who practice animal husbandry, which is just Anthropomorphic Characteristic Changing. There are debates among evolutionary biologists about exactly how evolution works (in part since no humans have lived long enough to watch very many significant instances of speciation), but all the reputable life scientists who deny evolution and assert creationism instead, could probably dance on the head of a pin.

Science is about remaining open-minded. There may be legitimate "climate skeptics" who have their bias but are open to reason, who will consider the facts (all of them, not just the ones that support their confirmation biases), who may come around. These people are distinct from "climate deniers", whose mind is made up (often because they are funded by the oil companies or the Heartland Institute, or because their political beliefs blind them to the science. To them we can only say: Check your premises.

In passing, let me say there is no room for any laws that criminalize climate skepticism. Science demands the right to be wrong, to fail, to learn, and to try again. Since we cannot know a person's motives, it follows that we cannot criminalize climate denial either.

OK, so, shut me up and let the facts speak: