Blame it on ClimateGate. Ever since those controversial e-mails and documents exposed manipulated climate change numbers, liberals have been scrambling to regain their footing and their followers. The Economist's cover article of their March 18th edition, "Spin, Science and Climate Change," shows just how desperate their situation is.
The subhead of the article reads, "Action on climate is justified, not because the science is certain, but precisely because it is not." Forget what the numbers say - especially the ones that don't validate climate change - The Economist "sees no reason to alter its view" on the subject. The earth is a turning into a molten lava cake and nothing will convince these journalists otherwise. For a newspaper that claims it was founded on the principle that everything "put forward [in the paper] should be subjected to the test of facts," this article didn't even meet its own criteria.
The article blamed the lack of action against climate change on everything from the recession to the health care debate to the northern hemisphere's cold winter to the ClimateGate scandal. But the biggest problem, it said, lies in politicians who, heaven forbid, have actually looked at the scientific numbers and concluded that it cannot be arguably proven that climate change even exists or, if it does, that it's caused by man or in any way threatens our existence.
"The ambiguities of science sit uncomfortably with the demands of politics," it said, adding that politics "tends to simplify and exaggerate." ClimateGate didn't change "the science" surrounding climate change, the article argued; it simply provided "non-expert politicans with an excuse not to spend money reducing carbon." So, even though the most reliable scientific numbers predict a change ranging from "a mildly warming global temperature increase of 1.1°C by the end of the century to a hellish 6.4°C," action on climate needs to happen now in order to insure against "catastrophe."
"Plenty of uncertainty remains; but that argues for, not against, action. If it were known that global warming would be limited to 2°C, the world might decide to live with that. But the range of possible outcomes is huge, with catastrophe one possibility, and the costs of averting climate change are comparatively small."
One such "cost" the article supported was the idea of governmentally controlled carbon output - an interesting suggestion considering that The Economist claimsit was founded on and still advocates "minimum interference by government."
The article ended by promoting fear in its readers, a common tactic abused by climate change advocates. "With climate change you do not need to invent things; the truth, even with all those uncertainties and caveats, is scary enough," it said.
The truth? For the media that depends on the decade. Journalists have warned of climate change for the past 100 years, but can't decide whether the world faces an ice age or a melting pot. Back in the 1970s, the media were convinced global cooling was going to threaten the food supply and glaciers would rule the earth. Just give it another 40 years and The Economist will be calling for the mass production of parkas.