Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Roger Pielke Jr. writes about his Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic.

This is another exhibit of the sorry state of discordant discussion and beliefs — especially among political matters — in today’s society and why many of us little people are skeptical of anything the experts say.

They act like big babies when someone disagrees with them or brings up facts that get in the way of their good story.

Pielke “believes climate change is real,” but his research led him to a politically unpopular conclusion that there is “scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally.”

In the article, he chronicles the witch hunt against him from everyone from his editors at the popular news analysis site, a Congressman, reporters and even the White House.

He ends with:

But the lesson is that a lone academic is no match for billionaires, well-funded advocacy groups, the media, Congress and the White House. If academics—in any subject—are to play a meaningful role in public debate, the country will have to do a better job supporting good-faith researchers, even when their results are unwelcome. This goes for Republicans and Democrats alike, and to the administration of President-elect Trump.

Academics and the media in particular should support viewpoint diversity instead of serving as the handmaidens of political expediency by trying to exclude voices or damage reputations and careers. If academics and the media won’t support open debate, who will?

Here’s a guy that agrees with the general narrative — that climate change is real — but just doesn’t think there’s evidence to support a minor point of the narrative, that it’s causing more extreme weather.

So they paint him in broad strokes to discredit him. As Tomi Lahren pointed out on The Daily Show, isn’t that how hate groups behave?

I find it interesting that one of my go-to sites for a list of logical fallacies is a hosted on The Nizkor Project website, which is dedicated to Holocaust education and ensuring history doesn’t repeat itself.

I’m assuming the list of fallacies was included because fallacies are commonly employed by hate groups to further their cause.


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