Where Has the Magic Gone?

The New York Times plaintively ponders global warmism’s loss of credibility.

James Taranto
The Wall Street Journal
5/26/2010

This lead paragraph from the New York Times is just priceless:

Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium here to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet?

Imagine popular children’s fables retold by Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal: Anguished weavers gathered to ponder the sudden shift in fashion by subjects who only recently thought the emperor was wearing a splendid suit of clothes. If the boy still says there is a wolf, why have so many farmers turned away from the idea that the sheep are in danger?

Rosenthal reports from London, because the “shift in public opinion” has been especially “striking” in Britain, where “climate change” was once a “popular priority”:

But since then, the country has evolved into a home base for a thriving group of climate skeptics who have dominated news reports in recent months, apparently convincing many that the threat of warming is vastly exaggerated.

The Times story could be titled “What’s the Matter With Many?” Not only do opinion polls in Britain and elsewhere show a significant drop in public credulity about climate alarmism, but newly elected Prime Minister David Cameron “was ‘strangely muted’ on the issue in a recent pre-election debate, as The Daily Telegraph put it, though it had previously been one of his passions.” And then there’s this:

London’s Science Museum recently announced that a permanent exhibit scheduled to open later this year would be called the Climate Science Gallery–not the Climate Change Gallery as had previously been planned.

That last bit is just an example of the euphemism treadmill at work. We’re old enough to remember the “greenhouse effect,” which became “global warming,” which became “climate change,” which now apparently has become “climate science.” Just as “retarded” was a clinical term until it developed connotations of mockery and insult, so each term for greenhouseeffectglobalwarmingclimatechangeclimatescience comes to connote dishonest alarmism–because that is what GEGWCCCS is all about…

…Skepticism, the Times implies, is a sign that people are foolish and easily misled. But the opposite interpretation is closer to the truth: Those who refuse to accept outlandish claims based merely on an appeal to authority are exercising intelligence and common sense…

The article continues at The Wall Street Journal.

Read also Petitions target ‘political’ leanings of teachers via Not Evil Just Wrong:

The presentation of petitions calling for local teachers to keep partisan political views out of the classroom and stop teaching global warming drew nearly 40 people to Tuesday evening’s District 51 school board meeting.

The petition about non-partisan teaching received 600 signatures, while the climate change petition garnered 700 signatures, according to petition author Rose Pugliese, a Palisade lawyer and member of the Western Colorado Conservative Alliance who ran for a school board seat in November. Greg Mikolai won the seat…

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