A more subtle form of doubt has crept into the climate debate even as government agencies confirm what we already know: It was a hot and soppy summer.
NASA said global temperatures broke all-time records in July and August; NOAA said all the lower 48 US states sweltered in those two months, with records shattered in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and California. Nation-wide temperatures tied with 2006 as the fifth warmest summer, with nights sizzling more than ever.
Meanwhile, Hallie Golden described the latest climate wariness: Neo-skepticism. Neo-skeptics affirm the scientific consensus on human-induced global warming but doubt mitigation proposals. After all, they say, there is no harmony on the best solution. Neo-skepticism may breathe new life into the practical outcome of outright climate-change denial, which is declining: We’re forever mired in oil and coal amid the inertia of solution denial. New policies are never implemented.
Golden says there’s a bright side: Neo-skepticism may be a stepping stone for former denialists to join the solution-seeker party. Perhaps it’s a pathway out of denial. Let us pray so.
Check out the following for more in-depth information:
- Hallie Golden: “The worrisome rise of neoskepticism,” The Week http://theweek.com/articles/647122/worrisome-rise-neoskepticism
- NOAA study: “S. experiences 5th warmest summer on record, Lower 48 also had 3rd warmest year to date and second wettest August,” http://www.noaa.gov/news/us-experiences-5th-warmest-summer-on-record
- NASA statement: “NASA Analysis Finds August 2016 Another Record Month,” http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/news/20160912/