Thursday, March 06, 2014

149.3 - Clown Award: Dr. Roy Spencer

Clown Award: Dr. Roy Spencer

Moving from the sublimely ridiculous to the merely ridiculous, we come to one of our regular features, the Clown Award, given as always for meritorious stupidity.

The big red nose this week goes to Dr. Roy Spencer, one of the world’s most often cited deniers of the risks of human-caused climate change.

I'm going to talk more about some news regarding global warming next week. This is not about global warming, it's about Roy Spencer.

Roy Spencer has a BS in atmospheric sciences and a PhD in meteorology and has published climate-related articles in peer-reviewed journals. So technically he's not a climatologist, but he legitimately can lay claim to being a climate scientist.

One of that extremely rare breed of climate scientists who don’t believe in climate change. Which is why, even if you don't pay a lot of attention to this, you may have heard of him: When the right wing wants someone with some sort of qualifications to deny the reality of human-driven climate change, they don't have a lot of options. So Roy gets a lot of face time. In fact, he's testified before Congress at least four times.

But the point here is that if he heard me talking about him, he would be shuddering with outrage at my language - because I called him a climate change denier.

On his blog recently, Spencer vented his fury at being called a denier, even though he denies human-driven climate change. In fact, he denies the ability of humans to significantly affect the climate at all: He has signed and endorsed "An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming" from the Cornwall Alliance, which wants to promote a "Biblically balanced stewardship" and where he serves as a Senior Fellow. That declaration sets this as its very first principle:
We believe Earth and its ecosystems - created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence - are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.  Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.
So yes, he denies the very possibility of any significant human effect on the climate. No matter; in his blog post he declared that by calling people like him a "denier," I and anyone else using the term are "indirectly equating" them with Holocaust deniers. That, he says, is "repulsive [and] extremist" and he's not going to put up with it any more! So from now on, he's going to call anyone who uses the term "denier" a "global warming Nazi." Yup.

When some folks wondered about calling people Nazis while being offended by "denier," Spencer - who, by the way, is also a creationist - doubled down and said in effect "oh no, that's okay - because they really are like Nazis."

Well, tell ya what, Roy: If you're really that offended by the term "denier," maybe you'd prefer my name for people like you: nanny-nanny naysayers.

In any event, Roy Spencer: You are a clown.


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