The Phony Attack on Climate Science

Today’s campaigners against action on climate change are in many cases backed by the same special interests that sought to discredit the science linking smoking and lung cancer, sulfur oxides with acid rain, and CFCs with ozone depletion. What is amazing is that, although these attacks on science have been wrong for 30 years, they still sow doubt about established facts.

NEW YORK – In the weeks before and after the Copenhagen climate change conference last December, the science of climate change came under harsh attack by critics who contend that climate scientists have deliberately suppressed evidence – and that the science itself is severely flawed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global group of experts charged with assessing the state of climate science, has been accused of bias.

The global public is disconcerted by these attacks. If experts cannot agree that there is a climate crisis, why should governments spend billions of dollars to address it?

The fact is that the critics – who are few in number but aggressive in their attacks – are deploying tactics that they have honed for more than 25 years. During their long campaign, they have greatly exaggerated scientific disagreements in order to stop action on climate change, with special interests like Exxon Mobil footing the bill.

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