Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just Warming Up

"The O.J. tactic" ? That was the editorial headline over at the Los Angeles Times and I just couldn't resist. It seems one Bill McKibben is accusing those of us sceptical about global warming of using a maneuver akin to the one used by O.J. Simpson's attorneys when they defended him against the charge of murder in the 1990s. He argues that because the evidence demonstrating O.J.'s guilt was so overwhelming, his "dream team" of lawyers forced the focus onto the few cracks in the case instead. The most famous "crack", of course, was the racial slur of LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman.

Similarly, the evidence for the science of global warming, or against the sceptics, to keep the analogy consistent, is overwhelming. Therefore, all we doubters/deniers (he uses both) have left to argue with is, well, "the O.J. tactic". That is, we are forced to cynically shift the attention away from the mountain of evidence that supports global warming and onto the recently revealed cracks in the case, cracks that amount to nothing actually.

Clever, I guess, but the analogy won't hold. Simpson's attorneys knew their client was guilty and shifted the focus because they had no choice. We global warming sceptics know nothing of the sort. Our scepticism is simply and honestly a product of being unconvinced, and we are joined in that scepticism by a host of scientists with credentials just as impressive as those who disagree.

These guys know they're losing the public argument as they increasingly descend to ad hominem attacks. A climate change sceptic is the same as murderer O.J. Simpson. A sceptic is the same as a doubter/denier. Highlighting the most recent problems with the global warming case is the same as employing some underhanded lawyer trick.

But "methinks" they "doth protest too much." Might it be that it is they who are guilty of the disingenuousness of which they routinely accuse us?

No comments:

Post a Comment