The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a prestigious reputation in weather and climate science. Its mandate is to inform the public and policy-makers about environmental issues. Recently, however, this body seems to be delving into strange territories. In a peculiar turn of events, NOAA’s recent organization wide seminar on combating disinformation cited ‘Skeptical Science’s’ creepy John Cook, If this is the level of expertise we’re resorting to, then it’s time to delve deeper into the complexities of NOAA’s tactics.
Yes, the climate has always been changing, it’s part of Earth’s nature. The question isn’t about its existence; it’s about the magnitude of human influence and the catastrophic narratives that often seem more rooted in hysteria than science. This was notably seen in Margaret Orr’s recent presentation, ‘Wildfire Lies: A Crash Course in Climate Change Misinformation,‘ where she prescribed a singular perspective on climate change, with little room for debate or dissent.
During the seminar, Orr summarily dismissed anyone who doesn’t adhere to the catastrophic climate change narrative as ‘misinformed’. The binary logic she employed creates a false narrative: you either believe climate change is primarily human-caused and catastrophic, or you are an ill-informed individual spreading ‘fake news’. This simplification blatantly overlooks the nuanced and ongoing debates within the scientific community about climate sensitivity, feedbacks, and our capacity to adapt.
One aspect of Orr’s seminar, which demands scrutiny, is the argument about ‘slow thinking’. The idea suggests that individuals who don’t subscribe to the catastrophic narrative aren’t applying enough cognitive effort to understand the issue.