Letter: Hot air from Dr. Paul | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Hot air from Dr. Paul

Hot air from Dr. Paul

Paul Andersen’s recent column (“Pray for Our Climate,” April 21, The Aspen Times) wastes a lot of hot air to discredit “climate denial” as faith-based, like religion. Please.

Yet I grant that Dr. Paul is trying to be efficient. His dual formulation lets him bash “climate deniers” and religious believers in a single stroke. He gets to call both groups “myopic,” “unscientific,” and “childlike”— and still have space to beat up Fox News and show off the science he has found in the opinions of The New York Times.

But Dr. Paul fails to notice the harm suchlike facility does to honest discussion, and indeed to his own credibility. Who ever lobs the bible against climate change? In my experience, no one. I never hear global warming mentioned in a Sunday sermon. “Faith-based” climate deniers? Even if they do exist, at the fringes of the discourse, they can only count as strawmen. Dr. Paul wastes his entire column to insult a bunch of strawmen.

Meanwhile, does he spare any space at all to refute the actual scientists, adults with real university degrees, whose lifetimes of research stand against the Times? In that long, wordy column, even a peep about their reams of data? Strangely, no. Yet nothing could be less dogmatic, and more pertinent, than their substantiated doubts.

Likewise, nothing could be less scientific than Dr. Paul’s jeremiad. Not only do his jabs fail to injure genuine religion and actual science, they betray his own baseless prejudice more glaringly than the compound heresy he imagines he’s exposing. By the time Dr. Paul gets through, global warming seems more like a sham than it did before. More like a political contrivance. More like a substitute religion.

With all that newsprint he gets to fill, if he can’t credibly explain why “climate denial” is wrong, Paul Andersen should at least stop blowing so much smoke. It hurts the environment for the rest of us.

Chris King