Fox News' "Special Report" took a look at the latest climate-change studies. And even by the network's standards, this segment of grumpy-old-men-punditry was profoundly bizarre, complete with comparisons to rain dancing and Old Testament floods.
The report opened with George Will griping about the "97% consensus" figure. ("Who counted them? Who measured? Where did that figure come from?")
George, like me, is a Cubs fan. As such, he has obviously been traumatized by statistics,
so I will forgive him.
Besides, the segment really belonged to Charles Krauthammer, who began with this observation:
"99% of physicists were convinced that space and time are fixed, until Einstein working at a patent office wrote a paper in which he showed them they are not. I'm not impressed by numbers. I'm not impressed by consensus."
You have to admire the hubris of someone who simultaneously cites Einstein and then declares his contempt for numbers.
Next, Krauthammer argues that the scientific method is actually a type of bargaining process. Also, he reveals that he still does not understand the difference between weather and climate:
"These are things that people negotiate… the way you would negotiate a bill, because the science is unstable [and] because in the case of climate, the models are changeable….The idea that we who have trouble forecasting what's going to happen on Saturday in the climate could pretend to be predicting what's going to happen in 30-40 years is absurd."
And, he brings it home with this observation:
"What we're ultimately talking about here is human sin, through the production of carbon. It's the oldest superstition around. It was in the Old Testament. It's in the rain dance of the Native Americans. If you sin, the skies will not cooperate. This is quite superstitious and I'm waiting for science that doesn't declare itself definitive but is otherwise convincing."
Noah is still in theaters. Perhaps this was some form of stealth marketing.