Fighting for Truth in Climate Science Is Important

Article by H. Sterling Burnett.


I don’t claim mine is the majority view on this point. Indeed, my life would be easier—and based on offers that have been made to me, my living standard higher—if I conceded the science and joined with those pushing draconian restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions and profiting from various green energy boondoggles. All I have to do to receive higher pay, accolades, and to bring an end to the abuse and threats from those who think I’m “worse than the Nazis” (something said and written to me a number of times), is to play the game and join the consensus. All that’s holding me back is my stubborn, arguably foolish, belief that I should speak the truth on this and other matters of public import of which I am knowledgeable as I see fit, let the chips fall where they may.

Ring cites as an example of playing defense, at a great cost to society, the response of big oil companies to the various lawsuits filed in multiple political jurisdictions by cities, states, and various activist groups. Oil companies have largely conceded the science, saying in effect, “Our products have been beneficial, producing a lot of good, but are also changing the climate for the worse, so we agree we must phase them out in a timely fashion. Not now, but over time, and in the meantime, we’re investing in lower carbon solutions.”

That’s like a popular but abusive spouse saying, “Look, I’m a pretty good guy and contribute to society, but along the way, I beat my wife. But I’m doing it less now than in the past, and in the future I expect to stop doing it entirely.” That’s not a very compelling argument.

The fight for sound science, per se, but climate science, specifically, is a fight for truth and all the progress science can provide. It’s a moral fight. That is why I continue to fight for what I believe to be the truth about climate change, even in the face of ad hominem attacks in print, through email, and online, attempted and sometimes successful censorship, and the occasional threat of physical violence and death.