Sobre o aquecimento global

EXAGGERATED SCIENCE
How Global Warming Research is Creating a Climate of Fear
Trechos de artigo sobre o aquecimento global publicado no Der Spiegel, em janeiro de 2005

By Hans von Storch and Nico Stehr
“The pattern is always the same. The significance of individual events is turned into material suitable for media presentation and is then cleverly dramatized. When the outlook for the future is discussed, the scenario that predicts the highest growth rates for greenhouse gas emissions — which, of course, comes with the most dramatic climatic consequences — is always selected from among all possible scenarios. Those predicting significantly smaller increases in greenhouse gas levels are not mentioned.”

“Unfortunately, the corrective mechanisms in science are failing. Public reservations with regard to the standard evidence of climate catastrophe are often viewed as unfortunate within the scientific community, since they harm the “worthy cause,” especially because, as scientists claim, they could be “misused by skeptics.” Dramatization on a small scale is considered acceptable, whereas correcting exaggeration is viewed as dangerous because it is politically inopportune. This means that doubts are not voiced publicly. Instead, the scientific community creates the impression that the scientific underpinnings of climate change research are solid and only require minor additions and adjustments.”

“Other scientists are succumbing to a form of fanaticism almost reminiscent of the McCarthy era. In their minds, criticism of methodology is nothing but the monstrous product of “conservative think-tanks and misinformation campaigns by the oil and coal lobby,” which they believe is their duty to expose. In contrast, dramatization of climate shift is defended as being useful from the standpoint of educating the public.”

Hans von Storch, 55, is the director of the GKSS Institute for Coastal Research (IfK) in Geesthacht, Germany, which researches water and climate in coastal areas. Together with Nico Stehr, 62, a sociologist at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany, is a long-time researcher of public attitudes about climate change.