For purveyors of climate alarm, emotional displays of intolerance are increasingly crowding out reasoned argument. But such narrow-mindedness toward the loyal opposition — and its dedication to improving the state of the world — is a recipe for further marginalization and frustration. Remember the adage: “Hate hurts the hater more than the hated.”

Consider President Obama, who has so little to crow about these days. At the White House Correspondents Dinner last month, the president used the (otherwise) lighthearted occasion to shout at those who doubt his climate-change narrative. “It is crazy! What about our kids? What kind of stupid, short-sided irresponsible bull… ” said the president before comedian Keegan-Michael Key jokingly cut him off.

That kind of anger was also on display when the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s editorial board equated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to an apologist for slavery. His crime? Forcefully fighting back against President Obama’s emissions plan for the nation’s stressed electric generation fleet.

Overheated rhetoric has been getting worse for some time now. As I complained last year in Doubling Down on Climate Alarmism: “In the intellectual/government/pundit sphere, a witch’s brew of bad science and Gruber salesmanship has turned an intellectual cause into a fringe religion — and self-defeating politics.”

Getting Desperate

The impatience and intolerance of the doom-and-gloom crowd must be understood historically and in terms of today’s politics.

The neo-Malthusians have been errant re the “population bomb” in the 1960s, the running-out-of-resources and global cooling scares in the 1970s, and catastrophic global warming in the late 1980s and 1990s. The genetically modified foods scare is also an example of hype overtaking science, as a recent New York Times opinion-page editorial explained.

The current elephant-in-the-room for climate alarmists is the “pause” or “hiatus” in global warming.

Green activists have preached that the Earth’s temperature would continue to rise steadily into a global crisis. For most of the 1990s, their model predictions appeared plausible. But global temperatures have slowed considerably since 1998, despite steadily rising levels of carbon-dioxide emissions (the alleged cause of warming).

This was not supposed to happen. “Pauses as long as 15 years are rare in the simulations,” wrote Science magazine scribe Richard Kerr. “Researchers … agree that no sort of natural variability can hold off greenhouse warming much longer.” That was six years ago.

“[W]here the heck is global warming,” wrote Kevin Trenberth in 2009.  “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

The pause is now the ever greater pause. And even if global temperature sets new record highs, it will be by hundredths of a degree, well below the model-predicted increase. The “pause” is even more the climate-model discrepancy. “95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong,” one climatologist humorously wrote.

Humility Not

Yet the President of the United States hypes and attempts to shame. “There’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change,” Obama asserted in his weekly address.

Joe Romm, the founder of the alarmist website Climate Progress, seconded, the hyperbole: “Climate change is certainly the greatest preventable (environmental) threat to the health and well-being of Americans and indeed all of homo sapiens.”

Romm’s certainty flies in the face of unsettled science, and contrary temperature data reflects his own close-mindedness. His recent how-to blog post shared his “time-saving secrets” for determining which climate writing to avoid: “Skip articles written by [skeptic] George Will and his ilk.”

Vilification of those deviating from the alarmist gospel is not unique to career activists like Romm. On the political side, Senators Edward Markey (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) began investigating 100 fossil fuel organizations suspected of “funding scientific studies designed to confuse the public and avoid taking action to cut carbon pollution.”

By “confuse the public,” they mean question the sacred view that climate change will soon compromise the planet. Just as Sen. McConnell is little better than a slave-owner, scientists who contradict the doom-and-gloom climate narrative are a threat to the public and must be discredited as shills of industry. (Never mind that Big Wind and Big Solar and Big Ethanol are industries too.)

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