I wrote what follows for an editor who, lucky fellow that he is, has moved on to better things. So, in order not to waste these precious pearls (and to save me having to think up something new this morning), I give them to you.
The blurb describes my reaction on being named to the Enemies of Science List, ludicrously compiled and published by the National Academies of Science. In times historical, the NAS was an organization to which it was a great honor to be named a fellow. But much of the prestige has drained away as its members have ossified into orthodoxy.
Yet even while this degradation is occurring, it appears, does it not?, that the political climate of global warming is cooling off. It is not yet cold; far from it. But there has been a noticeable lessening in interest. Perhaps—just perhaps—it is because one too many activist has warned that the sky has already fallen. How many times can you hear “It’s worse than we thought!” before it no longer has any force?
It is difficult to maintain a fever pitched frenzy, especially when not much can be done about the problem (if indeed there is a problem). True, a few will always have the manic energy to run around in circles bleating about “Environmental injustice!” or whatever. But the audience for these performances always dwindles in time.
Congratulations are in order, I think. Normally, I’m not one to brag, but after what happened, I might be allowed a little gloating.
The closest I came to this kind of honor before was in 1982, when the female members of the high school band voted to place me on the No Dating list. But today’s bestowment—presaged, perhaps, so long ago—far surpasses any approbation I’ve ever received.
For this is the first time I ever made a Worldwide Political Enemies List! True, it’s an odd sort of list from an unexpected corner—who knew the National Academy of Sciences employed spin squads?—but it’s genuine and I’m on it, dammit. All my painstaking and, yes, painful efforts to demonstrate the astonishing overconfidence of climate scientists have paid off!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Nearly 500 Enemies of Science are marked with scarlet letters, and I only made number number 264. But before you start snickering, let me ask you this: is your name on the list? Well, is it, Mr Smarty Pants?
Thus far, nobody has contacted me, nor have I received any indication of what accoutrement are to accompany my distinction. Presumably, since I’m the sole person listed as an expert in “forecast accuracy”, and climate models are forecasts, I will come in for something pretty special.
I haven’t yet noticed any paparazzi trailing after me, nor men in trench coats. But I am ready. I carry everywhere prepared quotes of sound-bite length. And I’ve been careful to never venture out-of-doors unless well groomed.
I can only explain the absence of media scrutiny as my coming in at the middle. It takes a while to work through all the names. At least, I hope that’s it.
It just can’t be that reporters have confused entry into such a list as evidence that the entrant’s arguments have been refuted.
There’s a Latin name for that fallacy which I’ve forgotten, and I don’t have time to look it up. I have to go get a hair cut, just in case.