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The Cost of “Emotionalizing”

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The outgoing leader of Greenpeace has admitted his organization’s recent claim that the Arctic Ice will disappear by 2030 was “a mistake.” Greenpeace made the claim in a July 15 press release entitled “Urgent Action Needed As Arctic Ice Melts,” which said there will be an ice-free Arctic by 2030 because of global warming.

Under close questioning by BBC reporter Stephen Sackur on the “Hardtalk” program, Gerd Leipold, the retiring leader of Greenpeace, said the claim was wrong.

“I don’t think it will be melting by 2030. . . . That may have been a mistake,” he said.

But Leipold admitted to something far more destructive than a mistaken press release. “We, as a pressure group, have to emotionalize issues,” he said, “and we’re not ashamed of emotionalizing issues.”

That is a bald confession of contempt for science. Greenpeace is “proud” to fudge data, to do violence to the scientific method and the tradition of empirical analysis. This should be one of those moments that sets a movement on a path to marginalization. The 2030 iceless age is a fiction embraced in circles far beyond Greenpeace. The San Francisco Chronicle has reported: “The consensus of most sea-ice scientists is that the Arctic could be free of ice in the summer between 2030 and 2040.”

But “emotionalizing issues” isn’t really frowned on these days. It’s been the Left’s modus operandi for at least half a century, and distorting facts to fit a political narrative is standard practice. After all, the very idea that scientific confirmation is a matter of consensus is itself an emotionalized insult to the scientific tradition. (H2O isn’t water because a consensus of scientists says so.) That this revered consensus was built admittedly on propaganda and not evidence will most likely do nothing to slow the billions going down the sinkhole in the name of cooling the planet. False emissions-markets will be created; industries will be destroyed; and dynamic nations will cede sovereignty via transnational treaties.

“The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear,” said President-elect Obama, in a video address to a global-climate summit last November. Both statements, if you think about it, are actually true. But science and facts have nothing to with the intellectual mass delusion of climatology or the runaway policies it will generate.



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