This, of course, is also true for how we perceive global warming. Global warming is both a scientific fact and a story to be told. A story about science and about morals that has to be re-narrated again and again. To put a long story short, yesterday I stumbled across such a grand global warming narrative in the NYT, 'A scientist, his work and a climate reckoning'.
This article tells the story of global warming from the discovery of the role of carbon for global climate to the climate negotiations in Cancún. It does so in the way of American storytelling, as we are familiar with from Hollywood films. It's about carbon measurement on Mauna Loa; the 'father' of it, Dr. Keeling, and how the knowledge discovered there was transmitted from father to son, who also became a famous climate scientist. There are the very evil guys in the story who threaten both the peace of families and the clean production of scientific knowledge, the skeptics. They make use even of the Internet to spread their evil news! There are also the less evil guys like Richard Lindzen who admit that carbon is rising, but who are not able to see the menacing consequences. And there are those incapable politicians in Cancún who failed once more to save the planet. The story ends in a Al Gore like sentimental picture, uniting three generations of Keelings. This is what Ralph Keeling says:
“When I go see things with my children, I let them know they might not be around whenBut dry your tears, folks, and face reality:
they’re older,” he said. “ ‘Go enjoy these beautiful forests before they disappear. Go enjoy
the glaciers in these parks because they won’t be around.’ It’s basically taking note of
what we have, and appreciating it, and saying goodbye to it.”
At midnight midnight Mauna Loa time, the carbon dioxide level hit 390 - and risingOf course, it's easy for skeptics to blame and to ridicule this kitschy alarmism. But beware: you are also only a part of this story. Skepticism also only follows a script, mostly only fulfilling its role of being the counterpart in this alarmist master narrative. Fred Singer is the best example. The overall problem is the narrative and how to break it. Otherwise we will be caught in a Hollywood movie and forever try to save a fairy tale planet (from global warming or from alarmists) instead of coping with the real problems.