“Climate change deniers?” The legendary CBS news anchor Dan Rather came up with a better name for them in his Facebook post on Wednesday: “Reality Deniers.”
‘I think at this point, we can stop calling them climate change deniers. Reality Deniers is closer to the truth.’
He added that he’s seen the Northwest Passage in the Arctic Ocean and things are far worse than people think.
‘A few years back, I traveled to the famed Northwest Passage, to report on how climate change might eventually melt the icy blockades which had thwarted explorers for centuries. Well “later” seems to have become much sooner than scientists expected.’
Here’s Dan Rather’s Facebook post with a link to an article from The New York Times.
The New York Times article warns:
‘A spate of extreme warmth in the Arctic over the past two months has startled scientists, who warn that the high temperatures may lead to record-low ice coverage next summer and even more warming in a region that is already among the hardest hit by climate change.’
Furthermore, in the middle of November, some areas of the Arctic circle had temperatures that were over 35 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
‘In mid-November, parts of the Arctic were more than 35 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the observed averages, scientists said, and at the pole itself, mean temperatures for the month were 23 degrees above normal. Although conditions later cooled somewhat, the extreme warmth is expected to return, with temperatures forecast to be as much as 27 degrees above normal beginning Thursday.’
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, climate change researchers released a study with alarming new findings. Climate Central reports abnormally high temperatures at the North Pole have surged close to the melting point for two years in a row, in the months of November and December.
Temperature around the North Pole, 2013-2014-2015-2016. Just to get an idea how wildly warm this year is. pic.twitter.com/nn3BmKF1lq
— Kees van der Leun (@Sustainable2050) December 22, 2016
And while the reality deniers love pointing out abnormally cold temperatures in some parts of the U.S. as evidence that global warming does not exist, the world’s climate is still growing warmer on average.
Temperature contrasts: Alaska to Nebraska 20 degrees BELOW normal; Arctic Ocean-North Pole 24 degrees ABOVE normal pic.twitter.com/Wo6rsSkl6R
— Ken Dewey (@kdewey1unl) December 8, 2016
And researchers conclude that human activity has definitely caused these extremely rare climate events.
‘In contrast, events like 2016 or hotter occur in our current world model simulations but are rare, with a return interval of roughly 200 years. These results suggest that it is extremely unlikely this event would occur in the absence of human-induced climate change.’
And while some years are warmer than others, the trend since the 1900s has been toward ever-increasing global temperatures.
— Assaad Razzouk (@AssaadRazzouk) December 14, 2016
Deciding what to call lawmakers, pundits, and so-called scientists who claim global warming either isn’t happening or is a natural process that can’t be stopped by humans may seem like splitting hairs. But, as Grist points out, language matters. During George W. Bush’s administration, the Republican pollster and strategist Frank Luntz urged the White House to use the term “climate change” instead of “global warming” because he believed it sounded less alarming.
And some of these climate change/reality deniers seem to truly hate the term “denier,” which means that perhaps we’re onto something. That explains why Fox News’ Tucker Carlson lit into the Environmental Defense Fund’s Fred Krupp last week.
‘Here’s what makes honest dialogue impossible when you and people like you use the term denier to describe people who are asking in some cases entirely legitimate questions about climate science. ‘
Watch: Fox News host objects to environmentalists calling him a climate change denier.
Featured image: Paul Souders Getty Images.