As Stephens explains, “We live in a world in which data convey authority. But authority has a way of descending to certitude, and certitude begets hubris.”
Stephens’ language about certainty is actually designed to help climate change enthusiasts – if they keep making claims that keep being proved wrong, without any doubts baked into the cake, people will simply discount what they’re saying.
While Stephens has been already branded a “climate change denier” by leftists, he actually references the 2014 IPCC report to find common ground that the global climate is indeed warming, and that it has been caused by humans. (Which is a far cry from the stance of more staunch climate change skeptics.)
Beyond those two elements, however, Stephens diverges in regard to predictive data models, their reliability, and how we should throw caution to the wind for policy and regulatory changes that are too drastic.
Climate change activists look to squash any sort of debate about predictive models and instead claim the science is “settled” as they advocate for policy agendas with clear ideological intentions.
As Stephens states:
Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts.
This kind of overreaction is a precise example of Stephens’s main argument. One would think that a reasonable conversation on the issue could be started on a basis of: 1. Global warming is real, and 2. Humans are causing it. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
It’s all or nothing, by and large, for climate change activists, and if you’re not on board for the sweeping policy changes (both domestically and internationally), then you’re a wacky, greedy-capitalist, flat-Earth denier that is hell-bent on the destruction of the planet.