“A few days ago, a recent Washington Post article highlighted the growing chorus of scientists who increasingly view climate change as an emergency. I count myself among them. What has shifted my perspective? …” (- Andrew Dessler, last month)
“The worst-case scenarios of climate change are truly terrible, but even middle-of-the-road scenarios portend environmental change without precedent for human society.” (- Andrew Dessler, 2012)
So professor/activist Andrew Dessler now believes we are in a climate emergency? I think not. He has been alarming for many years, if not for decades. Dessler has been exaggerating for so long that he now wants a “it’s-real-this-time” do-over. Buyer beware.
A First Impression
The Andy Dessler I met for lunch on Monday, January 18, 2010, in College Station told the table (Gerald North presiding) that humans would be living underground because of anthropogenic global warming.
Twelve years ago, Dessler opined to the readers of the Houston Chronicle that Texas’s “hellish summer of 2011” would be the new normal. “Get used to it,” he said. “The weather of the 21st century will be very much like the hot and dry weather of 2011.” Another outlier finally happened in 2023, but for reasons that scientists are still trying to ascertain since the “greenhouse signal” is less about Texas summer afternoons than Siberian winter nights.
So when was the climate not in red alert? Dessler opened his text Introduction to Modern Climate Change (2012) with this paragraph:
Future generations may well view climate change as the defining issue of our time. The worst-case scenarios of climate change are truly terrible, but even middle-of-the-road scenarios portend environmental change without precedent for human society.
Deep Fried Alarmism
In 2019, Andy tweeted on “climate dystopia”:
If “some humans survive” is the only thing we care about, then climate change is a non-issue. I think it’s certain that “some” humans will survive almost any climate change. They may be living short, hard lives of poverty, but they’ll be alive.
Future humans, as they live in a climate dystopia: “I thought he cared about the environment”.
I find the path we’re on now — the rich world survives (if lucky), but abandons everyone else — to be morally problematic.
In public, the alarmist’s alarmist tones it down just a bit (don’t want to lose the audience, just discomfort them). But not that much. Also in 2019, Dessler editorialized in the Houston Chronicle: “With continued fossil fuel use, we might see warming over the current century sufficient to literally remake the Earth’s environment and our place within it.”
You get the story. Dessler’s alarm is old vinegar in a new bottle. In view of the historical record, his readers should be cautious.
Andrew Dessler’s substack posts are polite these days. But here is what this hot-tempered professor (even out of step with many of his colleagues), really thinks and says when folks are not looking:
Hey assholes. We’ve been telling you for decades that this was going to happen if we didn’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You didn’t listen and now it’s all happening. We hope you’re happy. Enjoy the heatwaves, intense rainfall, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and many other things, you fucking morons.
What an embarrassment … to Texas A&M, the science profession, and himself.