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Response to David Appell: Is Climate-Policy Activism Merited?

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#mlewis">Marlo Lewis</a> -- September 13, 2011

[Editor note: Marlo Lewis’s extensive rebuttal to Scientific American writer David Appell in the comments section to yesterday’s post (Andrew Dessler Challenges Rick Perry: How Should Perry Respond?) is presented as a full post today.]

Yesterday, Rob Bradley excerpted portions of a post I wrote last Friday on whether Gov. Rick Perry’s remarks about global warming at the GOP candidates forum in California were “anti-science.” My objective was to immunize the candidates — and the public generally — against a rhetorical trick that Al Gore and other alarmists have been using to great effect for years.

Alarmists would have us believe that all they have to do is establish that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet, and then everything else they say follows as night follows day. If mankind is mainly or even partly responsible for the warmth of recent decades, then, supposedly, we are in the midst of a “planetary emergency” that “threatens the survival of civilization and the habitability of the Earth” (Al Gore’s phrase).…