Sunday, May 31, 2020

#2342: Tom Thompson

Tom Thompson is a former city planner in New Bern, North Carolina, and climate change denialist. He is a fairly typical specimen, and would have flown entirely under our radar if a 2013 Spiegel article hadn’t featured him and his tireless lobbying of local politicians as an example of wingnut denialism and the war on science. One of the politicians who apparently listened to him was Pat McElraft, who subsequently wrote climate change denialism into bill HB 819, banning the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise due to climate change.

Thompson, a God-fearing wingnut, put the main focus of his lobbying on the costs of measures to protect New Bern from rising sea levels “just because a few scientists are claiming that that’s what will happen.” But according to Thompson “they have no evidence. We’re supposed to spend money on something that might not happen at all.” Or in other words: they have no evidence for their claims since Thompson can’t be bothered to look and it would be bad if their claims were true. As Thompson sees, there are simply too many numbers and too many estimates that seem contradictory to him, who has no expertise in or understanding of the field, so he just rejects the whole thing. So it goes.

Diagnosis: Yes, a fairly typical specimen, and mostly included to have a representative of a frightening number of denialist loons who are, in all the relevant ways, much like Thompson. Individually their power to do harm is limited, but the size of the group makes them collectively one of the most effective threats to civilization at present.

No comments:

Post a Comment