Thursday March 22nd… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. Here is today’s main climate change related topic:
Climate Science on Trial
Have many of you heard of the Scopes Monkey Trial that debated the science of evolution back in 1925? Quoting Wikipedia:
The Scopes Trial, formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and commonly referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was an American legal case in July 1925 in which a substitute high school teacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee‘s Butler Act, which had made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school. The trial was deliberately staged in order to attract publicity to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, where it was held. Scopes was unsure whether he had ever actually taught evolution, but he purposely incriminated himself so that the case could have a defendant.
Scopes was found guilty and fined $100 ($1395 in 2017), but the verdict was overturned on a technicality. The trial served its purpose of drawing intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to Dayton to cover the big-name lawyers who had agreed to represent each side. William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate, argued for the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney, spoke for Scopes. The trial publicized the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy, which set Modernists, who said evolution was not inconsistent with religion, against Fundamentalists, who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge. The case was thus seen as both a theological contest and a trial on whether “modern science” should be taught in schools.
Almost 100 years later sound climate science is again on trial pitted against both some elements of Fundamentalism and greed coming from “brown energy” interests. This is the article that I will be referencing from Brian Kahn today: https://earther.com/oil-companies-conveniently-think-climate-science-stoppe-1823967565
Evolution was pretty much settled science by the end of the 19th century, although it is being debated in some religious quarters to this day. I’ll always contend that at the end of another century, the 20th, fundamental climate science of the greenhouse effect was settled, so I usually roll my eyes when I get wind of another trial in which litigants try to delay any meaningful mitigation by obfuscating findings and smearing research. This week climate science is on trial in San Francisco where oil companies are being sued to help pay for preparations for sea level rise. Quoting from Brian’s article:
Good news! Oil companies are woke to the reality of climate change. There’s just one small hitch. They only care about outdated science that serves their agenda of not paying billions to fix the mess they helped create.
So it went at the climate science trial on Wednesday in a San Francisco courtroom. Well, more accurately it was a “tutorial” about the history of climate science and “the best science now available on global warming” as part of a case involving Bay Area cities suing Chevron, BP, and Exxon for billions to help them prepare for sea level rise.
The Climate Guy