from Rupert Darwall in National Review, The Spiral of Silence:
One-sided media reporting is a striking feature of the climate and energy debate. “Climate denier” and “tool of malign fossil-fuel interests” are epithets used to delegitimize dissent and quash diversity of opinion. “Climate change is a fact,” President Obama declared in his 2014 State of the Union address. As philosopher Stephen Hicks argues in Explaining Post-Modernism, the post-modern Left uses language primarily as a weapon to silence opposing voices, not as an attempt to describe reality. To close the debate down, science masquerading as impartial judge is deployed as lead prosecutor. Dissenters and skeptics are derided as Flat Earthers and scientific ignoramuses. Yet the most stupid utterance on the science of global warming goes without a breath of criticism from scientists who regularly furnish the media with hostile quotes on skeptics’ views. “This is simple. Kids at the earliest age can understand this,” Secretary of State John Kerry told an audience in Indonesia in 2014. For someone who confessed that he’d found high-school physics and chemistry a challenge, climate science was easy. The science was “absolutely certain.”
Fact conflated with theory; certainty where there is pervasive uncertainty and lack of understanding; simplicity where there is unfathomable complexity; climate-model predictions of warming elevated above observations. The biggest distortion of climate science is unscientific in its premise and authoritarian in its consequence: “The science is settled. We must act.” When systemic media bias is purposed as a tool of state manipulation and social control, a democracy extinguishes its democratic culture.
Truth is discovered by exchange and endless questions. It cannot be dictated or thrust upon you with political authority. That is the definition of tyranny. Demonization of dissent is a political tool with no basis in science.