Why Is Climate Change Special?

Josh Marshall wonders why the science around climate change, which is not based to any greater extent on “theories” than any other branch of science, seems to so many people to be uniquely assailable.

“[V]ery few people doubt physicists or oncologists when it comes to their areas of specialty even though theories come and go in those fields as well. There’s little doubt, for instance, that physicists at the end of this century will know a lot of things today’s scientists got wrong or don’t know. And they’ll know how many things today’s physicists believe that are just wrong. Still, I’m pretty confident nuclear warheads will go off, even if, as far as I know, one’s never been tested on the tip of an ICBM. Perhaps more to the point, medical science today clearly has only a very limited understanding of cancer. But how many oncology skeptics do you know who choose to take a pass on chemo or radiation if they get sick?”

Seems to me that we could ask the same questions of the anti-vaccinationists, as well (although, to be fair, I seem to recall some overlap between some of them and the shark-cartilage-for-cancer-cure crowd.)

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