It should come as no surprise to most readers that the science denial crowd have been lying about climate models. We’ve known this all along, but it’s always worth checking for the thousandth time. As Gavin Schmidt says:
“Uncertainty is important to understand because we know that in the real world we don’t know everything perfectly. All science is based on knowing the limitations of the numbers that you come up with, and those uncertainties can determine whether what you’re seeing is a shift or a change that is actually important.”
Most of the time when scientists run computer models on something, they run them with a variety of inputs, to test a variety of scenarios. What happens to the climate if we accelerate emissions? What happens if we slow them down? What happens if we have an unusual amount of volcanic activity? What happens if fires increase? Every time climate models are published, they show multiple scenarios, just as hurricane forecasts show multiple possible paths.
When science deniers talk about models, they generally take one of two approaches. The less common one is to focus on the best-case scenarios, to say that there’s nothing to worry about. The more common one is to focus on the worst-case scenarios, attack them as catastrophism, and then crow about scientific dishonesty when the climate follows the “most likely” paths instead.
It’s a useful rhetorical trick when your audience, quite understandably, doesn’t have the time or resources to read and understand every paper that’s published, and it has been effective in swaying public opinion and understanding.