The idea of man-caused global warming is especially effective because it can be pounded into practically everybody’s head via an easily memorized 3-point mantra. Global warming believers need only to counter dry recitations of skeptic science material with assertions about the numbers of ‘IPCC scientists’, declare this to be the settled consensus opinion, then claim there is leaked memo evidence proving skeptics are paid industry money to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” – hoodwink the public, in other words. Obviously, reporters aren’t then obligated to give fair balance to skeptics. In a nutshell, settled science, crooked skeptics, reporters may ignore skeptics, bam, bam, bam.
A timeline of where, how and when that “reposition global warming” phrase first showed up is something global warming believers would hate, since it might prompt a total loss of faith in the validity of that central accusation point. The loss could cascade into questions of whether the science actually is settled in the face of skeptics’ science-based criticisms, and people may also start to wonder about the ‘fair media balance’ idea, since they might not readily recall instances where skeptics actually received that from mainstream media reporters. Continue reading →
Ross Gelbspan’s “Snowed” article in the May/June 2005 issue of Mother Jones magazine described how a ‘misguided application of journalistic balance’ and ‘a decade-long campaign of deception, disinformation, and, at times, intimidation by the fossil fuel lobby’ was causing the media not to properly warn us about the perils of global warming. Accept his narrative without question, and it’s a rallying cry to solve the problem. But notice the errors in his article’s 5th & 6th paragraphs, and it makes you wonder how much more he gets wrong. (click to enlarge)
In my prior piece about the spread of Ross Gelbspan’s accusation that skeptic climate scientists are paid by the fossil fuel industry to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact“, I barely skimmed the surface of the sheer number of repetitions of it. The first time I threw the phrase into an internet search, a virtual ocean of sycophant repetitions could be seen, I forget how many pages it ran even without the trick of putting the phrase in quote marks. Three+ years later, I can almost count the total number of people who have every appearance of actually witnessing Gelbspan’s famous ‘leaked/secret coal industry’ memos on the fingers of two hands. Each person’s involvement in the matter is beset with crippling problems. Continue reading →
The accusation that skeptic climate scientists are paid by the fossil fuel industry to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” has two parts: the 1991-’95 span when it got little public interest, and late 1995 to the present, when it became far more widespread. During this entire 22-year stretch of time, I’m the only one quoting that fragment coal association memo sentence who told where the public could view that phrase and the rest of the ‘leaked memo set’. Among all the promoters of global warming out there, not one ever had a web link straight to the ‘leaked memo set’.