To be Credible, you must Keep Your Story Straight, Pt 2: “Oreskes’ timeline problem”

I’ll repeat with what I concluded in Part 1, but more succinctly: for an authoritative storyteller to mesmerize an audience, the story must never contain an element where the audience blurts out, “wait a minute, what you just said can’t be right,” otherwise whatever point there was to the story disappears at the exact same moment when the storyteller’s credibility implodes. Now, see how Harvard History of Science professor Naomi Oreskes’ inadvertently elicits that exact response from her audience, via her tale of the events which led her to explore the notion that skeptic climate scientists operate in a manner parallel to what ‘expert shills’ did for the tobacco industry. Continue reading

Wait. She said What? (Gelbspan may have dug his hole deeper)

It’s bad enough that Columbia Journalism Review article writer Robert S. Eshelman made the mistake of labeling Ross Gelbspan as a Pulitzer winner (which the CJR later deleted initially without explanation) in his May 1, 2014 piece, but when Eshelman dutifully recited an oft-repeated narrative of how Gelbspan dived into an investigation of ‘corrupt funding of skeptic climate scientists’ – the narrative itself being one plagued with highly questionable contradictions – he basically handed Gelbspan a shovel to dig a deeper credibility hole. Continue reading

Climate Skeptics’ Corruption Exposed by Gelbspan! (er, Ward) In 1995! (er, 1992) Or Something!

Declarations that skeptic climate scientists knowingly lie about the certainty of man-caused global warming as paid shills of the fossil fuel industry appear devastating…… but dig deep into the details, and all those claims look more like a “Keystone Kops-style” farce. I’ve already covered how the endless repetitions never offer physical evidence proving a quid pro quo arrangement exists between skeptics and industry funders, they only repeat Ross Gelbspan’s 1995 paper-thin guilt-by-association narrative. But now, let’s examine how Gelbspan can’t even keep the story straight on when this so-called “corruption of skeptic scientists” was first revealed. Continue reading

Timeline History and Inconvenient Truths of Ross Gelbspan’s and Al Gore’s “reposition global warming” Phrase

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

Which is it? 1995? Or 1994?

As I detailed in my 8/16 blog piece here, there are problems with the way Ross Gelbspan describes what prompted him to look into the funding of skeptic climate scientists. But there is no ambiguity about when he says that particular event happened. It all took place after the publication of a March 19, 1995 article he co-authored. One interviewer said Gelbspan’s eye-opening experience began just a few days afterward. (full text here). But we also have two big contradictions about that date. Continue reading