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)
The situation is as elemental as it gets: Ross Gelbspan wants the public to believe the fossil fuel industry conceived and implemented a plan to save its own skin, and to carry this out, they found scientists who would spout any skeptic notion they were paid to say. To hammer this home in a way ensuring no one questions it, he says this plan is declared just that way in a Western Fuels Association annual report. End of story. But there’s a critical unspoken stipulation here, that no one should read the actual report or see the context in which the specific word “found” appears. Continue reading
To recap: Ross Gelbspan accuses a prominent skeptic scientist of being involved in a global warming ‘misinformation campaign’, and he claims a key ‘leaked memo’ phrase he supposedly found is the smoking gun evidence for his overall accusation against skeptic scientists. But he swaps out the scientist’s name without explanation and the sinister top-down industry directive Gelbspan warns us about is not what it is portrayed to be. On top of all that, there is the small problem of Gelbspan’s “Pulitzer winner” designation.
So are these problems intensified if Gelbspan claims that the Western Fuels Association’s 1991 annual report declared it was going to “attack mainstream science” in regard to global warming, but no such words or anything remotely similar is actually in that report? 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’.
Until last Thursday. Continue reading