What Dr S. Fred Singer said about Ross Gelbspan, circa 1997

Ever since Gelbspan’s “The Heat is On” book came out in 1997, he’s been lauded as a ‘journalist exposing the corruption of skeptic climate scientists’ in one form or another. But there’s a problem with that ‘journalist’ label itself, and there’s a bigger problem concerning the contradiction of what professional journalists should do, compared with what Gelbspan failed to do, a detail pointed out by atmospheric physicist Dr Singer back in 1997.

Regarding the ‘journalist’ label problem, compare it to the following: if a person is described as a lawyer, it’s a given that everyone thinks the individual is actively practicing law at either a partnership or at his or her own office. But if it is revealed that the individual has not touched a legal matter in three years after a publicized end of a 30-year career, the first thing in anybody’s mind is, “you meant to say you’re a retired lawyer.” That is essentially the problem (among myriad others) Gelbspan had in the time frame in which he supposedly ‘discovered’ the corruption of skeptic climate scientists.

Then we have the ‘breach of basic journalist standards’ problem. When individuals stand accused of serious treachery by a news media outlet – staffed by professional working journalists – the public expects the reporters to have given the individuals a fair chance to explain the situation. No one will say the Washington Post‘s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein hurled drive-by accusations at Nixon administration people. However, this is apparently exactly what happened in Gelbspan’s first book regarding the allegation that Dr Singer was involved in a ‘sinister’ coal industry public relations campaign efforts to fabricate reports and mislead the public. Imagine if Gelbspan had been required to bounce his accusation off the legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. Arguably, Gelbspan’s subsequent (and undisclosed) hardcover-to-paperback name switch of Dr Singer’s for Dr Idso’s might never have become an embarrassing necessity for Gelbspan to undertake.

When Gelbspan’s hardcover version came out in 1997, Dr Singer found himself accused by someone he’d probably never met of being associated with a PR campaign he’d never heard of. So, among Gelbspan’s other credibility problems that could be found in short order, Dr Singer added the following (full text here, bold emphasis mine) to a supplemental page link within his August 3-9, 1997 news roundup:

We have yet to catch a glimpse of Gelbspan here at SEPP. In gathering material for his book, he never visited our offices, spoke to no one on staff, and never contacted Fred Singer for an interview to cover point-by-point the claims he later made in his book. He has had no contact with the Project whatsoever .…

…..  What Ross Gelbspan has confirmed in The Heat is On is not some multimillion-dollar global conspiracy but his ignorance of the issues and the inadequacy of his own skills as a reporter.

That last bit encapsulates the entirety of what’s wrong with the global warming issue. Global warming promoters dismiss skeptic climate scientists outright using an anti-science, anti-intellectual character assassination tactic, claiming such skeptics are industry-corrupted and thus deserve no attention from the public or the news media. Gelbspan purported to be a working journalist at the time of his ‘discovery’ of corrupt skeptics, and he has continually failed to report (as have those who commit plagiarism-by-consent repetition of his accusation) evidence that supposedly confirms the accusation.

A few people have asked me if I’ve made the effort to contact Gelbspan about all of the contradictions within his accusation. The plain answer is I have not, for one elemental reason:  I’m not a reporter, working, retired or otherwise. Perhaps I fit the late Andrew Breitbart’s definition of “citizen journalist”, as I mentioned at the end of my June 2011 Breitbart piece, but as seen there, (full text) what I was actually trying to do was to prompt mainstream journalists to step back from the abyss of only half-reporting the global warming issue and find their character via unabridged reporting on the issue and inquiries into narratives about details within it that don’t line up right.

And, as can be seen in my 6th and 7th Tweets out of my primary Twitter account, I tried in 2010 to alert Fox News’ Glenn Beck to the smear of skeptics, and GOP Senator Jim Inhofe (along with 14 others) to the mainstream media’s malfeasance of failing to tell half the story of global warming.

That has been my goal all along, to get the smear of skeptic climate scientists investigated beyond my restricted abilities, by any full-fledged news outlet that can thoroughly comprehend the enormity of the problem, and/or by any Federal investigative effort that can comprehend how major governmental policy on mitigating global warming hinges entirely on preventing skeptic scientists’ assessments from consideration.

This is a monster problem. Reemphasizing a conclusion I offered previously, visualize this whole ‘Gelbspan-Gore-Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action’ accusation mess as a huge building with smoke billowing from every opening. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and I’m no more than a guy on the street pointing it out to open-minded journalists and other investigative ‘firefighters’ who can see such smoke for what it is.