What’s old is not new again, it is still old and literally unsupportable.
In an August 1997 Washington Times article, the Cato Institute’s Jerry Taylor reproduced then-Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt’s quote on the global warming issue as follows:
Oil and coal companies in the United States have joined in a conspiracy to hire pseudoscientists to deny the facts, and then begin raising political arguments that are essentially fraudulent. Energy companies need to be called to account because what they’re doing is un-American in the most basic sense. They are compromising our future by misrepresenting the facts by suborning scientists onto their payrolls and attempting to mislead the American people.
Immediately following Babbitt’s quote, Taylor very nicely noted how Ross Gelbspan’s April 1997-published “The Heat is On” was still a popular item in prominent newspapers – as readers here know, it was the book which made the ‘leaked memo’ phrase “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” famous.
…the same kind of arguments they used against acid rain, they used against the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act.
On November 6, 2013, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) seemingly channeled Babbitt, expanding the “same kind of arguments they used against acid rain…” line into a 19 minute U.S. Senate speech covering ozone layer depletion, acid rain, and global warming, with the title of “The Deniers’ Playbook.”
Fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the environmental harm caused by carbon pollution.
See how critical the accusation is within that sentence as a means to maintain the notion of ‘harmful carbon (meaning CO2) pollution’? Senator Whitehouse has no scientific expertise to say human-induced CO2 causes global warming, and reporters could easily show how scientific assessments he points to are contradicted by others. Stir in the corruption accusation, equate it to scandalous ‘big tobacco’ efforts, and nobody has to answer any tough questions. “The science is settled” / “skeptics are industry-corrupted” / “reporters may ignore skeptic material because of points 1 & 2.”
Absent from mainstream media reporters over the last two decades is an elemental question which could be posed to any politician or public figure who says people skeptical of man-caused global warming are paid to lie: who was the source for the accusation and did that source ever provide any physical evidence to back up the accusation?
Therein lies the cancer problem that could potentially kill the entire global warming issue. It has the potential of taking out all of its supporters – politicians who have no hope of offering expert scientific expertise on the issue, reporters with the same lack of expertise who nevertheless dismiss skeptic climate scientists’ assessments out-of-hand, and the whole range of enviro-activists who place all their faith in what they believe to be true rather than what can be proven to be true.