Dueling Blog Posts, pt 1

What do I do when I’m not composing material specifically intended to be blog posts here? Allow me to show you.

Other sidebar info on this particular topic will appear now appears in part 2, but the nutshell story is that when I wrote my very first online article, “Global Warming and local politics,” I set up an email alert at Google on “global warming” articles, simply out of curiosity to see if other sites mentioned my article. I’ve kept the alert ever since, because it provides a daily dose of largely pro-AGW (anthropogenic global warming) material. Among those I received in 2014 was Christopher Keating’s blog post “Update on NIPCC,” which contained the usual unsupportable talking points about crooked climate scientists and related think-tanks which supposedly also say cigarettes and 2nd hand smoke is harmless. Slave to temptation that I am, I dropped in there to challenge the blogger to prove skeptics are in a pay-for-performance arrangement with industry people. As I already pointed out in my May 8, 2015 post (5th paragraph & 8/13/15 addendum at the bottom there) the man reacted very strangely. I’ve periodically dropped back into his blog to see what his latest diatribes are, and what I saw yesterday as a “Ways to Support a Truly Unbiased and Free Press” ‘guest post’ prompted me to send the email below to the publisher and editors of the Duluth News Tribune. It’s verbatim from top to bottom, with the web links spelled out exactly as seen here. I was quite pleased to receive a quick and basically positive response from one of the editors.


“News tip: when are calls for “a free press” instead veiled attempts to prompt a biased closed press?”

Mr Ronquist, Mr Lubbers, and Mr Frederick,

I just sent what appears below via your online form, but thought I’d additionally send it via your email addresses which came up in the ‘sent messages’ webpages. Two full disclosures, first on who I am and what I do ( http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=4893 ), and second, that the person at the heart of the attack below, Tom Harris, has alerted me to his letters-to-the-editor from time to time, knowing of my 8-year history of jousting with online commenters that I mentioned and showed in a screencapture in the above link about myself. Today, I am offering the additional news tip entirely on my own volition exactly as I have done with other newspaper editors and publishers. Harris seeks to put out details the public has largely been missing on the global warming issue; his gaggle of comment stalkers (e.g. this one  http://gelbspanfiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Cunud-v-Harris.jpg ) follow him around the internet trying to tear him down via character assassination. It’s up to you when it comes to reporting the full issue – these bloggers/commenters have their own wild belief problems ( http://gelbspanfiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/HacksLikeMe.jpg ) – but from what I know of it, but there is a much bigger story to pursue when it comes to Al Gore being able to defend his assertion that skeptic climate scientists are paid industry money to lie. If you have additional questions about my work, I’m more than happy to answer any you have  – Russell Cook


Allow me to draw your attention to this item designated as a letter “not for publication in the Tribune [but instead] a response to AGW denier Tom Harris” ( http://dialoguesonglobalwarming.blogspot.com/2017/02/guest-post-ways-to-support-truly.html ). The letter portends to offer facts about ‘climate change deniers, but readers can’t even get further than the first paragraph without running into an unsupportable talking point about skeptic climate scientists saying global warming “isn’t happening / happening, but for natural reasons / happening and caused by humans, but it’s not so bad.” It is literally a 17 year-old talking point which I dissected in this January 30, 2014 piece ( http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=1323 ), and I showed on November 30, 2016 ( http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=4638 ) how it had resurfaced when a PBS NewsHour guest invoked it against Trump’s EPA transition team leader. Skeptic scientists and speakers such as Tom Harris have been quite consistent on saying that what little global warming we’ve seen over the last century is not conclusively proven in IPCC climate assessments.

Ironic that the above ‘not for publication’ letter appears to demonize Tom Harris as “nowhere near the educational foundation shared by PhDs in Climate science—some of whom are Nobel Prize winners, and who have studied global warming for decades.” Lest anyone forget, influential speakers such as Al Gore, Leo DiCaprio, the current and former Chairmen of the IPCC, and leaders of Greenpeace also are not climate scientists. Harris cites the work of PhD-level climate scientists and atmospheric physicists who’ve studied global warming for decades, and none of these skeptics deny climate science in any general sense of the word – that’s another unsupportable talking point from believers of catastrophic man-caused global warming.

Note how the ‘not for publication’ letter closes out by comparing the work of ‘deniers’ to the tactics of the old tobacco industry on using shill experts to lie on their behalf. Wordy as the letter is, it could be boiled down much like Al Gore’s 2006 movie or the collective lot of the entire catastrophic man-caused global warming into a 3-part talking point: “the science is settled” / skeptics are industry-funded & orchestrated liars” / “reporters may ignore skeptics because of the prior two reasons.”

The massive irony about the ‘not for publication’ letter is its last sentence, calling for the Tribune and other newspapers to sponsor a free press debate between “well qualified scientists” and “deniers” – people it just spent over 2560 words trashing as ‘liars for hire.’ Of course, the original letter writer is trusting that the Tribune would do no such thing. Skeptics may still speak somewhere, of course, but if your fellow reports talk of them as crooked liars, Tribune readers never become informed from you about the depth of the migraine-inducing levels of science-based detail from skeptic scientists and skeptic speakers. The result is not a free press, but one that has capitulated to unfounded propaganda, either out of sheer ignorance or out of a need to be politically correct.

That’s where my news tip comes in. Nobody will win a Pulitzer from regurgitating the plot of Al Gore’s movie, complete with its comparison of the “Doubt is our product” leaked tobacco industry memo and one supposedly leaked from the fossil fuel industry of an alleged sinister-sounding directive to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact.” It hasn’t happened over the last 20+ years of that accusation’s repetitions. Where the Pulitzer might be won is a thorough examination of where that latter awkward-sounding leaked memo phrase actually came from, and whether it is what Al Gore claimed it is or whether Gore’s and his particular friends’ widespread propagandizing of it is not either a form or racketeering or the most epic form of libel/slander ever committed.

Part 2:  Oh, brother.