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 →
In Al Gore’s NY Times review of Gelbspan’s 2004 “Boiling Point” book, he said “Gelbspan’s first book, ‘The Heat Is On’ (1997), remains the best, and virtually only, study of how the coal and oil industry has provided financing to a small group of contrarian scientists“. The executive director of Greenpeace said in 2009 that Gelbspan was a ‘lone voice‘ who uncovered the corrupt influences of the fossil fuel industry. But in a 1996 midyear summary of their accomplishments, Greenpeace International claimed this particular accolade for themselves….. without a solitary mention of Gelbspan. Continue reading →
Embellishing credentials is an exceptionally bad idea, whether it’s done in self-promotion, or or done deliberately to hoodwink the public, or done mistakenly because someone didn’t do elemental fact-checking. Yet in the global warming issue, we see instances where a major organization promoted the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a Nobel laureate when he is not, and another organization similarly promoting a prominent IPCC scientist as a Nobel laureate when he is not, and the long-term promotion of book author Ross Gelbspan as a Pulitzer winner when he is not, a problem first revealed long ago by Steve Milloy and expanded upon at this blog. But now, let’s examine Gelbspan’s other small problem, the “Climate Change Expert” label. 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’.
To quash the notion that no valid scientific criticism exists against the idea of man-caused global warming, enviro-activists often say “denier scientists” are paid by the fossil fuel industry to lie about the issue, insinuating a parallel to expert ‘shills’ who did the same for ‘big tobacco’. But the accusation has no punch without some kind of authoritative-sounding citation, so they inevitably invoke Ross Gelbspan’s narrative. Now, lets examine just how far and wide the successful spread of this accusation has been after Gelbspan’s first mention of it. Continue reading →