For new readers arriving at this blog, you probably already have a passing familiarity with the current news item about state-level Attorneys General efforts to prosecute “climate change deniers.” What you may not know is that, while this latest legal tactic is relatively new, the core accusation behind it is more than 20 years old. My article at American Thinker today will hopefully serve as a primer on that problem, and will hopefully also prompt many to go back through my blog here and my other online articles in order to see just how much more there is to this problem.
Those who push using RICO laws against “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change” (‘other organizations’ meaning conservative think tanks and any skeptic climate scientist having any association with such entities) are likely emboldened because they’ve never before encountered push-back on the very core of their accusation. But when increasing numbers of the public become aware of how NY state AG Schneiderman and Al Gore handed their heads on a silver platter two weeks ago to investigators, journalists, and wavering global warming believers, the more likely this entire witch hunt collapses.
Declarations that skeptic climate scientists knowingly lie about the certainty of man-caused global warming as paid shills of the fossil fuel industry appear devastating…… but dig deep into the details, and all those claims look more like a “Keystone Kops-style” farce. I’ve already covered how the endless repetitions never offer physical evidence proving a quid pro quo arrangement exists between skeptics and industry funders, they only repeat Ross Gelbspan’s 1995 paper-thin guilt-by-association narrative. But now, let’s examine how Gelbspan can’t even keep the story straight on when this so-called “corruption of skeptic scientists” was first revealed. Continue reading →
The idea of man-caused global warming is especially effective because it can be pounded into practically everybody’s head via three easily memorized talking points. Global warming believers need only to counter dry recitations of skeptic science material with:
assertions that the sheer numbers of ‘climate scientists’ on the IPCC side indicates this to be the overwhelming consensus opinion
claims about leaked memo evidence proving skeptics are paid industry money to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” – dupe the public, in other words
the obvious conclusion that reporters aren’t obligated to give fair balance to skeptics because of the previous two points.
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 appeared and where it prominently pops up afterward 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 →