Me as a Henchman or Murderer [new 8/15, 2/16 & 9/16 updates]

If folks are attaching those kinds of labels to me, it means they probably interpret what little they read of my work on dissecting the smear of skeptics as something to shout down, the ol’ fingers in ears “la-la-la-la…” bit.


All I’ve ever done from the beginning of my foray into the climate change issue is ask questions, as I detailed back in a 2011 Competitive Enterprise Institute piece. Regarding global warming in particular, I first asked why skeptic climate scientists’ assessments were being largely ignored, and when told such skeptics were industry shills, I asked myself if I could independently corroborate the accusation. Surely, this is something any believer of catastrophic man-caused global warming could also undertake in order to be above reproach when asked what proof there is to back up the accusation.

Having accumulated a wealth of references showing that the accusation is utterly baseless, that particular devil’s advocate element became a hobby pursuit of mine years back, where I would ask at online comment sections if global warming believers posed such questions on their own, or if they were certain their talking points on the accusation could survive tough cross examination in a courtroom hearing. Knowing what I know on specific details of the accusation, it didn’t surprise me when global warming believers ducked my questions and lashed out at me instead, or in the case of blog site owners, deleted my comments after brief appearances or prevented them from being seen in the first place. Hardly an endorsement of the validity of the accusation when a person feels compelled to flee from challenges to prove it they know how to back it up.

One day I’ll have to find the time to count up all my web site comment links I’ve saved, it could number into the thousands over the last seven or so years, and I’ve had comments deleted or barred from appearing by a whole spectrum of people. Among my favorites is an ordinary enviro-activist blogger who used an IP address recognition trick to prevent me from commenting further at her site. I wrote an entire article at RedState because of the way Hewlett-Packard people deleted my comments from their site. Bill Moyers’ people not only deleted my comments, they blocked me from further placement. Another more recent favorite was a blog site commenter complaining about ‘brainwashed industry trolls paid to misinform’ – my comment about the opportunity to destroy such trolls was permitted for a short time, but as one can see from their current iteration, neither that one nor my other comments are seen. Give it a moment, one of my comment links goes directly to a “This comment was deleted” message.

Particularly amusing for me last year was how I landed at another global warming believer’s blog (I forget how, most likely from daily Google email alert I get on stories about global warming that I created in 2008), and after a series of comment placements which started with one of the strangest sidesteps* I’d ever seen, the blogger declared in a new blog post that I must be “the Gestapo of the Heartland Institute with the job of hunting down dissenting opinions and persecuting those responsible” (full text here). Tortuous as it might be to read through all of the multi-blog post commentary between us, it becomes obvious he never supported his claim of ‘industry-corrupted skeptics’, but instead sidestepped every challenge from me to do so. [* new link there, and see 8/13/15 addition below]

My comments must leave marks on some folks. Around two weeks ago, I was alerted to a Boston University web page by an email blast alert from the Heartland Institute, about comment attacks on the University’s decision to include “sketchy scholarship and specious reasoning” Heartland material, as the first commenter noted. Apparently my comment reply irritated someone at Boston U so much that an alert was relayed to ThinkProgress about the situation, causing Emily Atkin to write about my Heartland tie – however irrelevant it is – prominently in her 5/5 “Climate Deniers Insert Themselves Into Boston University’s Divestment Debate” piece. Long story very short, in my dozen+ email exchange with her, she eventually admitted that had there been no way to tie me to Heartland, she wouldn’t have mentioned me.

She’s gone out of her way to claim her piece was not a guilt-by-association hit piece, but considering her above admission, it’s hard not to see that appearance in the piece. Not helping her position in the least was her error of claiming I edit “a site dedicated to proving that climate denying scientists are not funded by the fossil fuel industry” – now you see the error, now you don’t. I prompted her to fix that, but apparently one of the commenters at the piece couldn’t comprehend the meaning of the error, not only repeating it, but also embellishing it in embarrassing fashion. Funny thing about that specific wacko notion of my mission being to ‘disprove’ illicit industry funding of skeptic climate scientists, it was hurled at me late last year by a different clueless commenter at the Desmogblog UK site who obviously never read a word of what’s here at GelbspanFiles. No joke, click the image below to enlarge it.


Without any prompting from me, the DailyKos made this same blunder in February 2015 in a lame attempt to attack my work (full text here):

Cook’s a blogger who has tried for years to refute the notion* that deniers are in the pay of big oil.

“In the pay” – with its inherent insinuation that the ‘pay’ comes with explicit instructions on what, where, and how to lie about global warming – implodes without proof that such instructions exist, which is what I have actually focused on for years. [ * Author’s 5/13/15 & 7/20-21/15 additions: This blunder by my critics only gets more comically weird – see notes at the end]

But now onto the “murderer” label. Via another email alert days ago, I landed at an obscure blogger’s page which specifically labeled me and 24 others murderers of a pair of lost Arctic explorers who, according to a story she linked to, had stripped to near nakedness due to the hot temperatures up there prior to whatever situation imperiled them. The comment I placed there was the first one questioning her, pointing out several items she could have checked herself before jumping off an accusation cliff. It lasted there for two days at least, but she has predictably deleted it, while letting others remain. It is fully intact in the archive version of her blog post. I attempted to place another comment there later that same day pointing out a few inconvenient truths. That comment never made it online at all, nor did another one where I suggested serious introspection for that blogger. She now blocks me from viewing her Twitter page.

See the pattern? Delete, delete, delete… and kill the messenger. Don’t even bother to address the messenger’s core point, do everything you can to distract people from it ever giving it serious consideration. My own experience is just a microcosm for the larger situation surrounding the truly importing players in the issue, skeptic climate scientists. With that kind of defense surrounding the notion that we need to stop catastrophic global warming, how can the issue not be headed toward certain collapse?


[ 5/13/15 Author’s addition: I swear, I can’t make this stuff up – yet another commenter makes that identical blunder today against me. 7/20/15 addition: Not only did my critic at DesmogUK initially offer the bizarre blunder I showed in the screencapture above about me ‘being paid to push the lie that skeptics don’t receive industry-sourced money’, the person doubled down on it more recently. And to add another layer of hilarity to this repeated blunder situation, the critic I showcase in my newest blog post hurled this same thing, albeit in more tortured wording. For God’s sake, nobody disputes that skeptic scientists receive some industry-sourced money, Pat Michaels freely shared that in an 8/15/10 CNN interview. What I obviously point out time and again is that there is no evidence proving skeptic climate scientists knew catastrophic man-caused global warming was settled science but were corrupted by giant wads of illicit cash which caused them to spew industry-created / directed lies. 7/21/15 addition: Forgot about this other one.

8/13/15 addition:  the blogger I mentioned in the 5th paragraph has since created a 7/25/15 post titled “Russell Cook: Climate Science Harasser” where, in the comment section following the post, I spent a decent length of time asking the blogger how he could defend his accusations. He deleted my final comment – but not before fellow commenter Tom Harris got a screencapture of it (verbatim PDF file text here for easier reading). When Harris confronted the blogger about the deletion, that person replied, “Cook left stating a false argument, a strawman, and a lie” (full text here or at this archived version). I leave it to objective readers here to determine whether the blogger’s claim is valid and whether whatever point I made about “losing an argument” was valid or not. But since I show my comment in its full content and he does not, how could his own readers be able to check the veracity of his claim without coming here? All his exercise did was reinforce the appearance of global warming believers being enslaved to the tactic of “delete, delete, delete… and kill the messenger.” 2/27/16: I should additionally note, I remain banned from commenting at this fellow’s blog. 9/15/16: Although seemingly out-of-sight-out-of-mind from this fellow’s blog for months at the time of November 2015, I still was living rent-free in his mind so much that he felt compelled to mention my name while offering some spin on what constitutes “evidence” proving skeptic climate scientists were corrupted by industry money. And in further demonstration of how I continued to occupy his mind, he tried to trash my character in April 2016 using a statement about CO2 levels which I never made at his blog or anywhere else. ]