Those scientists who want to use RICO to prosecute AGW 'deniers' have a big problem

We’re told there is a moral imperative to stop catastrophic human-induced global warming, as seen in twin events last week where Pope Francis implied as much in his visit to the US, and within a letter signed by 20 scientists to President Obama imploring him to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to punish immoral “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”

The operative word in these twin events is the word “trust.” Trust that the pope sought the advice of the whole range of experts on global warming, and trust what the authors of the RICO letter (viewable now only in archive form here, since it has been erased from its original online location) say in their second paragraph about extensively documented sources proving the corruption of those “corporations and other organizations”.

What happens if you attempt to verify if the situations are true? First, the pope is revealed to have received advice on the global warming issue from highly questionable individuals, and second, the RICO letter’s assertion about extensively documented corruption is revealed to be a literally unsupportable talking point.

Allow me to elaborate on that second problem.

The bulk of my contributions to American Thinker have focused narrowly on the people surrounding the accusation that skeptic climate scientists are in a pay-for-performance conspiracy with industry interests to lie to the public, and my blog devotes even finer detail to myriad elements of the accusation. From that experience, I recognized the list of citations in the RICO letter’s second paragraph and its talking point claim, which, as it ironically turns out, I had covered over two months ago in a post titled “Story of organized denial has been well told and documented’. No, it has NOT.

Necessary to comprehending the enormity of this problem is additional reading on how the corruption accusation against skeptic climate scientists falls apart, seeing how there is no independent corroboration of the accusation, and understanding that the accusation, first successfully promulgated by a small clique of enviro-activists and global warming alarmist book author Ross Gelbspan, is devoid of evidence proving industry money corrupted skeptic climate scientists to lie and knowingly fabricate false reports. Any prominent accusation hurled against skeptic climate scientists today ultimately traces right back to Gelbspan. The people who push the idea of human-induced global warming simply hope you never do any such additional reading.

When it comes to the six names / citations the RICO letter writers cite in their second paragraph, I’ve already devoted blog posts to four out of the six, and offer brief details on the two others below. Deeper inquiry into the citations reveals a particular repeated name.

– Sociologist Robert Brulle’s 2003 paper featured a direct quote at the bottom of his abstract page from Ross Gelbspan on the ‘fossil fuel lobby disinformation campaign.’ But just like many others in his field, Brulle cites others who cite Gelbspan in their papers, a citation cascade problem I detailed in a pair of blog posts here and here.

– PR man / book author James Hoggan openly said, at the 56:45 point of this video, that he was inspired by Gelbspan to start a blog exposing the corruption of skeptic climate scientists, despite knowing nothing about climate science. More on that here.

– Science historian / book author / documentary movie star Naomi Oreskes cited Gelbspan for the same “smoking gun” evidence phrase that Al Gore spelled out word-for-word in his 2006 movie “An Inconvenient Truth”. More Oreskes’ myriad problems with that specific problem here.

– The Union of Concerned Scientists’ “Climate Deception Dossiers” cites exactly the same phrase that Gore and Oreskes featured. More on that repetition by the UCS here and by others here. These repetitions first got major and effective media traction from an obscure enviro-activist group, whose top members went on to become Executive Directors of Greenpeace in two instances, and Al Gore’s long-time spokesperson in another.

– David Michaels’ book “Doubt is their Product” doesn’t cite the ‘leaked’ “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” phrase made famous by Gore and Gelbspan. But in a funny technical sense, he only missed it by four paragraphs when he quoted Gelbspan for a particular statement from a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administrator. The odd thing about it is how Michaels could have cited a more direct source provided by Gelbspan himself in his 2004 “Boiling Point” book. After all, David Micheals did cite “Boiling Point” for Gelbspan’s detail on the Data Quality Act which, as it turns out, is seen just six pages after Gelbspan insinuated the “reposition global warming” phrase was evidence of skeptic climate scientists’ industry corruption. Although David Michaels’ source for the accusation about industry corruption is book author Chris Mooney, it doesn’t take much effort to discover that Mooney’s book cites Gelbspan for the source of that accusation.

– Eric Pooley’s “The Climate War” book, however, solidly relies on the same “reposition global warming” memo phrase to make its accusation against skeptic climate scientists that Oreskes and Gore rely on. Worse, it hammers home what I said above about James Hoggan’s reliance on Gelbspan. Pooley only further emphasized his reliance on Gelbspan in the former iteration of his current web site, when he prominently sourced him for the “professional climate deniers” category.

– Last but not least, Senator Whitehouse’s basic diatribe about a skeptic / industry conspiracy is nothing new, I traced that back to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt circa 1997 here, whose pronouncements about “a conspiracy to hire pseudoscientists to deny the facts” came out rather suspiciously close to the publication of Gelbspan’s book.

At least it can be said I’ve never been accused of begging anyone to trust the assertions I make. Legions of pro-global warming people, including Pope Francis, President Obama, and nearly all of the mainstream media essentially beg us to trust them about the settled science, despite the existence of highly detailed climate assessments compiled by skeptic climate scientists. The egregious tragedy of this situation is that so many pro-global warming people have been blatantly misled about immoral “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change” when no such evidence proving it exists, and when evidence is so easily found on how the accusation stems from one highly questionable source.

Russell Cook's blog is a forensic examination of faults in the corruption accusation against skeptic climate scientists, an outgrowth of his original articles here at American Thinker. He can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

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