Climate Alarmists Reduced to Recycling Discredited Attacks on Skeptics
In their tireless effort to silence rational opposing opinion and force premature action to a climate crisis of their own making, Alarmists are ratchetting the doomsday scenarios up and the “time to act” window down. But high on their list of reasons to doubt the doubters of only the most recent “12 years to save the planet” ultimatum, sits an accusation of deception. An accusation based on a lie spoken by Al Gore nearly 12 years ago – a lie which was debunked almost as quickly as it was spoken.
Last week, Esquire Associate Editor Jack Holmes penned a piece accusing The Republican Party (a.k.a. powerful “fossil-fuel interests”) of warping discussions about “the consensus that climate change is happening, and human activity is causing it.” Keeping with the current “12 years to respond” frenzy [PDF], Holmes offered a number of doom-and-gloom articles and reports, painting a shocking portrait of an Earth “uninhabitable” and “devastated by famine and permanent economic collapse, climate plagues, unbreathable air, and perpetual war,” leading to mankind’s inevitable extinction from a “Sun that cooks us” should we “underestimate the climate crisis” and fail to “dramatically change course” within 12 years.
And this warmist is not entertaining any dissent:
Anyone who continues to question whether [manmade global warming] is happening should be ostracized from the public debate. They should not be invited on cable news or the Sunday Shows to spread misinformation and outright lies. These voices have been granted legitimacy for far too long.
It would appear that Esquire’s Holmes received the same memo as did NBC’s Chuck Todd several weeks ago. And Holmes drew a similar conclusion:
We must drastically reduce the amount of heat-trapping gasses we put into the atmosphere. Anyone who disputes this is misinformed or getting paid to misinform. [emphasis added]
No, in truth -- anyone who disputes this knows that the jury is still out; that more research is necessary to determine (to name a few) -- whether the warming (and associated climate change) measured since 1950 has been dominated by human causes. And whether the human-caused portion of the warming is dangerous or beneficial. Not to mention whether any proposed policy changes substantially reduce climate change and resulting damage and do more good than harm to mankind. And perhaps of greatest importance – Just how much will the planet warm in the 21st Century? And what about that damned Pause?
Plus, even the Alarmists at NASA recognize that as we’ve moved beyond 400ppm (parts per million) atmospheric CO2, the Earth is Greening. Many reports indicate that more CO2 leads to better plant growth through a direct fertilization effect, increased drought tolerance, and better water-use efficiency. Increased crop yields are reported worldwide in soybeans, wheat, rice and especially corn, which has seen a 7-fold increase since the 1930’s.
Nonetheless, accuses Holmes:
[Fossil-Fuel-Interests] and their allies attack climate scientists as alarmists -- or, in more fevered formulations, evil instruments of the "globalist" class. Their allied think tanks pay individual scientists $10,000-a-pop to dispute the consensus with cherrypicked data and studies that have not been subjected to peer review. [emphasis added]
Sure -- realists most certainly do shine reflections upon both “alarmists” and “globalists,” particularly when these words reflect their methods and their motivations, respectively. However, reading accusations of payoffs, one might presume that the author actually possesses evidence that SOP for those they brand as “deniers” includes enticing disreputable scientists to peddle their integrity. Of course, no such evidence is presented. In fact, the supporting source link is to a 12-year-old article originally appearing in a left wing British newspaper; and deserving mention of its own.
In its February 2, 2007 article, surely intentionally released on the same day as the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) and sensationally entitled “Scientists Offered Cash to Dispute Climate Study,” the Guardian was first to promote the deception that (my emphasis):
Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today. Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasize the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Greenpeace’s Ben Stewart was quoted, referring to the AEI as the “Bush administration's intellectual Cosa Nostra,” bringing nothing save "a suitcase full of cash" to the table. Not by chance, Greenpeace ran a similar piece the very same day, which called AEI Bush’s “favorite think tank” (in part because Lynn Cheney was 1 of its 85 senior fellows), and its letters invitations to “attack” the UN report.
Responding to these frivolous claims, AEI resident scholars Kenneth P. Green and F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow Steven F. Hayward proved each one of them to be either “false or grossly distorted.” For starters, the AEI does not engage in any form of lobbying. And to imply that the honorarium offered to busy scientists for the time necessary to compile a 7,500-10,000 word analysis of several thousand pages of evolving material is “bribe” (or “bounty”) money is utterly absurd.
Addressing the bumper-sticker-like allegation of being “ExxonMobil-funded,” the two scholars pointed out that the oil company’s donations represented less than 1 percent of AEI’s annual revenue at the time – hardly bought and paid for, as implied.
Two giants in the realist camp, atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen and physicist S. Fred Singer, to this day are branded by Alarmist-complicit media as “big-oil hacks.” Lindzen, they cry, once charged oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services and Singer has received funding from ExxonMobil.
In truth, Lindzen had actually accepted a total of $10,000 in expenses and expert witness fees from such interests on the day he ceased such activities nearly 3 decades ago. And Singer has received only $20,000 from ExxonMobil over his entire 94 years of life. Meanwhile, climate realists are out-funded by alarmists by several orders of magnitude, which leads to the artificial expansion of the number of scientists who appear to support alarmist views. Of course, monies paid to either side of the debate have zero impact on the science of whether or not 20th century warming was caused or exacerbated by manmade CO2 emissions. And don’t get me started on carbon-millionaire Al Gore.
Keep in mind that it was last week that Holmes linked to the Guardian hit-piece, knowing that it refers to AEI as an “ExxonMobil-funded thinktank” and likely cognizant that the thinktank - Oil giant link was debunked over a decade ago. This transcends adjective “blunder” and enters the realm of bovine dung.
In regards to the accusations of residing either in the pocket of the Bush administration (or, presumably, any other Right-leaning administration) or big oil, then-AEI president Chris DeMuth adroitly eviscerated them, citing the institute’s distinguished history of alternately criticizing and praising both based solely on merit, adding that:
Our latest book on [global warming], Lee Lane’s Strategic Options for Bush Administration Climate Policy [PDF], advocates a carbon tax, which I’m pretty sure ExxonMobil opposes (the book also dares to criticize some of the Bush administration’s climate-change policies!).
But most significantly, the invitations were sent to a broad spectrum of scientists and policymakers, with no attempt made whatsoever to avoid those with favorable opinions of the IPCC reports. In fact, one of the letters (here’s a PDF) quoted in the Guardian article was written to Professor Steve Schroeder of Texas A&M -- a known proponent of the UN Panel. As explained by DeMuth, candidates were selected by the intrinsic quality and interest of their work rather than whether partisans might characterize them as climate change ‘skeptics’ or ‘advocates.’
In an August 2007 AT piece, Al Gore Slings Bogus Borrowed Charges, I explored this fabrication’s journey from its humble Greenpeace / Guardian origins to its coincidental appearance in a NewsWeek Science Editor Sharon Begley article and finally out the mouth of the Goracle himself preaching cribbed words of conspiracy and consensus in the island city-state of Singapore. Its original working title was “How Greenpeace Gibberish and Newsweek Nonsense became Gore Globaloney.” And now we can add “and Holmes Hooey.”
Immediately challenging these fraudulent ploys is vital, as so much of the debate over climate change hangs on intangibles: Climate Sensitivity to CO2 remains an imprecise value, a theory projected by error-riddled climate models. Reconstructions of Multimillennial Summer Temperatures are only as reliable as the proxy-data they’ve been fed.
From “adjusted” land-based temperature measurements to “smoothed” temperature trends to spliced proxy/instrument series, to hidden “fudge factors” and disappearing warming periods, each was yet another “trick” to torture facts into compliance with ideology.
And once inscribed into the alarmist playbook, too many accept these fraudulent fabrications as green gospel.
Marc Sheppard is a technology consultant, software engineer, writer, and political and data analyst. He’s been a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your feedback.