The obfuscation effort, the campaign to confuse the globe on Global Warming continues unabated despite Exxon’s well-publicized claims to cut off funding for their campaign. A coming cold day for a warm globe, in that stalwart of rational journalism – The Washington Times, is another shot in the battle to confuse on facts to inhibit rational decision-making on how to deal with Global Warming challenges.
To start with, this is The Washington Times and, well, how seriously balanced can one consider an article that rants about “the received theology of the Worldwide Church of Science” with “Archbishop Gore”. In other words, the article will speak well to those who are ideologically oriented (e.g., Times readership?) to reject Global Warming, no matter the information — this is not speaking to anyone concerned about Reality-Based policy making. And, Gaia will tell you, it is simply flat out dishonest (could one say lying)
The globe is warming a little ? nobody is arguing that it’s not ? and it’s certainly getting noisier. It’s difficult for a dissenter in the congregation to make himself heard over Chicken Little. Good ol’ Al, who presides for now over the archbishops of the Worldwide Church of Science, insists that the debate is over. The prelates of the Roman church never argued with more certainty over the doctrine of papal infallibility. Al brooks no back talk.What the global-warming fanatics won’t cede is the fact that the Earth’s climate has never been stable.
Well, let us put is simply, “Good ol’ Al” does “cede … the fact” that climate changes, that there is instability.Hmmm …
Isn’t that, after all, what the discussion about the historical temperature differences are when CO2 levels are about 180 parts per million (”a miles of ice above Manhattan”) and 280ish (”enjoying a nice summer day in Central Park”).
Dishonest, mendacious, simply worthy of dismissal …
Sort of like Andrew Ferguson about Attack on Reason, let’s attack Gore without seeing or reading An Inconvenient Truth.
Even so …
This has fallen into my inbox from too many celebratory deniers who, yet again, are dancing in the aisles with the slghtest item that ‘proves’ their sagacity and enables them to mount their SUVs without consideration of their tail pipe’s implications.
And, well …
The Reinforcing Sound Machine
Wesley Pruden’s A coming cold day for a warm globe (in the column “Pruden on Politics”) presents a good example of the circular nature of the Denier sound machine.
Pruden cites two OPEDs as supporting material.
Klaus’ “Unbelievable” mendacity
First and, well, less important for this discussion (even though the more important piece), is the oped Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, in the Financial Times with Freedom, not climate, is at risk. Jerome a Paris dealt with this in Unbelievable. Klaus
responded to some questions. Nanne, over at EuroTribune, did a wonderful deconstruction of Klaus’s response to her question.
“You write: “”scientific consensus”, which is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority”.
“What evidence do you have of some form of “silent majority” of experts on climate issues who disagree with the base points in the IPCC reports and believe that they are too pessimistic?”Who should I believe about the scientific communities viewpoints? The heads of the world’s National Academies of Science or a politician who choices to prominently cite a science fiction novelist?”
By the way, if you’re interested in a science fiction writer, I’ll take David Brin over Michael Chrichton every day of the week — whether it is on Global Warming or otherwise.
In any event, Klaus presents a ‘rationalist’, economics argument, with strains of libertarian dogma thrown on top. Speaking in economic terms, he attacks the Stern report as not doing net present value in analysis of long term Global Warming implications but he, himself, discounts the concept of ever increasing problems. Let’s put economic “value” of today over a viable future is about the worst of all GW deniers’ arguments to me.
In any event, a disaster that should embarass all Czech citizens. (Only good news for Americans out of this is the knowledge that we aren’t the only ones to be embarassed by the lack of reality driving our leadership …) (The contrast, of course, is great with (for example) Greece and Ontario, Canada,, each making An Inconvenient Truth part of the educational system.)
Pseudo-Science and cooling the planet
The second article, Read the Sunspots (subscription now required), is part of a series by The National Post (the Faux News / Washington Times of Canadian publishing courtesy of Conrad Black) And, featuring Global Warming Deniers (this has extracts from and commentary on Patterson by a Libertarian).
The author makes the argument, claiming scientific basis from 5000 years of records at one location, that the world’s biggest climate risk is of potential cooling starting in 2020 due to solar activity. (Now, I thought that deniers liked to predict that it was ‘loony environmentalists’ who focused on global cooling … the head spins.)
This argument is wrapped within science, which is what makes it so dangerous. This is a SCIENTIST, after all. (Surprising, isn’t it, how the Deniers find scientists so interesting and valuable to cite and pay attention to when it is one of the few that agree with them.)
To understand the author, R Timothy Patterson, you might want to check out Friends of Science; Mr. Cool: Nurturing doubt about climate change is big business; and, most damming, Not ready to stop perjuring
Now, what does Patterson totally not pay attention to? If he is right (IF with about 500 question marks following) and there might be global cooling, are there not huge associated concerns with pollution — like acidification of the oceans — that merit paying attention to / reducing CO2 emissions?
Now, as all here hopefully understand, there is a real and concerted effort to confuse and confound on Global Warming. For whichever set of reasons (or lack of reason), there are those who wear blinders, refuse to see the risk(s), and wish to inhibit effectie action to mitigate Global Warming.
One of the best recent additions to documenting this is Rolling Stones’ The Secret Campaign of President Bush’s Administration To Deny Global Warming (see, also, the excellent accompaning 3 minute 15 second slide show).
Fighting the Good Fight … the necessary fight
Now, for those who might (might) be reachable, there are resources to fight the battle.
In terms of logic, of assessing risk, Option A or Option B: What’s it going to be? is an interesting discussion worthy of further elaboration and discussion.
In terms of building the inventory to challenge the skeptics and put them in their place, here are some very useful assets:
* New Scientist’s Climate change: A guide for the perplexed: Some good discussion and Excellent Links …
* Grist’s How to talk to a skeptic. Good, short, well thought out discussions, with links to substantive sources for everything stated.
* Real Climate’s Start Here: Links sections for beginners, moderate knowledge (me?), scientists. RealClimate is the real deal when it comes to quality discussion re climate issues.
* Re Exxon, see Greenpeace’s Exxon Secrets re funding of Global Warming Deniers / Skeptics
There is a line between public relations and propaganda - or there should be. And there is a difference between using your skills, in good faith, to help rescue a battered reputation and using them to twist the truth - to sow confusion and doubt on an issue that is critical to human survival.And it is infuriating - as a public relations professional - to watch my colleagues use their skills, their training and their considerable intellect to poison the international debate on climate change.
The Skeptics and Deniers continue to peddle their pablum … each of us should be prepared to not let such disingenous and dangerous mendacity to go unchallenged.
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