Mainstream media seem to have caught up with climate change denial (caught up with reality, really), just in time to humiliate the assembled “sceptics” at the Heartland Institute’s 2008 International Conference on Climate Change.
While Heartland wants to position the conference as a “smashing success,” the New York Times, CNN – even that raving left-wing apology sheet the Wall Street Journal – have all lifted their delicate hands and snickered. CNN, in a spot that left the cool dudes at Newsbusters apoplectic, went so far as to call the assembled skeptics “flat earthers.”
Sounds like a roaring success, as truth seems to have triumphed over truthiness at the Black Hole of Denial.
Reporting at USA Today suggests another way of judging effectiveness, as per the article Study debunks ‘global cooling’ concerns of ’70s.
The supposed “global cooling” consensus among scientists in the 1970s — frequently offered by global-warming skeptics as proof that climatologists can’t make up their minds — is a myth, according to a survey of the scientific literature of the era.
Yup. As per most of the arguments raised by Skeptics/Delayers/Deniers, “myth” is a polite term to use. While the cooling myth has been repeated shredded (including here at EnergySmart based heavily on this great site), having it shred in USAToday is a useful service to reality.
Sadly, in striving to be “objective”, USA Today goes to Pat Michaels, a “Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies” at the libertarian CATO Institute, who is one of the more prominent Global Warming Deniers. Re Michaels,
Dr. Tom Wigley, lead author of parts of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and one of the world’s leading climate scientists, was quoted in the book “The Heat is On” (Gelbspan, 1998, Perseus Publishing): “Michaels’ statements on [the subject of computer models] are a catalog of misrepresentation and misinterpretation… Many of the supposedly factual statements made in Michaels’ testimony are either inaccurate or are seriously misleading.”
Sdayly, USA Today doesn’t put Michaels in context, other than “CATO” (and how many people outside Washington, DC, know what it is?).
Some have doubts about the new survey. “The paper does not place the late ’70s in its climatic context,” says Pat Michaels
Would USA Today readers have felt differently if he had been identified as a charter member of the Global Warming branch of the Flat Earth Society?
In any event, rather than crowing praises of Heartland, USA Today is reporting on how scientists have shown the holes, from another angle, on a favorite skeptic/denier truthiness argument. Hmmm … maybe the Black Hole of Denial was successful in keeping the darkness of denial contain within itself.
The scientific look at the global cooling mole came at Real Climate, reporting on this look at scientific studies (more formal version). Very briefly, of the climate literature from 1965 through 1979, they found 71 studies:
- 7 predicted cooling
- 44 predicted warming
- 20 neutral
What about that vaunted scientific consensus about cooling? More than half predicted warming and less than 10 percent predict cooling. And, consider the trend over time:
Anyone want to compare this to the consensus about Global Warming among scientists today?
NOTE: Hat tip to silence at Daily Kos.