In Case of Heart[land] Attack, Break Glass

Digging deeper into the smear of skeptic climate scientists.

By Russell Cook
February 19, 2012,

Forget about the science of man-caused global warming for just a bit (it’s settled anyway). Skeptic scientists are corrupt. Don’t listen to them. Oh, for you reporters out there, no need to listen to them since they are corrupt, and the science is settled. Plus, dumber reporters already gave them too much equal time in the name of “journalistic balance”, a concept only applicable to situations where reasonable questions exist.

One more critical detail: Do not, under any circumstances, question anything in the prior paragraph. Nothing to see, move along, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

And there you have it, all of the books, movies, articles, and blogs pushing the idea of man-caused global warming are just extreme overkill on those three basic talking points: settled science / corrupt skeptics / media telling us only one side of the issue because there is no other legitimate side.

There is not one thing new about DeSmogBlog’s attack on the Heartland Institute; in fact, elements of it go all the way back to at least 1992, and one person has been involved in this throughout that entire stretch of time: anti-skeptic book author Ross Gelbspan.

Gelbspan has been the star blogger at DeSmogBlog for all but the first three months of its existence. Joe Romm over at ThinkProgress had this to say about him in his 2008, Kudos to DeSmogBlog, “Ross Gelbspan, whose defining books Boiling Point and The Heat is On were a big part of the inspiration for starting the DeSmogBlog….”

As I pointed out right here at JunkScience in December, Gelbspan’s accusation about skeptic climate scientists being no different from ‘shill experts’ working for big tobacco is based entirely on a leaked coal industry memo that is not only out-of-context, it was a rejected proposal for a PR campaign, was never actually implemented, and it most certainly was not any kind of top-down industry directive that he, Al Gore and so many others claim it is. I also pointed out there and earlier at ClimateDepot how Gore says Gelbspan discovered the memo, yet Gore had the memo collection in his Senate office years before Gelbspan first mentioned them.

This particular problem becomes all the more worthy of deeper investigation when anyone takes a look at one of Gelbspan’s last articles at the Boston Globe, May 31, 1992. His “To some, global warming may be only hot air” sidebar (h/t to Brenton Groves for his complete article PDF scan, complete original available for online purchase here) hints at questionable motives of skeptics, and he concludes with quotes from Stephen Schneider and Al Gore, respectively:

It is journalistically irresponsible to present both sides as if it were a question of balance. Given the distribution of views, with groups like the National Academy of Science expressing strong scientific concern, it is irresponsible to give equal time to a few people standing out in left field.

T]he overall weight of evidence” of global warming “is so clear that one begins to feel angry toward those who exaggerate the uncertainty.

Fascinating. There’s the first and third talking points. All they needed was some reason to say ‘skeptics are corrupt’. Also interesting to see how Gelbspan prominently features Fred Singer in that sidebar, who just happened to be embroiled in a libel suit at the same time concerning a situation that Gore was not the least bit pleased about. You see, Gore didn’t like the appearance of his mentor Roger Revelle changing his mind and co-authoring an article with Fred Singer, so that action had to be stopped at all costs. Dr Singer won the lawsuit.

And so it goes to this day, anybody who has the audacity to question the idea of man-caused global warming must be marginalized in the eyes of the public by any means possible. Perhaps it’s time for the victims of this endless smear to put aside the science for a while, and take a (legal action) ax to their accusers.

Russell Cook’s collection of writings on this issue can be seen at “The ’96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists,” and you can follow him on Twitter at QuestionAGW.

2 thoughts on “In Case of Heart[land] Attack, Break Glass”

  1. I just finished watching a 1937 movie about Emile Zola’s defense of the innocent French officer Alfred Dreyfus accused of treason in 1894. Ad hominem character assasinations were used against Dreyfus–he was Jewish. The vast majority of French people thought Dreyfus guilty and should be hanged. They were all wrong and Zola endured much pain in rising to his defense. Dreyfus was shot in an assasination attempt.

    Similar stirring up of resentment by those advocating carbon dioxide is causing catastrophic global warming today. We need an Emile Zola to stir up the press that lies and character assasinations are behind the global warming advocacy.

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