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by Russell Cook
December 24, 2011, JunkScience.com
I don’t mean promoters of the issue comically spinning failed predictions for more frequent hurricanes and warmer snow-less winters into covering any hot/cold/wet/dry extremes. Or Al Gore’s Texas-sized carbon footprint undermining demands for ours to to be minuscule. Sure, the IPCC also has appearance problems as a supposedly ‘unbiased’ organization, caught red-handed with assessments authored by people in environmentalist groups, and its own “ClimateGate” scientists behaving badly doesn’t help, either.
We have an arguably more far reaching problem – one that imperils the issue itself, and the mainstream media’s basic integrity.
This plain-sight problem is invisible when anyone accepts the issue as settled science. No hint of the problem is seen when the media moans about extreme weather and melting icecaps, while offering advice for sustainable lifestyles that use carbon-free renewable energy. Of course, no hint whatsoever is seen when armchair psychoanalysis is offered about public opinion, like when the NY Times’ David Brooks said, “..we have had a lot of information about global warming from Al Gore and many others. And, yet… support for a response to global warming has gone down”,
This monumental problem only becomes evident when we point to skeptic scientists claiming human activity is not a significant part of global warming. The immediate, predictable diatribe is, “Skeptics are few in number, don’t have published papers to their credit, and are on the payroll of big coal & oil.” The problem fades out of sight again when no one challenges those assertions.
Try asking instead, “You can prove any of that?”, and watch what happens.
If the response is that anyone defending skeptic scientists is an ignorant, mind-numbed talk radio listener / right-wing blog reader / Fox News zealot, or is a person who won’t give up their SUV to save the planet, then you see the problem plain as day. This is a sleight-of-hand shell game to ensure the public never thinks there may be legitimate scientific opposition criticism.
A second opinion ought to be welcomed, especially if it’s good news that the little warming we do see is a natural process.
I’ll let others psychoanalyze the bizarre opposition to such news, and I’ll let the scientists explain the science and the actual number of people on each side of the issue. What I am able to do is show what the mainstream media buries, namely all the red flags surrounding accusations against skeptic scientists.
Al Gore’s 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth, exposed the heart of the problem, and although it didn’t start there, he faces tough questions about his role with the problem’s origins. After describing all kinds of potential climate disasters – which have thus far failed to happen – Gore takes a short length of time near the end of the movie to equate skeptic scientists with tobacco industry ‘science experts’ who downplayed cigarette smoking health concerns. His comparison is quite effective, he literally spells out the words “reposition global warming as a theory rather than fact” in red letters across the screen, saying they were from a leaked memo no different than an old tobacco company’s leaked internal document, “Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of creating a controversy in the public’s mind.” Pick up a copy of his 2009 “Our Choice” book, and both sentences are spelled out in half-inch tall letters on pages 356 and 357.
There’s an enormous red flag here. A complete context scan of the Brown & Williamson “Doubt is our product” memo is found on the internet within seconds, web sites quoting it link directly to the scan, and there is no question it was a top-down industry directive.
The “reposition global warming” memo literally cannot be found that way. The only web links to the otherwise incredibly hard to find Greenpeace archive scan of the memo are in my own online articles, and when astute readers look through this set of interoffice instructions for a small TV and radio campaign, it becomes abundantly obvious that the sentence has been taken out-of-context in order to portray it as the main goal of a sinister industry directive.
It gets worse. Gore’s companion book to his movie says the memo “was discovered by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ross Gelbspan”. Two problems are easily found. First (as Steve Milloy pointed out long ago), the Pulitzer organization does not recognize Gelbspan as a prize winner, and second, other book authors and reporters refer to the “reposition global warming” sentence prior to Gelbspan’s earliest mention of it in a December 1995 radio interview. Nevertheless, Gore’s 2009 “Our Choice” book again referred to him as a Pulitzer winner and said the memo was “uncovered by investigative journalist Ross Gelbspan” on page 358. Inexplicably in his June 22 Rolling Stone article, Gore instead attributes the memo sentence to a 1991 NY Times article, which was not written by Gelbspan.
There are more red flags. The 1991 NY Times article says it received the memo in a packet provided by the Sierra Club. Yet, intensive searches through current and archive Sierra Club web pages yield not a solitary word about finding what any environmentalist would call the central ‘smoking gun’ evidence of a fossil fuel industry / skeptic scientist conspiracy.
On top of all that, many people point to Ross Gelbspan’s 1997 book, “The Heat is On”, as the first exposé of this memo sentence evidence. The other words he mentions a paragraph after it on page 34 of his book are from other memos in the packet, concerning targets of the coal industry PR campaign: “…older, less-educated men…” and “young, lower-income women”. Meanwhile, page 360 of Al Gore’s 1992 “Earth in the Balance” book says his Senate office received documents “…leaked from the National Coal Association…” which said, “People who respond most favorably to such statements are older, less-educated males from larger households, who are not typically active information-seekers… another possible target is younger, lower-income women…”
Identical words from the same memos in Gore’s Senate office as much as four years prior to Gelbspan, the man he credits with discovering them – a huge red flag if there ever was one. And not a word about this contradiction in the mainstream media. Had reporters taken just a few hours of their time to talk to a now-former employee of that coal organization – as I did just recently – they would have been told that these specific memos were a rejected proposal for the PR campaign, and were never actually implemented, thus they would not have been seen by other fossil fuel company executives. There was no industry directive to “reposition global warming”, period.
There is a sea of red flags to be analyzed, more than space allows here. Ross Gelbspan and John Passacantando, the head of the enviro-activist group Ozone Action from ’93 to 2000, claim to have obtained the “reposition global warming” memo in 1996 while jointly working to publicize it as evidence of skeptic scientists’ guilt, but they never say who gave it to them. Passacantando became the executive director of Greenpeace USA in 2000, merging Ozone Action into it, and his former co-workers now have influential positions elsewhere: Phil Radford is Greenpeace USA’s current director, Kelly Sims Gallagher is an official reviewer of IPCC reports, and Kalee Kreider is Al Gore’s spokesperson.
It is entertaining to note how Ms Kreider started working at Ozone Action in 1993 and transferred to Greenpeace in 1996, and was seen just a year later in a 1997 IPCC Regional Impacts of Climate Change Special Report, in its Annex H USA section for “Authors, Contributors, and Expert Reviewers”. Al Gore says this about her in “Our Choice”, page 411, “[she] has been of invaluable assistance in all of my climate work”. Considering she joined his current staff in 2006, and his “climate work” goes back to 1988, it might be worthwhile to ask him exactly what he meant there.
Legitimate scientific criticism could wipe out the so-called global warming crisis. What’s been the response for twenty years? Don’t debate skeptic scientists, assassinate their character – but hide the evidence proving their corruption.
The monumental fault in global warming is right there in plain sight, and the mainstream media either can’t spot it or offers strangely vague answers when I try to alert them about it. This issue showcases a genuine divide of inexcusable proportions: We have 1% of the media elite who have committed journalistic malfeasance for over twenty years, and we are the 99% who no longer trust them! Expose this problem for all to see, and we knock down not only the politics of global warming, we also potentially put news reporting back to the way it should be done, telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.