'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, December 27, 2004

Methinks They Do Protest Too Much 

My local Scaife rag ran a 250 word op-ed today saying that human-caused global warming doesn't exist because one guy said that it doesn't and also there was global warming in the Middle Ages ... an impressive amount of propaganda squeezed into an editorial shorter than most blog posts.

The editorial mentioned MIT professor Richard Lindzen's appearance at the National Press Club earlier this month where he equated belief in global warming to religious belief. Lindzen's National Press Club appearance has made him the kid of the moment among apologists for Big Industry.

Naomi Oreskes in The Post yesterday agreed with Lindzen, pointing out that belief in global warming is similar to religious belief in precisely the same way that many other beliefs are similar to religious belief:

To be sure, no scientific conclusion can ever be proven, absolutely, but it is no more a "belief" to say that Earth is heating up than it is to say that continents move, that germs cause disease, that DNA carries hereditary information or that quarks are the basic building blocks of subatomic matter.

Last week FAIR, commenting on the principle of journalistic balance in which one voice often counters the consensus of hundreds of top scientists in news stories, cited James Baker, administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, comparing the consensus on global warming to the consensus on Newton's second law of dynamics.

For my part, I'd like to point out that Richard Lindzen is a paid shill of the fossil fuel industry. Here's an excerpt from an old Harper's piece:

But while the skeptics [of human-caused global climate change] portray themselves as besieged truth-seekers fending off irresponsible environmental doomsayers, their testimony in St. Paul and elsewhere revealed the source and scope of their funding for the first time. Michaels has received more than $115,000 over the last four years from coal and energy interests. World Climate Review, a quarterly he founded that routinely debunks climate concerns, was funded by Western Fuels. Over the last six years, either alone or with colleagues, Balling has received more than $200,000 from coal and oil interests in Great Britain, Germany, and elsewhere. Balling (along with Sherwood Idso) has also taken money from Cyprus Minerals, a mining company that has been a major funder of People for the West—a militantly anti-environmental "Wise Use" group. Lindzen, for his part, charges oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services; his 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels, and a speech he wrote, entitled "Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus," was underwritten by OPEC. Singer, who last winter proposed a $95,000 publicity project to "stem the tide towards ever more onerous controls on energy use," has received consulting fees from Exxon, Shell, Unocal, ARCO, and Sun Oil, and has warned them that they face the same threat as the chemical firms that produced chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a class of chemicals found to be depleting atmospheric ozone. "It took only five years to go from... a simple freeze of production [of CFCs]," Singer has written, ". . . to the 1992 decision of a complete production phase-out—all on the basis of quite insubstantial science."

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?