Heartland Policy Brief: Exposing the ‘Merchants of Smear’

Published October 16, 2014

CHICAGO – If you follow the public debate over global warming (aka “climate change”), you know prominent climate scientists are routinely denounced as “shills” paid by the fossil fuel industry to spread lies and misinformation.

You may be surprised to learn that accusation is pure deception, nothing more than an attempt to avoid debate by smearing an opponent’s character.

“No one has ever offered an iota of evidence of a quid pro quo arrangement among industry officials and skeptic scientists, despite legions of people repeating the claim,” writes investigative journalist/blogger Russell Cook in “Merchants of Smear,” a new Heartland Policy Brief.

Cook spent years tracking the accusation back to its original source. He documents the roles of former vice president Al Gore, global warming alarmist Ross Gelbspan, and an organization once called Ozone Action and now known as Greenpeace USA. Cook writes:

Never has so much – the very survival of the global warming issue – depended on so little – a paper-thin accusation from people having hugely troubling credibility problems of their own – to be repeated without question by so many.

Not only does this situation appear to be a Gore-approved effort to marginalize skeptics who were undermining his position from the start, the larger problem involves mainstream media malfeasance, where reporters never dared to question what they were told about “corrupt” skeptic scientists.

Click here to read a PDF version of “Merchants of Smear,” and click around Cook’s website “Gelbspan Files” for more background on the topic.

To schedule an interview with Cook or Heartland’s climate policy experts, contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] or 312-377-4000.

The Heartland Institute is determined to set the record straight on global warming. Since we entered this arena two decades ago with Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism, the debate has changed dramatically. Alarmists are ever more shrill and no tactics – even identity theft, threats of physical violence against “deniers,” and outright lies – seem off-limits for global warming’s true believers. Visit the Environment Suite at Heartland.org for an overview of the organization’s work to advance scientific rigor, not political exploitation, on the subject of climate change.

The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our –Web site or call 312/377-4000.