Study Exposes Alarmists’ Tactics in Shutdown of Climate Debate

Published February 25, 2015

Review of Merchants of Smear, by Russell Cook; Policy Brief, The Heartland Institute, September 2014, 17 pages; $6.95 at The Heartland Institute.

Proponents of belief in a manmade climate disaster know the Saul Alinsky community-agitator playbook by heart: In a fight, anything goes. Never admit error; just change terminology and attack again. Expand your base by giving potential allies financial and political reasons to join your cause. Pick “enemy” targets, polarize them, and vilify them.

Whether the “crisis” de jure was the alleged threat of the coming ice age in the 1970s or global warming immediately thereafter, the problem is always manmade and the response needed is always big government.

Alarmists say modern civilization’s “greenhouse gas” emissions are causing profound climate change. They insist human-induced changes are already happening and are already disastrous.

What Climate Crisis?

However, there has been no warming since 1995, and recent winters have been among the coldest in centuries in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, despite steadily rising levels of C02 concentrations.

As of January 12, 2015, it has been 3,365 days (9.2 years!) since a Category 3-5 hurricane hit the U.S. mainland. This is by far the longest such stretch since recordkeeping began in 1900. Sea levels are barely rising, at a mere seven inches per century. Antarctic sea ice is expanding to new records; Arctic ice has also rebounded. Polar bears are thriving. In fact, every measure of actual evidence contradicts alarmist claims and computer model predictions.

No matter how fast or sophisticated climate models are, feeding them unproven assumptions about CO2 feedbacks and manipulated temperature data still yields garbage output, scenarios, and predictions.

USEPA Administrator Gina McCarthy also ignores climate realities. Her agency is battling coal-fired power plants to “stop climate change.” McCarthy ignores the inconvenient climate realities noted above and refuses to debate the thousands of scientists who reject the “dangerous manmade climate change” claims. Instead she stated, “The time for arguing about climate change has passed. The vast majority of scientists agree our climate is changing.”

Smearing as a Political Ploy

This absurd, dismissive assertion underscores citizen investigative journalist Russell Cook’s findings in his perceptive and fascinating Merchants of Smear report. The climate catastrophe narrative survives only because there has been virtually no scientific debate over its claims, Cook explains. The public rarely sees the extensive evidence debunking and destroying climate cataclysm assertions, because alarmists insist “the science is settled,” refuse to acknowledge or debate anyone who says otherwise, and claim skeptical scientists get paid by oil companies, tainting anything they say.

The fossil-fuel-payoff claim is classic Alinsky: Target and vilify those who disagree with you.

“No one has ever offered an iota of evidence” oil interests paid skeptical researchers to change their science to fit industry views, “despite legions of people repeating the claim,” Cook notes. “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 issues of their own.”

The tactic is intended to marginalize manmade global warming skeptics. But the larger problem is mainstream media malfeasance. Reporters never question “climate crisis” dogmas or the allegations “climate denier” scientists fabricate studies questioning “settled science” for a few grand in illicit industry money.

Pay no attention to the real-world climate data, we are told. Just worry about climate monsters conjured up by their computer models. “Climate change deniers” are Big Oil lackeys, they claim, and you should turn a blind eye to the billions of dollars in government, industry, and foundation money paid annually to researchers and modelers who subscribe to manmade climate disruption claims.

Government Funds Crisis Claims

The U.S. government alone spent more than $106 billion in taxpayer funds on alarmist climate research between 2003 and 2010, and billions more on ineffective renewable energy boondoggles. In return, the researchers refuse to let other scientists, IPCC reviewers, or FOIA investigators see their raw data, computer codes, or CO2-driven algorithms. The modelers and scientists claim the information is private property, even though taxpayers paid for the work and the results are used to justify energy-, job-, and economy-killing policies and regulations.

None of these recipients wants to derail this money train by entertaining doubts about the “climate crisis.”

As to claims of a “97 percent consensus” of scientists, it is based on a study by a University of Queensland professor claiming 97 percent of published scientific papers agree humans caused at least half of the 1.3º F (0.7º C) global warming since 1950; in reality, only 41 of the 11,944 papers cited explicitly said this.

The alleged solutions to the imaginary climate crisis will hurt us, our children, and our grandchildren by driving up energy prices, threatening electricity reliability, thwarting job creation, and undermining people’s health and welfare. They perpetuate poverty, misery, disease, and premature death in poor African and Asian countries by blocking construction of fossil fuel power plants that would bring electricity to 1.3 billion people who still do not have it.

The caterwauling over climate change has nothing to do with actual climate conditions. It is based on an ideologically driven hatred of market capitalism and a callous disdain for middle-class workers and impoverished Third World families “progressive” activists and politicians claim to care so much about.