Not that Mr. Horner has any credentials as a scientist. If fact he is a lawyer, in the employ of Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a Washington, DC-based pro-business think tank.
For the uninitiated, the CEI is one of the more notorious thinks tanks active on the climate change file and sucked up over $2 million from ExxonMobil between 1998 and 2005. In 2006, the company announced that they were finally ending their funding for the group that apparently had become too extreme even for world's biggest oil company.
Back to Mr. Horners hilarious piece, where he deadpans that “the planet as a whole is cooling and is projected to do for decades”. Here’s another knee-slapper: “The Antarctic has 1 million square kilometers more ice than a year ago when it set an ice record.”
The so-called “Antarctic cooling” Horner refers to has been widely discredited by the scientific community, and the author whose work was taken out of context by pulp author Michael Crichton said that his work was “misused ” by Crichton.
In fact scientists this year were alarmed when the massive Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica began to rapidly fall apart into the ocean. Since February, about 400 square kilometers have disintegrated and the remaining 14,000 square kilometers is now held by less than 2.5 km of ice. More alarming still was that this was continuing even in the Antarctic winter.
Scientists also announced this week they were concerned that the iconic Antarctic resident penguins could be imperiled in the near future due largely to climate change.
As for the arctic, look at this recent news coverage about disintegrating ice sheets on the top of the world. A recent study by a research group at Naval Postgraduate School , Monterey, California working with members of NASA and the Institute of Oceanology at the Polish Academy of Sciences estimate that the Arctic sea could be regularly ice-free in the summer as soon as 2013.
The changes that we are now seeing around the world are entirely consistent with climate models except for one important detail – they are happening far sooner and more powerfully than scientists predicted.
Happily, Mr. Horner himself is an endangered species – the so-called “climate skeptic”. For far too long these now these hired guns of the oil lobby have succeeded in bullying the media into the printing shoddy research and disingenuous delivery in an effort to poison the public debate around climate change.
It is telling that his latest rant did not make into the mainstream press.