For at least a year before the 2008 U.S. election, legions of political geeks were glued to a number of websites, from pollster.com to politico.com. The latter provided more or less excellent coverage, including the all-important electoral map.
But when it comes to the credibility of policy discussions, it looks like they’ve shot themselves in the foot. Via their “reporter” Erika Lovley, they are actively pushing the climate change skeptics’ agenda.
I’ll just give a big hat tip to Brad Johnson at Think Progress, because he sums it all up in one paragraph:
Erika Lovley, the Politico’s energy and environment reporter, today wrote a full-page article on the dying breed of global warming deniers that promotes their brand of toxic stupidity
I first saw her article linked off James Inhofe’s Environment and Public Works Committe site. Either she’s astonishingly irresponsible and clueless as a “reporter”, or is a tool of the skeptics. She says:
Climate change skeptics on Capitol Hill are quietly watching a growing accumulation of global cooling science and other findings that could signal that the science behind global warming may still be too shaky to warrant cap-and-trade legislation.
“Global cooling” is now the fashionable point of discussion in skeptics’ circles, promoted by Joseph D’Aleo in particular. Lovley uses D’Aleo as a “scientific” reference:
While the new Obama administration promises aggressive, forward-thinking environmental policies, Weather Channel co-founder Joseph D’Aleo and other scientists are organizing lobbying efforts to take aim at the cap-and-trade bill that Democrats plan to unveil in January.
“We’re worried that people are too focused on carbon dioxide as the culprit,” D’Aleo said. “Recent warming has stopped since 1998, and we want to stop draconian measures that will hurt already spiraling downward economics. We’re environmentalists and conservationists at heart, but we don’t think that carbon is responsible for hurricanes.”
She’d do Inhofe proud with that reference, as he has also used D’Aleo’s “science” in his arguments that global warming isn’t real.
And then, she reaches a whole new level of stupid when she refers to “research” gathered by Inhofe’s staff as further proof that there is growing consensus that there is “global cooling”:
Inhofe’s staff has been steadily compiling a list of global cooling findings. And aides report that they have received countless e-mails from scientists worldwide supporting the theory. While Inhofe hasn’t indicated that he will move forward with the information anytime soon, his aides continue to compile it.
Her article presents, in clueless, uncritical succession, a veritable rogue’s gallery of skeptics and their respective “think” tanks. There’s the Cooler Heads Coalition, the National Center for Policy Analysis, among others… and of course, the Cato Institute’s notorious propagandist Patrick Michaels, who told her that:
… most of Washington is already too deeply entrenched in the global warming mantra to turn back.
“You can’t expect the scientific community to now come to Washington and say this isn’t a problem. Once the apocalypse begins to deliver research dollars, you don’t want to reverse it,” said Michaels. “Washington works by lurching from crisis to crisis.”
Finally, she takes a shot at Al Gore. The sentence in bold is the icing on her ice cream cake:
Despite the growing science, the world’s leading crusader on climate change, Al Gore, is unconcerned.
“Climate deniers fall into the same camp as people who still don’t believe we landed on the moon,” said the former vice president’s spokeswoman, Kalee Kreider. “We don’t think this should distract us from the reality.”
Ms. Lovley could have written a much shorter piece, simply saying:
Today, I looked in my freezer, and there was ice. I interviewed some global warming skeptics. They told me that because there is ice in my freezer, the world is cooling. I agree.
Way to go, Politico. Thanks to Ms. Lovley’s obvious incompetence, you’re obviously not the place to go for real reporting on environmental policy and legislation.