Although he would be horrified to know it, Nicholas Copernicus is the latest victim of the climate change dissemblers at Amy Ridenour's National Center for Public Policy Research.
In this heroic defence of the right to speak freely (if not altogether honestly), NCPPR Vice President David Ridenour has dragged Copernicus, Giordano Bruno and William Harvey into the climate change debate, alleging that these scientific innovators have something in common with the industry-backed luddites who are shouting into the face of science today. In his defence, Ridenour raises a good point. There have always been vested interests that tried to deny the truth of scientific discovery. Just as the church once feared its loss of authority and the blood letters resisted an attack on their “medical” techniques, the Exxon-Mobilized deniers are trying to discredit today's best scientists for fear that an economic shift away from fossil fuels might compromise the funding sources for “think” tanks for the self-interested. As to Ridenour's “disclosure statement,” the fact that NCPPR has taken less money directly from Exxon-Mobil than it did from, say, Jack Abramoff is less than reassuring.
The Ridenours , clearly, are masters of misdirection, a talent that must be just as useful in the way they do their accounting as it is in the way they construct their arguments.