Research on Marc Morano's Climate Denier Gang

Earlier in the week we reported that the favored list of climate doubters Senator Inofe’s political assistant Marc Morano relies on to stoke the global warming is a hoax echo chamber had been discovered by the researchers at ThinkProgress.

In turn, our research team has taken Mornano’s list and added in all of the information we have here on DeSmogBlog about each of the indivuduals and made it into a handy referal page here: Researching Marc Morano’s Climate Denier Gang.

We are working to research the individuals on Morano’s list that we didn’t have information on and will be adding what we find.

Former Astronaut in Bed with Big Oil?

Don’t be too surprised that former Apollo astronaut Harrison Schmitt publicly denounced the entire scientific community around climate science.

Schmitt provided Fox News another climate denier moment this week when he said, “I don’t think the human effect [of climate change] is significant compared to the natural effect.” Schmitt is also speaking at a climate denier conference next month sponsored by none other than the notorious Heartland Institute.

Desmog Blog readers will recall the hilariously unethical stunt pulled by the Heartland Institute last year when they produced a list of 500 scientists who apparently disputed climate change. The problem was that most of these individuals no idea that their reputations were being dragged through the mud by an astroturf group that has so far received almost $800,000 from Exxon.

Enter Harrison Schmitt. Most media coverage of this story has rather lazily reported Schmitt only as a former astronaut and one of the last people to walk on the moon. A lot has happened since 1972. It turns out that Schmitt was the Chairman and President of the Annapolis Center For Science-Based Public Policy between 1994 and 1998, and remains “Chairman Emeritus”.

This may be a lucrative gig given that the Annapolis Centre has received more than $860,000 in funding from ExxonMobil since 1998. But what does money have to do with anything?

Scientists losing war of words over climate change

In the conservative world of science, conclusions are couched in caveats and statements are chosen carefully to not seem overwrought. And in the world of climate science that’s no different. For example, in their 2007 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a series of defined levels of certainty about their conclusions that looked like this:

• “Virtually certain” (considered more than 99% likely to be correct)

• “Very likely” (more than 90%)

• “Likely” (more than 66%)

• “More likely than not” (more than 50%)

• “Unlikely” (less than 33%)

• “Very unlikely” (less than 10%)

• “Exceptionally unlikely” (less than 5%)

So in the IPCC’s final report they made statements like, “Global climate change is “very likely” to have a human cause.”

Marc Morano's Climate Denial Echo Machine

One of the oldest public relations trick in the book is called the “echo chamber” and it plays off the idea that if you repeat something often enough it becomes the truth. Senator James Inhofe’s political spindoctor Marc Morano knows this technique well and he has been using for years to shotgun blast out misinformation on global warming to right-wing media and bloggers for years.

In turn, these bloggers and media outlets blast out their own rendition and before you know it the misinformation is bouncing around the internet and inboxes all over the world.

Researchers at Thinkprogress have released the list of climate doubters Morano relies on for his echo chamber. According to Brad Johnson who wrote the Thinkprogress article:

“Promoted on the Drudge Report and Fox News, Morano’s moronic misinformation enters mainstream discourse through columns by Barnes, George Will, Robert Samuelson, and others. Many in the Morano gang are funded by right-wing think tanks, though a few are committed activists, conspiracy theorists who believe their homebrew interpretations of climate data. Others are aging scientists with strong conservative beliefs, motivating them to challenge action on global warming not because they disbelieve its existence, but because they are ideologically opposed to regulation of pollution.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. You can download a PDF version of the Morano list here: Morano Denier Gang. We’ll be adding more information about each of the individuals and their organizations over the coming days.

The Worse Is Yet to Come

Melting ice caps. Crippling droughts. Acidifying oceans. Even to the untrained eye, the trends are becoming starkly clear: Climate change is upon us, and it’s only getting worse.

That, in essence, was the grim takeaway from a speech given by Christopher Field, the founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University and a co-author of the 2007 U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) last week.

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