In a celebration of fiction - a promotion of political spin - one of America's top sources for climate disinformation, the minority page of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, has received a top-of-class Gold Mouse Award from a National Science Foundation-sponsored project called “Connecting to Congress.”
The project “generously funded” by the NSF, is run by the Congressional Management Foundation, “a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting a more effective Congress.” The definition for “effective,” however, clearly doesn't include any criteria reflecting integrity or accuracy of content.
There is no question that the well-funded Senate minority site is optimized for greatest impact. As the CMF says,
“The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ Minority Web site illustrates how committee sites can successfully provide timely and targeted information to its various audiences. The site is designed for ease of use. Press contact names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses included in each press release make information readily available to one of the site’s key audiences: the press.”
But the site, run by Swiftboater Marc Morano with the support of the “Senator for Oil and Gas” James Inhofe, works constantly to confuse, distort and mislead the press and the public on global warming. In one relatively recent post, for example, Morano put forth “400 prominent scientists” who he said take issue with the consensus about the causes and concerns of climate change. The list was bogus, badly inflated with flakes, industry flaks and legitimate scientists who actually endorse the consensus, but Morano's press release still reverberated around the internet, even eliciting a comment from the New York Times suggesting that this dishonest manipulation was somehow part of the legitimate process of scientific debate.
It is chilling to think that our high regard for style and substance, for tactic and technique, now completely overwhelms our desire to hear the truth. It's an outrage that the National Science Foundation would be hiring a “non-partisan” group that is, itself, indifferent to science.
But it sure makes it clear why confusion still reigns on the climate file. We just don't care about the truth; we just want to admire and reward the best storytellers, regardless of whether their stories will lead us further into the greatest environmental calamity in history.