Republican spindcotor Marc Morano is leaving his $134,000 post with Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) to start a *groan* “fledgling Web site that will serve as a ‘clearinghouse and one-stop shopping’ for climate and environmental news.”
See you in the real world Morano, you’re going to find it a lot harder to spin your climate change hoax message without the help of the government trough.
For all the florid talk of bipartisanship, Congress has precious little to show for its efforts. It has only been a little over a week since President Obama was inaugurated, and, despite promising to work hand in hand with the new administration and Democratic majorities, the GOP and its ideological allies are already back to their old obstructionist ways.
Case in point: the much ballyhooed $825 billion stimulus package – i.e. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 – that the president has made a top priority.
Honestly, how much money would it take to defeat Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) the next time he runs for Senate? Because I don’t know about you, but I’m more than a little tired of Inhofe’s messed up logic when it comes to the science of climate change.
In a radio program today, Inhofe declared his victory because, ” the science is totally changed.” As Inhofe explains it,
“It was the IPCC, those intergovernmental panel on climate change with the United Nations. But keep in mind, the only report you get from them is their summary for policy docs. And those are not scientists. There’s only 52 scientists that signed on to those, to that, as opposed to what? Some 650 who now have rebuked that. And one last thing on my check list that has to be said is on Gore’s science fiction film, every assertion that he’s made has been refuted. I’m talking about hurricanes, sea level rises, ice caps, polar bears, you know. So, the science has turned around, but the economics has not turned around. And that’s what we need to remind people.”
He may only be part of a noisy minority, but Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) isn’t about to let his fringe status get in the way of his latest skeptic shtick.
As he did last year, Inhofe, writing under the guise of the Minority on the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, has penned another anti-global warming screed with the help of his staffer, Marc Morano, entitled “UN Blowback: More than 650 International Scientists Dissent over Man-Made Global Warming Claims”. And, like last year, Inhofe’s laughable attempt at a serious “report” falls flat on its face upon any close scrutiny.
While there is much that could be singled out for ridicule in the senator’s report, I’ll focus on what I’ll call the skeptics’ “greatest hits” (i.e. the wrong-headed arguments they’ve been trotting out for months, if not years, to “prove” their point).
Let’s start with the claim made in the report’s title: that “half of warming” is due to solar forcing.
Despite being debunked over and over again, skeptics like Inhofe have latched onto a few studies published during the last decade that purported to show a link between solar activity – cosmic rays, in particular – and rising greenhouse gas emissions. (The idea being that cosmic rays helped water droplets form in the atmosphere, leading to increased cloud clover and, thus, lower average temperatures.)
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:
Prying answers out of the candidates about science-related issues this electoral season has proven almost as challenging as prying interviews out of Sarah Palin, McCain's elusive running mate. Aside from an early focus on the candidates' respective energy policies (see: their positions on offshore drilling), the press has shown relatively little interest in scrutinizing Obama's and McCain's views on matters of science.
Even the once controversial issue of stem cell biology, which, alongside gay marriage, helped mobilize the conservative base for George W. Bush during the 2004 election, has received little shrift this time around.
One tired argument that he and his oily friends have consistently brought up is that global warming is cyclical, and is caused by sunspots. Regardless of the fact that the “sunspots and cosmic rays” theory of global warming has been conclusively disproved (multiple times), Inhofe brought it up in today's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meeting, citing the Farmer's Almanac as his “research” source.
Just as the Alaska State Legislature allocates $2 million for a conference promoting climate change deniers' “expert” analysis of why polar bears aren't really endangered, a poster boy for polar bear junk science emerges from the woodwork. Enter J. Scott Armstrong , who is a marketing professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
His research emphasizes forecasting methods, which he has used as the cornerstone for - you guessed it - claims that the IPCC climate change projections are actually all wrong.
Stop the presses! Senator James Inhofe's Environmental and Public Works (EPW) Committee press blog is breathlessly reporting (in big font, of course) that - wait for it - climate change is going to stop!
BREAKINGNEWS: Global Warming Will 'Stop', New Peer-Reviewed Study Says Global Warming Takes a Break for Nearly 20 Years?
Well, that's very interesting… but what's really interesting is the next paragraph, which Inhofe's blogger brigade conveniently missed…
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.