Climate change denier extraordinaire Marc Morano dropped a news release on my desk this morning and smiled broadly when I said, “Hey, are you Morano?” - a smile that turned more sardonic when I told him who was asking.
Morano, whose political bona fides include inventing the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth when he was working the hill for Rush Limbaugh, has been reduced to tagging along with the staff of Barbara Boxer, the popular Democratic Senator from California who pushed Morano’s boss, James Inhofe, out of his old sinecure as chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Now, Morano gets to produce the “minority report,” a document of increasing irrelevance as the incoming administration firms up its climate change policy.
On this occasion, Morano was distributing a fact-check retrospective of the defeated Lieberman-Warner Bill and a “new” list of “over 650 international scientists (who) dissent over man-made global warming claims.”
The latter was not yet ready in electronic form when Morano gave me the one-pager, but I will give him credit for this much: I didn’t recognize a single name on the list as being among the people I would describe as “usual suspects.” No Fred Singer, no Pat Michaels, no Tim Ball, no Sallie Baliunas or Willie Soon: none of the thoroughly discredited hacks who have been so closely tied with the energy industry that their mere participation in a press release drains it of all credibility.
That’s not to say that this release will turn out to be any more credible - give us time - but at least Morano appears to be learning.
The last lesson, though, will be hardest. His party is over. The opportunity to “credibly” challenge the science of climate change is passed. But you have to admire the bullheadedness of someone who would wander into this crowd and start arguing that the sky - lying in figurative chunks all around our feet - is in fact not falling.
Once again, the last, optimistic dinosaur, chewing on the last prehistoric leaf, declaims with apparent sincerity that the threats of change are over-rated. Fortunately, at this COP, the audience, finally, appears to have moved on.
Richard Littlemore is in Poznan reporting for DeSmoglog. He is the first blogger to ever be given full media credentials by the United Nations.