In his opening presentation to the Heartland Institute's climate change quibblefest, the ever-unreliable Dr. S. Fred Singer says, "Let's conclude that greenhouse gases are not responsible for global warming."
Oh yes, let's.
Of course, according to form, Singer offers no proof to support this conclusion. He claims in a passing reference that he and a couple of other (more credible) authors have recently published a journal article that categorically dismisses the role of CO2 in global warming.
But that article, which Singer has been misrepresenting for months, does no such thing.
The Heartland Institute is rounding up the usual suspects for a conference that will alert international media to "the fact" that a shocking number of "scientists" can be induced with a little cash and a free trip to New York City to question the science of global warming.
Late last week, the Hays Daily News reported that Heartland was behind the gift of an autographed copy of the book to Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius. DeSmogBlog regulars will recognize Sibelius as the woman behind a decision to block approvals for new coal-fired electricity plants in Kansas, a move that has inspired all manner of corporate underhandedness in response.
The oil industry-backed Heartland Institute is at the forefront of the attack on global warming science and no doubt they're an organization more than just disliked by many.
Here's an audio clip the Heartland is passing around in which they claim an "environmental extremist" hopes their "building explodes." To be clear, I'm not in any way condoning what this person says, there are better ways(like DeSmogBlog) to get after "think" tanks bent on spreading misinformation and confusing the public.
This is part 2 in a series on the Heartland Institute's supposedly rigorous study (pdf) on the state of global warming science. This flawed paper has been distributed to 10,000 Utahns by the Utah-based Sutherland Institute, a "sister" of the Heartland Institute.
Paul T. Mero, the president of the Sutherland Institute claims that, "for skeptics, we went out of our way to include a special analysis of the methodology used to create this study. This report is an honest reflection of the international scientific community..."
The video outlines some of the more popular denier themes (and deniers) around Gore's Inconvenient Truth - like somehow discrediting Gore is a way of discrediting the body of literature around human-made climate change.
The tag-line at the end of the video is the best part: "Don't let fear ruin your day, learn the facts."
There's been a lot of talk about blogger ethics lately in light of the death threats posted the other week on technologist blogger Kathy Sierra's site. It has raised all sorts of blogging issues, including the important issue of accountability.
A lot of the writing here on DeSmogBlog is considered by some to be controversial and with controversy comes an even higher expectation of accountability. If we write something incorrect, we do not distance ourselves from the mistake, we take ownership and correct ourselves in a timely fashion.
I came across a site yesterday called "From the Heartland," (FTH) that claims to be the Heartland Institute's "unofficial blog."
Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast, tireless defender of big tobacco and trenchant critic of climate science advocates, has demanded that the DeSmogBlog "retract an inaccurate statement" that we had included in a post challenging Heartland to a debate over the harmful effects of tobacco.
We would like to make that retraction here and now:
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.