Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sarah Palin and "Climategate" propaganda

By Michael J.W. Stickings 

I really don't want to waste my time blogging about Sarah Palin's ridiculous op-ed in yesterday's Washington Post on "Copenhagen's political science," that is, on what she (or whoever really wrote the piece) thinks is the politicized science behind global warming.

Needless to say, she plays up the right's (that is, the denialists') talking points on those hacked University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) e-mails.

Among other idiotic things, she calls the CRU researchers "so-called climate change experts," dismisses "the radical environmental movement" as some nefarious force behind "politicized" science, claims there is "no real consensus" among climate change researchers, suggests there are "strong doubts" among scientists regarding historical temperatures (implying there are similarly strong doubts regarding global warming generally), and refers to the supposed "agenda-driven policies" at Copenhagen.

Thankfully, Marc Ambinder has performed an invaluable service in providing an annotated rebuttal to Palin's op-ed. Read it in full. His key points (with my comments) include:

-- "By 'radical,' Palin means the overwhelming scientific consensus... The global warming consensus minus the East Anglia contributions is still a strong consensus, one that has been regularly, repeatedly and independently verified." (I would add, of course there are disagreements between and among scientists. Science isn't religion or ideology, it's an ever-evolving quest for the truth ascertained through the scientific method. When it comes to climate change, what's truly remarkable is that there is such an overwhelming consensus. Denialists take this as proof of some grand conspiracy, which is just silly. What it really means is that, whatever minor differences there may be, climate change researchers are in general agreement about the key points. It isn't a conspiracy, it's the truth.

-- "These are experts. Their science has been validated, independently. Their 'actions' here consist of insulting climate change skeptics, immature name-calling, and, at worst, devising a strategy to keep the climate change deniers out of debates and peer-reviewed journals. The 'concerns' that Palin speaks of are the result of years of accumulated science denialism that now, conveniently, has been seemingly 'validated' by the fog of a grand conspiracy, suddenly revealed." (Yes, the e-mails make them look bad, but it doesn't make them wrong, or a part of some grand conspiracy.)

-- "[T]he politicization came about as a response to an extremely well-funded political campaign by those whose bottom lines would be most harmed by carbon taxes, cap and trade schemes and the like." (That's right, the blame belongs with the denialists and their industry backers, who are doing everything they can to undermine the consensus and turn the public against the truth about climate change.)

There you go.


For more on the faux scandal known as "Climategate," see my post "Hacking reality: 'Climategate,' denialist propaganda, and the truth about climate change."

See also Brad Plumer's recent post at TNR's The Vine.

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  • No too far back, I referred to some people calling climate change skeptics "denialists" as an attempted smear equating us with Holocaust deniers. And I recall OCTOPUS being VERY offended. However, it was AL GORE who first mentioned the disgusting analogy. Just for the record . . . .

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:06 PM  

  • The trend in peer-reviewed journals has been increasing skepticism about the ability of mankind to affect the weather. This is surprising given the attempts of the global warming priesthood to keep such papers OUT of the journals. And as for the "consensus" - how many of the articles relied upon information from East Anglia CRU?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:06 PM  

  • Agreed Anon #2. This is a devastatingly damaging event for the global warming crowd. The "defenders" of it are either a) in "denial" now themselves; or b) "in on" the whole thing as well.

    A "neat trick" they use sometimes is to say that the "skeptics" "deny" climate change is occrruing at all. We actually don't do that at all. Where I live today, it went from 30 degrees and snowing this morning to now 59 degrees. So there's climate change within hours of time and over geological time period.s What we "deny" or QUESTION is: WHAT'S THE CAUSE!!! That is a very legitimate question, now more than ever!

    Hey, but no big deal global warming fanatics -- Tiger Woods got caught too!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:38 PM  

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