Dan Gainor

If a climate scientist falls in the forest, does anybody hear?

Not if the old media have anything to do with it. Thankfully, in 2010, their hold on the news has started to weaken.

But it’s not like they didn’t try. For more than five months, from Nov. 20, 2009, to April 1, 2010, the broadcast networks did all they could to hide a crisis in the climate alarmist movement.

That first event, now called Climate Gate, has grown into a series of global warming scandals that have shaken faith in both the science we are fed on a regular basis and the scientists who do the feeding.

This week in Chicago, the Heartland Institute is bringing together the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, a meeting of hundreds of scientists and policy experts who dare to challenge so-called conventional wisdom on global warming.

Instead of having a meeting, they should be having a celebration.

Not that they’ve won. They haven’t. But for the first time in many years, there is a public understanding that our daily diet of climate propaganda might be somewhat or even entirely bogus. That’s due in a large part to the embarrassments that came out of the initial Climate Gate report where e-mails from University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) were leaked to the world.

Those e-mails, and a separate document showing the shoddy data gathering done by those involved, included thousands of messages showing the potential manipulation of temperature data, a willingness to destroy information rather than release it under British Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the intimidation of publications willing to publish skeptical articles.

The most famous of the e-mails included this line for CRU Director Phil Jones to Penn State scientist Michael Mann. Climate geeks know Mann for his hockey stick graph of global warming, which has been key to climate alarmists and even cropped up in Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.”

Jones wrote Mann, saying: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

An e-mail from Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and lead author of three IPCC climate change reports, said this memorable comment: “The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't.” Oops.

While Jones had to temporarily step down, the left continues to try and white wash the whole episode.

But skeptics and critics aren’t about to let that happen.

A group called Minnesotans for Global Warming (M4GW) created a hilarious parody video mocking Mann called “Hide the Decline.” The video was based on the Tommy James and the Shondells song “Draggin the Line.” Mann screamed bloody murder about the parody and his lawyers claimed it “irreparably harms Dr. Mann’s personal and professional reputation.” The sequel appears on the group’s Web site along with an appeal for donations to a legal defense fund to fend off Mann’s legal attacks.

Mann and other global warming alarmists aren’t just facing video mockery on YouTube. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is “seeking documents related to the work of a former University of Virginia climate scientist, even as the university says it is preparing to comply with Cuccinelli's request,” according to The Washington Post. The former UVA climate scientist is, of course, Mann.

Lefty academics think it unfair that, after decades of suppressing climate skepticism, their own work can be held to some legal standard. Physics Today called the Cuccinelli move “blatantly political.” Science magazine published the complaints of 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences in a letter called “for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association.” According to the May 8 Virginia Pilot, the American Association of University Professors and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia have “asked U.Va. to fight Cuccinelli's demand.”

The left doesn’t get it. After decades of propaganda, we just don’t trust them anymore. Conservatives aren’t anti-science. They doubt the work of specific scientists who have destroyed data, manipulated their research, bullied those with an opposing view and included outright propaganda in UN reports on the issue.

Despite all this, Al Gore, the patron saint of green wrote on April 27 in the HuffingtonPost.com that “Global warming denialists have been re-discredited.” And that lunacy has taken form in Congress. Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are unleashing their climate bill – the huge new tax of a “cap-and-trade” proposal.

Just as it was with Climate Gate, you can count on the media not telling us everything about this 1,000-page growth-of-government bill. No matter what they report, remember it’s a big green bill. And if it passes, every one of us will be sending big green to Washington.


Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.