If you want to convince the world that an overwhelming majority of scientists believes in global warming, then start by ignoring scientists who are not true believers. First, establish lists of scientists with your approved position, then smear dissidents. Soon, up-and-coming scientists will be afraid to cross the rigid green line.
So, the Society of Environmental Journalists put together a guide on climate change that lists a number of publications on global warming, scientists and seven environmental groups, each with positive descriptions. Under the "Deniers, Dissenters and 'Skeptics'" category are four listings -- all negative. They suggest that these folk are venal, partisan and bad scientists, or all of the above.
According to the SEJ guide, University of Virginia professor Patrick Michaels "still claims to be the Virginia 'state climatologist' although the state has disavowed him." The publisher of George Mason University professor Fred Singer's books is connected with the "Moonie" leader, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The Competitive Enterprise Institute think tank has received oil money. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has a flack "whose resume brags of starting the 'Swift Boat' story that injured candidate John Kerry." The short list, with a senator even, suggests they had run out of dissident scientists -- or dissident scientists they could squeeze into the venal-lightweight box.
James O'Brien -- director of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies and former Florida state climatologist, and not listed in the SEJ guide -- said of guide's terms for nonbelievers: "I don't like the term 'deniers.' They're trying to say we're like Holocaust deniers." He didn't make that up. Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman recently wrote that "global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future."
It ought to tell you something that the guide focuses not on the issues, but personal issues and credentials of nonbelievers. Ooooooh, a senator has a flack who spins. How nefarious. I'm sure global warming guru and former Vice President Al Gore only hired monks.
Most insulting is the insinuation that skeptics are after money, while believers are pure. Nonsense, David Legates, Delaware state climatologist, told me. Dire global warming predictions draw the big bucks in research these days: "There's a lot more money to be made by saying the world is coming to an end than to say that this is a bunch of hooey."
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