Normally, we have just one “Quote of the Week” here at WUWT, but this week has been a particularly target rich environment. It seems that the announcement by the Associated Press two weeks ago that they’d removed the term “climate denier” from the AP Stylebook, covered here on WUWT, has done little more than cause the usual suspects to ramp up their own hateful rhetoric.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse leads the charge this week in that department with two quotes from a Huffington Post piece, then there’s Salon Magazine’s Paul Rosenberg in this article that loses the argument in the headline, because he had to resort to a bleeped expletive:
He goes on to say:
‘Climate change denial is actually much worse than Holocaust denial’
Really, do you see dead people from “climate change”? Are their squads of “Denier Schutzstaffel” that go around dragging people out of their homes, shooting them, and burying them in unmarked mass graves all because they hold a different viewpoint?
According to his byline, Rosenburg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English.
Being an activist, I think Rosenberg doesn’t really understand that his own ugly prose is helping skeptics when he writes a screed like that. I also think he doesn’t realize he’s come off looking very bad with this piece, though that may sink in soon.
Then there’s Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who has doubled down on using “The RICO Act” against climate skeptics this week, while saying some of the most idiotic things in the process: (bold mine)
This week, the , writing that “[a]dvocates of climate regulation are urging the Obama Administration to investigate people who don’t share their views… they want the feds to use a law created to prosecute the mafia against lawful businesses and scientists.”
As the Wall Street Journal and others have noted, and as the scientists’ letter acknowledges, I myself raised the possibility of an investigation along these lines in a Washington Post op-ed earlier this year. The connection prompted the Journal to quote Georgia Tech’s Judith Curry – a prominent climate denier – attacking both me and the scientists. “The demand by Senator Whitehouse and the 20 climate scientists for legal persecution of people whose research on science and policy they disagree with represents a new low in the politicization of science,” she said.
Oy! Whitehouse calling Dr. Judith Curry “a prominent climate denier” is a serious mistake on his part, and just demonstrates how clueless he really is about her background and work. But wait, there’s more!
The Wall Street Journal piece also notes that my previous Washington Post op-ed “cited Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who has published politically inconvenient research on changes in solar radiation.” Not noted by the Journal: Dr. Soon reportedly received more than half of his funding from big fossil fuel interests like Exxon-Mobile and the Charles G. Koch Foundation, to the tune of $1.2 million. Some of Dr. Soon’s research contracts gave his industry backers a chance to see what he was doing “for comment and input” before he published it. The New York Times reported that in correspondence with his fossil fuel funders, Dr. Soon referred to the scientific papers he produced as “deliverables.” And he apparently failed to note his funding sources — which constitute a clear conflict of interest — when publishing his research, prompting his employers at the Smithsonian to conduct an internal review of his conduct.
Of course, none of that seems to matter to the Wall Street Journal. They’d rather believe that Dr. Soon is being attacked for espousing “politically inconvenient” views. Please.
Sadly, Dr. Soon is just a small cog in a massive climate-denial machine, which rivals that of the tobacco industry in size, scope, and complexity. Its purpose is to cast doubt about the reality of climate change in order to forestall a move toward cleaner fuels and allow the Kochs and Exxons of the world to continue reaping profits at our expense.
This sounds to me exactly like the kind of raving conspiracy theory that nutters like Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky investigate. It also sounds like a typical day of yelling on Facebook and Twitter by Dr. Michael Mann.
In response to this sort of libelous labeling against Curry and Soon, in private email correspondence, Dr. Richard Lindzen summed up the use of the “d-word” succinctly:
FWIW, when it comes to alarmism, we’re all deniers; when it comes to climate change, none of us are.
By their words, both Rosenberg and Whitehouse essentially admitted they’ve lost the debate. This has long been known by men far wiser than Rosenberg, Whitehouse, Lindzen, and I:
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” ― Socrates
Clearly, Rosenberg and Whitehouse have lost with such juvenile antics. I ask, ‘where are the adults on their side of the debate’?
Note: immediately after publication, a spelling error was corrected in the first sentence hear > here, and a second word ‘becuase’ was spell-corrected and a link added in the same paragraph, along with the name Rosenburg >Rosenberg.