Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Dr. Willie Soon, Marc Morano; According to Vice, the work of John Christy and eight other industry funded climate denier scientist holdouts is all that stands in the path of global climate action.
You could interpret the Vice article as an unscrupulous attempt to paint a big target on the backs of the named scientists for any murderous green crazies out there, but I’m sure that wasn’t Vice’s intention.
The Last of the Climate Deniers Hold On, Despite Your Protests
Propped by an industry-funded network, demanded by the Trump administration, the last vestiges of climate deniers in academia linger as millennials protest inaction.
By Dan Schwartz Nov 19 2019, 1:15am
Late in the summer of 1989, John Christy discovered the earth wasn’t warming. Satellites spinning through the atmosphere reported no upward trend line, and above the tropics, the University of Alabama atmospheric sciences professor and his research partner, the NASA scientist Roy Spencer, learned that the satellites had actually recorded cooling. The two men were the first to crunch the enormous volume of data captured by the satellites since their launch a decade earlier, the first to build a database that showed the surface readings depicting a warming earth were overblown. They were pioneers. They submitted a paper to Science magazine, and in March the following year, they became celebrities. NPR called. The Los Angeles Times called. Jay Leno made a joke about it on national TV.
Such attention today would not faze Christy. He’s testified numerous times before federal lawmakers. He has done so many interviews with reporters that he’s begun repeating himself. This year he began advising the director of the Environmental Protection Agency. He is now so widely seen as an obstacle to climate action that on Earth Day week in 2017, late at night, seven 5.7 mm rounds snapped through the office window next to his. The FBI told him the shooter had likely mistaken his neighbor’s office for his. But in the spring of 1990, Christy was in his late 30s, without tenure and surprised, suddenly, by the attention. “It was the first time I had gone through something like that,” he said.
Global warming threatens every living thing on earth, but cutting the pollution that causes it threatens the profits of enough executives, the climate researcher Richard Heede told the Guardian, to fit on a couple of Greyhound buses. Some of those—though not all of them—decided money was more important, and to protect their money they invested in a network of free-market think tanks and advocacy groups to manufacture celebrities of academia like Christy. These were academics who, crucially, already believed the climate crisis was no crisis at all, academics so ideologically aligned with the free-market values of the polluters that they couldn’t be bothered with the damning data signaling a crisis. These academics were true believers.
Though Christy has the credentials to talk the climate talk, he’s backed himself into a corner, shoulder to shoulder with eight other professors who sound a lot like climate deniers. This scrum of academics can be broken into two categories: those who are credentialed to have opinions about the atmosphere, like Christy, and those who aren’t.
These think tanks and advocacy groups became brokers for a community of mostly older white male scientists and economists who all doubted the looming climate crisis. As the country considered the binding international treaty to cut carbon emissions in the late 90s and early 2000s, this network blasted the voices of these men into the nation’s dialogue. Without their work, says Jerry Taylor, the president of the Niskanen Center, a libertarian think tank, lawmakers couldn’t support inaction. Taylor is skeptical of the skeptics today, but he once fought with them against action and knows the landscape well. “It’s not all that complicated,” he said. “There is a political demand for climate skepticism out of the academic community,” and by signaling it, lesser-known researchers can gain visibility and get private grants.
The other academics named in the article are David Legates, David Deming, Tony Lupo, Gerard Caneba, Larry Bell, Steven Hayward, Thomas Rustici and Scott Armstrong.
To reiterate: you could interpret the Vice article as an unscrupulous attempt to paint a big target on the backs of the named scientists for any murderous green crazies out there, but I’m sure that wasn’t Vice’s intention.
via Watts Up With That?
November 19, 2019 at 08:53AM