Corporate sponsored opposition to the environmentalist campaign to hype climate change seems to be modeling itself on an eminently forgettable television show called "That's Incredible"
It initially enjoyed great ratings, then sank out of sight as the audience noticed its offerings fell into two broad categories : That's Mildly Interesting" and 'That's Not True"
The same cannot be said for most of "An Inconvenient Truth"-- it represents a much higher standard of disinformation, but that's not the focus of last week's Newsweek's cover story. Reason's Ron Bailey notes that less than 1% of the American Enterprise Institute's present budget stems from Exxon. But this is itself a red herring- the most egregious focus of the Science Be Damned approach to climate change remains The Conservative Enterprise Institute, which drew drew more of its funding from the energy business than AEI.
For years, willingness to express disbelief in global warming was a criterion of employment at CEI, whose publications and position papers actively and actually denied the existence of the Climate Wars by labeling anthropogenic climate change a myth or hoax.
Now Newsweek business columnist Robert Samuelson is taking issue with science writer Sharon Begley's recent cover story :
We in the news business often enlist in moral crusades. Global warming is among the latest. Unfortunately, self-righteous indignation can undermine good journalism. Last week's NEWSWEEK cover story on global warming is a sobering reminder. It's an object lesson of how viewing the world as "good guys vs. bad guys" can lead to a vast oversimplification of a messy story.
Global warming has clearly occurred; the hard question is what to do about it.If you missed NEWSWEEK's story, here's the gist. A "well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change."... The story was a wonderful read, marred only by its being fundamentally misleading
Begley undeniably ignored the monumentally greater business of generating big budget Eco-TV, politically loaded disaster flicks, and Green sermons on PBS. Green spending and support for this wide ranging pseudodocumentary spectrum exceeds the "denial" lobby a hundred to one. But there is an unsubtle distinction between hype and hoax. Samuelson misses a basic point- there literally cannot be a scientific climate war unless and until there are two sides.
Neither AEI of CEI has shown the slightest interest in mastering the subject matter at issue. If they had, their case would reflect a first-hand acquaintance with a broad spectrum of the primary scientific literature- climate modelling is nothing if not interdisciplinary. Instead, they more often deliver an exegesis on the views of such scientific luminaries as Rush Limbaugh and the Senators to whom he has lent his brain trust. This does nothing to remedy the misrepresentation of science to the public- it merely compounds it.