Newsweek’s Chilling Effect

By | August 6, 2007

Environment: Newsweek equates global warming skeptics with Holocaust deniers and accuses reputable scientists of being paid to create confusion in the face of consensus. Galileo is once again on trial.

Even the supporters of global warming hype found the title of Newsweek’s Aug. 13 attack on skeptics, “The Truth About Denial,” offensive. The use of the word “denier” is deliberate, an attempt to paint as either crazy or corrupt what Al Gore has proclaimed as Truth. Reputable scientists have been accused by a major news magazine of being paid to lie.

“Let’s be blunt,” said Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. “This allusion is an affront to those who suffered and died in the Holocaust. This allusion has no place in the discourse on climate change. I say this as someone fully convinced of a significant human role in the behavior of the climate system.”

Newsweek says “the denial machine is running at full throttle” and is a “well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists.”

How well-funded? Newsweek cites Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) “giving $19 million over the years to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)” to produce what eminent climatologist Sen. Jay Rockefeller is quoted as calling “very questionable data” on climate change.

No mention is made of the $3 billion contribution to the global warming crusade by Virgin Air’s gazillionaire owner Richard Branson alone. Donations such as these are the reason the 2004 budgets of the Sierra Club Foundation and the National Resources Defense Council were $91 million and $57 million respectively.
Newsweek portrays James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, as untainted by corporate bribery.

Hansen was once profiled on CBS’ “60 Minutes” as the “world’s leading researcher on global warming.” Not mentioned by Newsweek was that Hansen had acted as a consultant to Al Gore’s slide-show presentations on global warming, that he had endorsed John Kerry for president, and had received a $250,000 grant from the foundation headed by Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Newsweek reporter and editorial, uh, article co-author Eve Conant was provided, during her interview with Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., documentation of the overwhelming funding advantage enjoyed by those who promote fear of climate change. Newsweek chose to ignore it.

In a Sept. 25, 2006, Senate floor speech, Inhofe noted: “The fact remains that political campaign funding by environmental groups to promote climate and environmental alarmism dwarfs spending by the fossil fuel industry by a 3-to-1 ratio.”

Paleoclimate scientist Bob Carter testified before Inhofe’s Environment and Public Works Committee: “In one of the more expensive ironies of history, the expenditure of more than $50 billion on research into global warming since 1990 has failed to demonstrate any human-caused climate trend, let alone a dangerous one.”

Nor did Newsweek put a dollar value on the 75 hours of free airtime that corporate cousin NBC gave Al Gore on its various stations, starting with NBC and including CNBC, Bravo, the Sundance Channel, Universal HD and Telemundo. We bet it is more than Exxon’s $19 million or CEI’s meager $3.6 million annual budget.

It is in fact the high priests of global warming that have had a, uh, chilling effect on free scientific inquiry. Richard Lindzen, a professor of Atmospheric Science at M.I.T., says, “Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labeled as industry stooges.”
In 1633, Galileo Galilei was put on trial “for holding as true a false doctrine taught by many,” namely that the earth moved around the sun. In Newsweek’s view, Galileo was a “denier” of the accepted “consensus.” You know the type — hacks like Copernicus, who disputed the fact that Earth was the center of the universe, or Columbus, who disputed the international consensus that Earth was flat.

Deniers all.