[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
This may be the week the Global Warming movement jumped the shark.
In New York, where, in 1933, 250,000 marched down Fifth Avenue in support of the racist and fascist National Recovery Administration and where, in 1938, Nazis rallied at Madison Square Garden (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPGT7EaCiIY), the Global Warming community held its People’s Climate March on Sunday.
Organizers did little to hide the role of extremists and hate-mongers in the festivities: Featured participants included former Clinton/Gore consultant Naomi Klein, author of a new book on how Global Warming means the end of capitalism (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate); New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who supported the Soviet Sandinistas in Nicaragua and honeymooned in the socialist paradise Cuba; and Al Gore. Sponsors included not just the extreme Left (Greenpeace, the SEIU, MoveOn.org, the Union of Concerned Scientists) but self-described socialists (the Socialist Party USA, Socialist Alternative, Democratic Socialists of America, Ecosocialist Horizons, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, the international Socialist Organization, the Freedom Social Party), anarchists (The Ruckus Society, the Anti-Oppression Forum Anarchist Collective, the Black Rose Anarchist Federation) , and outright communists (the Ben Davis Club [an openly Communist group named after a supporter of the mass murderer Stalin and of the Soviet invasion of Hungary], the Communist Party publication People’s World, and the Communist Party USA itself).
One wonders how the organizers explained the Communists’ sponsorship to Chinese-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Polish-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, the Hmong, and others whose relatives have suffered under Communist oppression. One wonders how the organizers can align themselves with the Communist Party, which has murdered 100-150 million people. Then again, the Warmers support an anti-science ideology that, as it becomes the basis for economic policy, will trap billions of people around the world in abject poverty. Compassion and a decent respect for humanity are not exactly things that you associate with Warmers.
Among the prominent speakers at the March: the conspiracy theorist Robert Kennedy Jr. Kennedy is known for his anti-science views. In fact, he recently authored a book, Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak, promoting his theory that autism is caused by a chemical that has been used in vaccines. This theory is so absurd that even the left-wing online publication Slate attacked Kennedy for supporting it. Laura Helmuth, Slate’s science and health editor, wrote that “I got a taste of his delusions last year” when Kennedy called her to promote his belief that autism is caused by thimerosal, a chemical present in some vaccines. “He told me scientists and government agencies are conspiring with the vaccine industry to cover up the evidence . . . and journalists are dupes who are afraid to question authority. . . . Kennedy accuses scientists of fraud . . . He distorts their statements. He says they should be thrown in jail. He uses his powerful name to besmirch theirs. That name, the reason he has power and fame, is inherited from a family dedicated to public service. He now uses the Kennedy name to accuse employees of government agencies charged with protecting human health—some of the best public servants this country has—of engaging in a massive conspiracy to cause brain damage in children.” Helmuth noted: “Thimerosal, out of an abundance of caution, was removed from childhood vaccines 13 years ago, although it is used in some flu vaccines. And yet Kennedy, perhaps more than any other anti-vaccine zealot, has confused parents into worrying that vaccines, which have saved more lives than almost any other public health practice in history, could harm their children.”
During the People’s Climate March (“People’s”—Get it? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People’s_Republic), Kennedy declared that people who oppose Global Warming theory are traitors. Marc Morano of Climate Deport reported at http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/09/21/robert-f-kennedy-jr-wants-to-jail-his-political-opponents-accuses-koch-brothers-of-treason-they-ought-to-be-serving-time-for-it )
Environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lamented that there were no current laws on the books to punish global warming skeptics. . “I wish there were a law you could punish them with. I don’t think there is a law that you can punish those politicians under,” Kennedy told Climate Depot in a one-on-one interview during the People’s Climate March. The interview was conducted for the upcoming documentary Climate Hustle.
Kennedy Jr. accused skeptical politicians of “selling out the public trust.” “Those guys are doing the Koch Brothers bidding and are against all the evidence of the rational mind, saying global warming does not exit. They are contemptible human beings. I wish there were a law you could punish them with. I don’t think there is a law that you can punish those politicians under.”
The Koch Brothers are funders of projects ranging from hospitals to PBS science shows to groups that support people’s economic rights. Like H.L. Hunt, the Texas oilman whom some leftists blamed for the JFK assassination, and the late Richard Mellon Scaufe (who backed efforts to expose Clinton Era corruption), the Koch Brothers have been targeted by left-wing conspiracy theorists as a major source of All That’s Wrong With The World. Back to Morano:
Kennedy saved his most venomous comments for the Koch Brothers, accusing them of “treason” for “polluting our atmosphere.”
“I think it’s treason. Do I think the Koch Brothers are treasonous, yes I do,” Kennedy explained.
“They are enjoying making themselves billionaires by impoverishing the rest of us. Do I think they should be in jail, I think they should be enjoying three hots and a cot at the Hague with all the other war criminals,” Kennedy declared.
“Do I think the Koch brothers should be tried for reckless endangerment? Absolutely, that is a criminal offence and they ought to be serving time for it,” he added.
Kennedy previously called for jailing his political opponents. Kennedy Jr. lashed out at skeptics of 2007 declaring “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors” In 2009, RFK, Jr. also called coal companies “criminal enterprises” and declared CEO’s ‘should be in jail… for all of eternity.”
At today’s climate march, Kennedy defended his actions. “You need to use some of that rhetoric because the press has accepted some of the orthodoxies of the oil industry and the Republican echo chamber,” he explained.
Craig Bannister of CNS News points to a Media Research Center study (reported by Sean Long at http://newsbusters.org/blogs/sean-long/2014/05/21/after-years-threats-prominent-climate-alarmists-still-seek-jail-climate-d) that found other examples of demands that Global Warming skeptics be treated as traitors:
On May 19, 2014 PBS’ “Moyers & Company” played a clip of scientist, David Suzuki, calling for politicians skeptical of man-made climate change to “be thrown in the slammer.” On day later, a tweet by well-known alarmist Michael Mann suggested that skepticism could be a “crime against humanity.” As least far back as 2006, and as recently as March 2014, liberal journalists and radical scientists have advocated punishing people who doubt catastrophic, man-made climate change.
On March 28, 2014, the popular website Gawker’s Adam Weinstein declared “Arrest Climate-Change Deniers.” Weinstein explained there was “clear precedent” to “punish the climate-change liars.” He was very specific on who should be jailed, as well. Weinstein clarified that the “man on the street” is innocent but just “too stupid.” Instead, he focused on “Rush and his multi-million dollar ilk” and “Americans for Prosperity.”
James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and prominent climate alarmist, made a speech in 2008 calling for the imprisonment of oil and coal executives. He said “these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature” before fearmongering over “continually shifting shorelines” and a “more desolate planet.”
In 2006, David Roberts of the alarmist website Grist.org called forextreme punishment. Grist, which has featured major interviews with both former Vice President Al Gore and PBS’ Bill Moyers, called for “war crimes trials for [climate denying] bastards.” He escalated that threat, calling specifically for “some sort of climate Nuremberg.”
Other examples from that MRC study:
Dr. Robert Nadeau, founder of the George Mason University Global Environmental Network Center, wrote “Crimes against Humanity: The Genocidal Campaign of the Climate Change Contrarians” on April 5, 2014. In this article, he declared “There Ought to Be a Law” against climate skepticism and explored two different international laws that ought to be used against climate skeptics. Nadeau embraced this accusation of genocide, dubbing climate skepticism a “genocidal campaign.” . . .
In a meeting of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs on Feb. 13, 2014, history professor Dr. Naomi Oreskes suggested that skeptics could be arrested under international law, without any outrage from her audience. Only two years earlier, in 2012, University of Graz, Austria musicology professor Richard Parncutt said that “the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential G[lobal] W[arming] deniers,” according to WND.
The remarks by Kennedy, Oreskes, et al. are part of a pattern we’re seeing on the Far Left. As Julia A. Seymour and I wrote recently in Green Watch (http://capitalresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/GW1408-final-for-posting-140725-140804.pdf ):
They can’t win a fair fight. So they don’t fight fair.
Global Warming theory is collapsing around us. When Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2007, the current Global Warming pause (some call it a “lull” or “hiatus”) was already nine years old. Even if Warming resumes (i.e., even if the Ice Age continues to be over), proponents of Warming theory have been discredited, their computer models—the only “proof” of their theories—having crashed and burned on takeoff.
With so much at stake—wealth for perpetrators of “green” scams like wind and solar power, tenure for “green” professors, power for “green” politicians and bureaucrats, credibility for “green” journalists—you might expect them to get desperate, and you would be right. Nowhere is that desperation more obvious than in the news media, which are turning increasingly to name-calling and to simply ignoring the facts that disprove their claims of an approaching, man-made environmental apocalypse.
In this article, we examine three critical elements of news media bias on the Global Warming issue: the current wave of censorship, which is an effort to keep legitimate scientific views out of the debate; the media’s long record of sensationalism and of promoting junk science; and their often-hilarious use of doomsday predictions in an attempt to create a panic over Warming.
Censorship: Deniers must be banned!
According to a Media Research Center study released on March 6, 2014, that day marked 1,300 days since the Global Warming views of a skeptical scientist had been included in a news report on either ABC or CBS. NBC had not included a skeptical scientist in the previous 298 days.
That study, covering 2010-2014, indicated that the situation had actually worsened since the publication of an earlier MRC analysis in 2007, which found a 13-to-1 ratio of Global Warming alarmists to skeptics on the major broadcast news networks (including a 38-to-1 ratio on CBS). CBS News anchor Scott Pelley was blunt about the reason for the imbalance. Asked why he refused to include skeptics, Pelley referred to Elie Weisel, an activist famed for his work to expose the Holocaust. “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel,” Pelley asked, “am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”
Recently, some media outlets have taken the next step. Rather than simply leaving skeptical views out of stories, they now exclude those views overtly. They even brag about it.
►Last October, the Los Angeles Times was (as CNS News reported) “among mainstream media sources that quietly stopped giving a voice to climate-change deniers.” The newspaper’s letters editor, Paul Thornton, declared that letters to the editor from those “deniers” would no longer appear in the pages of the Times. Thornton wrote:
As for letters on climate change, we do get plenty from those who deny global warming. And to say they “deny” it might be an understatement: Many say climate change is a hoax, a scheme by liberals to curtail personal freedom.
Before going into some detail about why these letters don’t make it into our pages, I’ll concede that, aside from my easily passing the Advanced Placement biology exam in high school, my science credentials are lacking. I’m no expert when it comes to our planet’s complex climate processes or any scientific field. Consequently, when deciding which letters should run among hundreds on such weighty matters as climate change, I must rely on the experts – in other words, those scientists with advanced degrees who undertake tedious research and rigorous peer review.
And those scientists have provided ample evidence that human activity is indeed linked to climate change. Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change –a body made up of the world’s top climate scientists –said it was 95% certain that we fossil-fuel-burning humans are driving global warming. The debate right now isn’t whether this evidence exists (clearly, it does) but what this evidence means for us.
Thus, Thornton admitted that he relies on “experts” rather than his own independent examination of the evidence (presumably because science is just too hard); he admitted that he simply assumes the IPCC has the evidence to back up its claims; and he seemed not to understand one of the basic principles in science: that, even if the IPCC were an objective, nonpolitical body, and even if its claims were backed up by the evidence, a 95 percent level of certainty wouldn’t mean “settled science” or “case closed.” It would mean that the matter is open to scientific debate.
►Beth Buczynski, a leading environmentalist writer, wrote in October about the ethical dilemma facing journalists:
Two weeks ago I attended a conference for environmental journalists. Throughout the week, a topic kept surfacing, both during official sessions and casual conversation: In environmental journalism is objectivity–that old notion that you have to present two, equal sides to every issue–an outdated and perhaps dangerous practice?
Opinions varied widely, and those with a background in traditional print journalism seemed to have the hardest time with the idea. After all, a reporter’s job isn’t to cloud the issue with opinion, but to simply deliver the facts. How can you do that if you don’t cover both sides?
I understand this instinct; it was drilled into us in journalism classes. However, like many others, I feel that its time has [passed] when dealing with stories about environmental destruction at the hands of corporate polluters and especially climate change.
. . . Since the LA Times took its stand on climate change, a grassroots campaign has been launched, targeting other major newspapers. Led by Forecast the Facts, the campaign asks editors of the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal to adopt similar policies.
“Newspapers like the Times and the Post wouldn’t print letters from people who deny links between smoking and cancer,” said Forecast the Facts campaign director Daniel Souweine. “It’s high time they start applying the same standard to the human role in causing climate change, which has the exact same level of scientific certainty.”
The campaign gathered over 22,000 supporters in the first 24 hours, according to a press release.
Forecast the Facts, by the way, is a project of the Citizen Engagement Laboratory, whose founders helped develop MoveOn.org and the Van Jones organization ColorOfChange. It is part of a network of organizations that seeks to silence political opponents by organizing boycotts against them and by smearing them as racists and destroyers of the planet.
►Recently, the website reddit—a news aggregator that calls itself “the front page of the Internet”—announced that its science forum had effectively banned comments by Global Warming skeptics.
Nathan Allen, a professional chemist who volunteers as forum moderator, wrote on the George Soros-funded website Grist: “The science forum is a small part of reddit, but it nonetheless enjoys over 4 million subscribers. By comparison, that’s roughly twice the circulation of The New York Times. . . .
“When 97 percent of climate scientists agree that man is changing the climate, we would hope the comments would at least acknowledge if not reflect such widespread consensus.” (That’s a reference to the fake “97 percent” statistic often cited by environmentalists.)
Allen complained of the tone of incivility created by the people he called “deniers,” a term that likens them to Nazi sympathizers. He said that, after the new rule was imposed, things got better, and there was little complaint.
About a year ago, we moderators became increasingly stringent with deniers. When a potentially controversial submission was posted, a warning would be issued stating the rules for comments (most importantly that your comment isn’t a conspiracy theory) and advising that further violations of the rules could result in the commenter being banned from the forum.
As expected, several users reacted strongly to this. As a site, reddit is passionately dedicated to free speech, so we expected considerable blowback. But the widespread outrage we feared never materialized, and the atmosphere greatly improved.
Allen argued that keeping skeptical comments off the site was the responsible, moral thing to do, and he encouraged newspapers to follow suit. “As moderators responsible for what millions of people see, we felt that to allow a handful of commenters to so purposefully mislead our audience was simply immoral,” he wrote. “So if a half-dozen volunteers can keep a page with more than 4 million users from being a microphone for the antiscientific, is it too much to ask for newspapers to police their own editorial pages as proficiently?”
►The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s oldest continuously published newspaper, adopted a similar policy. At a program hosted by Global Warming activist David Suzuki, Editor-in-Chief Darren Goodsir told the audience that “The Herald believes unequivocally in human-induced climate change. It is an established fact. What we are much more interested in is not the sideshow over whether this phenomenon exists or not, but on how it should be tackled.”
An editorial note in the Morning Herald stated: “We do not ban writers whose views suggest they are climate change deniers or sceptics. We consider their letters and arguments. But we believe the argument over whether climate change is happening and whether it is man-made has been thrashed out extensively by leading scientists and on our pages and that the main debate now is about its effects, severity, and what society does about it.”
►Brian Seltzer, host of the CNN program “Reliable Sources,” which covers the topic of journalism, said on February 23 that “Some stories don’t have two sides. Some stories are simply true. There’s no necessity to give equal time to the quote-unquote ‘other side.’ One of these is climate change.”
►Whenever Popular Science ran articles promoting Global Warming theory, the magazine used to get harshly critical comments posted on its website by readers. Not anymore. As reported by the environmentalist website EcoWatch:
The website’s online content director, Suzanne LaBarre, said that comments like “Gullible Warming. What a crock!” were “undermining scientifically sound” information. Without the means to moderate the comments effectively, they felt the best move was to disable commenting on the site altogether.
Like any good scientific publication, the decision was based in research, as well. In a study, test subjects read an article about a pretend piece of technology. Fake reader comments were attached to the end of the article either supporting or berating the technology. The study found that those who read the positive comments reported favorable feelings about the technology, while those who read negative comments were opposed to the technology. Since even non-factual comments can influence readers’ perceptions, Popular Science saw fit to remove that unhelpful factor.
When you consider your readers a bunch of idiots, what else can you do?
►A July 9 Rasmussen poll suggested that most Americans oppose censorship on Global Warming. The Rasmussen firm noted that some news organizations are banning comments from those who “deny global warming,” but—
60% of voters oppose the decision by some news organizations to ban global warming skeptics. Only 19% favor such a ban, while slightly more (21%) are undecided.
But then 42% believe the media already makes global warming appear to be worse than it really is. Twenty percent (20%) say the media makes global warming appear better than it really is, while 22% say they present an accurate picture. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure. . . .
[E]ven among those voters [37% of the total] who consider global warming a Very Serious problem, 57% say the debate is not yet over. These voters by a 49% to 34% margin also oppose the decision by some news organizations to ban global warming skeptics. . . .
Most voters across all demographic categories say the debate is not over. Most also oppose the decision by some media outlets to ban global warming critics.
►The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has been a powerful advocate for Global Warming ideas. For example, it reported in 2007 that Warming would leave the Arctic Ocean ice-free by 2013. (In 2013, the amount of Arctic sea ice increased by 60 percent from the year before.)
Now a British government report has criticized the organization for taking an excessively scientific approach. The report was issued by the BBC Trust, a panel that oversees the taxpayer-funded BBC. The report claimed that the BBC remains prone to “over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality” that resulted in the news service giving “undue attention to marginal opinion.”
Since the review began in 2010, nearly 200 BBC senior staff have been sent to indoctrination workshops to learn how to cover science “impartially” (i.e., in a government-approved manner). The workshops were revealed in the BBC Trust report, written by Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London. In the report, Jones asserted: “The key point the workshops tried to impart is that impartiality in science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views, which may result in a ‘false balance.’ More crucially it depends on the varying degree of prominence such views should be given. In this respect, editorial decisions should be guided by where the scientific consensus might be found on any given topic, if it can in fact be determined.”
Given that, over the past several hundred years, the “scientific consensus” has proven wrong on virtually every matter of political debate into which it has injected itself, you might think that a science journalist’s job is to challenge the scientific consensus. But the BBC Trust doesn’t see things that way.
The Trust cautioned this does not mean critical opinion should be excluded. Rather, contrary ideas should be ridiculed and otherwise denigrated. “The BBC has a duty to reflect the weight of scientific agreement but it should also reflect the existence of critical views appropriately. Audiences should be able to understand from the context and clarity of the BBC’s output what weight to give to critical voices.”
Censorship advocates such as the Huffington Post praised the report, noting in a headline: “The BBC is Fighting Its Addiction to False Climate Balance.”
More and more each day, their argument amounts to this: Shut up! Shut up! Just shut the hell up!
 Given that one of the favorite tactics of Warmers is to attack skeptics as tools of big corporations, it is interesting that Allen’s regular job is reportedly as a chemist for Dow Chemical—the chemical company most closely linked to bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency.
There was a time when the Left hated Dow. The manufacturer of napalm used by the U.S. in the Vietnam War, Dow was the target of hundreds of student protests, one of which, at the University of Wisconsin in February 1967, was the first anti-Vietnam War protest on a college campus to turn violent. Today, Dow is a praised for its environmentalist efforts.
In December, the EPA presented Dow the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. According to a Dow press release, “This win marks the ninth time that Dow and its affiliates have received this recognition, more than double any other company since the award’s inception in 1996.” The award was for the development of a polymer for use in paint to replace a white pigment, titanium dioxide. According to Dow, the polymer “reduced the paint’s carbon footprint by more than 22 percent.”
Of course, no one is suggesting that Dow has a vested interest in Global Warming theory, an interest that would lead it to promote a belief in the idea. As everyone knows, when evil corporations “go green,” they cease being evil—right?
 Popular Science’s founder, Edward Youmans, was a science writer and a leading supporter of Prohibition, which was ultimately one of history’s greatest public policy disasters. Youmans argued that a government ban on alcoholic beverages was justified on the grounds that, as proven by science, alcohol is worse than any other intoxicant—that “Alcoholic Liquors, when drank, . . . disturb the mind, pervert, the conduct, and invade the responsibility; that their properties in these respects are so peculiar and remarkable as to separate them widely from all other substances in nature and art, and confer upon government a right of control over them which is necessary, fundamental, and absolute.” (Emphasis added.)