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Open Thread for Night Owls
Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal published an Op-Ed from 16 scientists and engineers titled No Need to Panic About Global Warming. It was excremental, going so far as to compare climate scientists with discredited Lysenkoism. Only four of the 16 have ever done peer-reviewed climate research. Not only did the Journal's editors publish this tendentious bit of climate-change denialism, they also would not open their pages to a rebuttal piece. It's all part of what Barry Ritholtz so aptly labels the ongoing Foxification of the Journal.

Peter Glieck, a MacArthur Fellow who is CEO of the Pacific Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, took note of this in a letter to Forbes:

Global warming is so not happening.
[T]he most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journal in this field is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a comparable (but scientifically accurate) essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down. The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. Yet the Journal wouldn’t publish this letter, from more than 15 times as many top scientists. Instead they chose to publish an error-filled and misleading piece on climate because some so-called experts aligned with their bias signed it. This may be good politics for them, but it is bad science and it is bad for the nation. [...]

Do you have an open mind? Read both, side by side. And understand that every national academy of sciences on the planet agrees with the reality and seriousness of human caused climate change.

The letter signed by 255 National Academy of Sciences members, from Science magazine.

The letter signed by 16 “scientists” in the Wall Street Journal.

Let people read and judge for themselves. Sounds perfectly reasonable.

Screw that.

To use one of the Newt's favorite expressions, frankly, after nearly two-and-a-half decades of this propaganda assault, I am sick to my eyebrows of being told I should have an open mind about climate-change deniers. Including those with PhD's after their names. No offense to Peter Glieck. But these guys are bad actors, often working for paychecks from other bad actors, the profiteers who keep telling us don't panic, nothing to see here. These corporadoes have diligently fought to keep us bound to a carbon-saturated energy regime that is polluting not a neighborhood or a city or a state but the atmosphere of our entire planet.

They've had their hearing. Decades of it. They and the puppet politicians who put up roadblocks to doing something serious about climate change are tools of denial. They're wrong. Spectacularly wrong. Maybe in the past, some of them could also claim to be innocently wrong. Just well-intended contrarians who interpret the data differently. That is often how good science is accomplished. But continuing to press forward with what once could have been considered just a difference of opinion is now plain ol' lying. And, again, frankly, we encounter enough lies in public discourse without having to keep listening to theirs as well. We know where the lies are coming from. Media Matters was on the case:

Six Of The Scientists Have Been Linked To Fossil Fuel Interests. Roger Cohen and Edward David are both former employees of ExxonMobil. William Happer is the Chairman of the Board for the George C. Marshall Institute, which has received funding from Exxon. Rodney Nichols is also on the boards of the George Marshall Institute and the Manhattan Institute, which has been funded by Exxon and the Koch Foundations. Harrison Schmitt was the Chairman Emeritus of the Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy, which was funded by oil refiners and electric utilities in the 1990s, according to a Wall Street Journal report (via Nexis). Richard Lindzen also served on the Economic Advisory Council of the Center, was funded by ExxonMobil through the 2000s.

The Media Matters team goes on to discuss how a minority of "experts" in the past also have made bogus cases for the tobacco industry, the lack of an HIV-AIDS link and the anti-vaccination movement.

Every step of the way since climate change got its first public ripple nearly a quarter-century ago, the deniers have been plying their trade. They have had plenty of time in the spotlight to make their case. They haven't. Because they can't. Giving them a "fair" hearing is like plugging directly into a pipeline from one of the Koch Brothers' mansions. Their views deserve zero consideration and they themselves even less respect. The Journal is moving ever further in that direction as well.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2003:

Not that this hasn't been reported before, but it's good that it's being rehashed. While Bush continues to insist there's a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, both the CIA and FBI think otherwise (and these are the guys that should know best):

Some analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency have complained that senior administration officials have exaggerated the significance of some intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, in order to strengthen their political argument for war, government officials said.

At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network. "We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there," a government official said. [...]

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