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heads in the sand for climate change
CNBC needed to do a story on the new report suggesting that climate change is going to be very, very bad for business (and the coastline, and human life, and whatever else you've got). This led them to do the obvious thing, which is to figure out how to reach for "balance" in a story that there is no actual "balance" on, so for "balance" they decided to drum up one of the more notorious climate change deniers around. Too bad they got the email address wrong.
CNBC reached out to DeSmogBlog, a website that rebuts climate change denial, to ask Alan Carlin, an economist who denies that the majority of recent warming is man-made, to write about "global warming being a hoax." (CNBC apparently mistakenly assumed that Carlin worked with DeSmogBlog because they had profiled him.)
The actual email says, in fact, exactly that. CNBC solicited him to come on to say that climate change was a "hoax".
Hi there. Given this new report on the cost of climate change, wanted to extend an invitation to Alan Carlin to write an op-ed for CNBC.com. Can be on the new report or just his general thoughts on global warming being a hoax.
Now, CNBC is a business outlet, and I dont think I need to go into the reasons why each of the business outlets is a stunningly crooked enterprise, a full-time infomercial for Wall Street that seeks to part you from your life savings, a Home Shopping Network for the stock market, so it's only natural that they, er, seek to debunk an alarming report saying climate change is going to be disastrous for certain businesses. There are other businesses they report on that don't give a damn, after all, and tomorrow's profits can go to hell when you're a modern businessman focused on how to get share price up this quarter—those boat payments don't pay themselves. The obsession with needing "the other side of the story" even when the other side of the story is contrarian drivel seems to be at its peak when talking about all things climate related, and not for nothing has a strong correlation to the energy extraction industries prolific lobbying on things they don't like.

You'd never see a cable station responding to the latest mass murder by saying "and now, here's this guy who says what you just saw never happened"—though admittedly the've been coming closer, of late. The various people who believe that the missing passenger plane is a sign of alien abduction do not generally have show bookers personally reaching out to them to get their side of the story plugged. If you say you don't believe the world is getting warmer, it's all just a plot by the nefarious science community to trick governments into giving them some sweet sweet grant money at the expense of our benevolent corporate masters, though, and we gotta hear that on our teevees right the hell now.

There is going to be some future point where it dawns on the wider business community that having six inches of water in the lobby is worse for business than, say, carbon regulation. At some point, probably long, long after it's too late to mitigate most of the damage, it is going to become common corporate wisdom that killing off entire portions of the human race in drought and floods and crop failures really puts a dent in the ol' pie charts, and they are going to be very, very indignant that the government never stepped into fix these things. The insurance industry is already there, because duh. Agriculture will get there very soon, because duh. But the fossil fuel industries will never get there, and the market managers who focus on earnings this quarter and this quarter only will never get there, and that means CNBC will be booking tin-hatted charlatans from now until the tides are lapping up against the front security desk.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS and Daily Kos.

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