There's a new film you should see about the industry of Climate Change Denial: Merchants of Doubt. It will be shown in only a limited release, but you can also stream it on Hulu. Here's the trailer:
And one of the featured "stars" of the film is the Marc Morano, who runs the climate denial blog Climate Depot (link deliberately not provided), a former staffer of Senator James Inhofe (R - Big Oil). He openly admits in Merchants of Doubt that "I'm not a scientist, although I do I play one on TV occasionally. Okay, hell, maybe more than occasionally. [Laughs]" That's one of his many jobs - debating real climate scientists on news outlets, among them Fox News and CNN. You can see him in the the trailer of the documentary also saying the following:
"Communication is about sales. Keep it simple. People will fill in the blanks with their own - I hate to say biases - but with their own perspectives in many cases. [...]
We go up against a scientist, most of them are very hard to understand and very BORING"
But Morano is much more than merely a shill for hire. He is one nasty piece of work. A former producer of Rush Limbaugh's radio show, he also helped jump start the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry with his May 3, 2004 CNS article “Kerry ‘Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief,’ Say Former Military Colleagues"
which CNS has conveniently scrubbed from its website, but which you can read in it entirety here
. Morano was also instrumental in casting aspersions on Rep. John Murtha's military record
and the medals and citations Murtha was awarded, after Murtha came out in 2005 against any further deployment of troops to Iraq.
Now the Cybercast News Service, a supposedly independent organization with deep ties to the Republican Party, has dusted off the Swift Boat Veterans playbook, questioning whether Mr. Murtha deserved his two Purple Hearts. The article also implied that Mr. Murtha did not deserve the Bronze Star he received, and that the combat-distinguishing "V" on it was questionable. It then called on Mr. Murtha to open up his military records.
Cybercast News Service is run by David Thibault, who formerly worked as the senior producer for "Rising Tide," the televised weekly news magazine produced by the Republican National Committee. One of the authors of the Murtha article was Marc Morano, a long-time writer and producer for Rush Limbaugh.
However, the most despicable thing he does now is post lies about, and misleading quotes (conveniently taken out of context) by, climate scientists on his website. Then he publishes their email addresses. In short he's a serial harasser of scientists who publish peer reviewed scientific research linking climate change to the burning of carbon based fuels. You can imagine the result.
Climate ethicist Donald Brown, who has been the focus of Morano’s “reprehensible” tactics four times, called it “sheer intimidation.” In 2012, highly-regarded MIT climatologist (and Republican) Kerry Emanuel — another Morano target — wrote me, “I had heard about the hate mail and threats received by others, but am surprised at how little it takes these days to trigger hysterical and hateful responses from the ideologues out there.” Emanuel explained that some emails contained “veiled threats against my wife,” and other “tangible threats.”
Morano himself seems to think this is all just fun and games. Or so he has claimed, when he says in Merchants of Doubt how much he enjoyed coming up with new ways to "mock and ridicule" scientists when he worked for Inhofe. The truth is, there is nothing funny about what he does, as his own rhetoric is often tinged with the language of violence and hate, such as this example from an article in the March 2010 issue of Scientific Americanwhich he was quoted as saying climate scientists are perpetrating a "con job."
"You have every aspect of our lives subject to regulatory control - down to the light bulbs we can put in - based on climate science," Morano said. The researchers "never wanted to debate and they kept trying to demand the debate was over."
"Whenever you have someone ginning up a crisis and wanting to take power, you're going to have anger," he added. "When you've been conned at a used car dealer, you don't go back cheerily and politely to talk to them." [...]
"I seriously believe we should kick them while they're down" ... "They deserve to be publicly flogged."
Obviously, the scientists attacked by Morano's one man cyber-bullying campaign are deeply affected by the hate mail and threats they receive as a result of Morano's "little jokes" and deceptions, such as this one of Stanford Professor Stephen Schneider:
Here's what [Morano] wrote (juxtaposed beneath a picture of Adolf Hitler on Climate Depot's homepage):
Warmist Prof Stephen Schneider accuses sceptics of telling 'Hitlerian lies about climate scientists' - Complains of 'hundreds' of hate email – [Morano supplied two email addresses for Schneider here]
Schneider: 'I get scared that we're now in a new Weimar republic where people are prepared to listen to what amounts to Hitlerian lies about climate scientists'
[NB: Schneider didn't actually accuse sceptics of telling "Hitlerian lies" – he was speaking of a neo-Nazi website that had included his name on a "death list" – but Morano somewhat conveniently failed to mention this rather important point.]
So, what possible reason could Morano have for prominently displaying these email addresses – as he does for many other stories that involve climate scientists he evidently despises – other than to encourage his readers who lap up his warped world vision to "get in touch"? I'll let you fill in the gaps.
What exactly are Morano's credentials as a climate expert - other than working for Rush Limbaugh and James Inhofe, and as a journalist for the right wing media outlet, Cybercast News Service? Desmogblog has the details on his "credentials" such as they are.
Marc Morano is the executive director and chief correspondent of ClimateDepot.com, a project of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). Morano is also the Communications Director at CFACT, a conservative think-tank in Washington D.C. that has received funding from ExxonMobil, Chevron, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars from foundations associated with Richard Mellon Scaife. According to 2011 IRS Forms (PDF), Morano was the highest paid staff member with a salary of $150,000 per year. Morano's blog Climate Depot regularly publishes articles questioning man-made global warming.
Although he has no scientific expertise in the area, Morano has become a prominent climate change denier. He has been called “the Matt Drudge of climate denial”, the “King of the skeptics,” and a “central cell of the climate-denial machine.” He was also listed as one of 17 top “climate killers” by Rolling Stone Magazine. He has accused climate scientists of “fear mongering,” and has claimed that proponents of man-made global warming are “funded to the tune of $50 billion.”
When Morano was asked about his qualifications for speaking about an issue such as climate science, he responded by saying, “I have a background in political science, which is the perfect qualification to examine global warming.”
I suppose his background in political science and "smear campaigns" helps him keep his communications to his audience simple, so they can provide the proper "perspectives" to the "information" he "sells" regarding climate change. Simple enough to ratchet up unreasonable hate and threats toward real scientists earning far less than Mr. Morano does.
Meanwhile, in the wastes of Antarctica, brave researchers risk their lives flying in all sorts of weather in an antiquated Douglas DC-3 (You'd think with $50 Billion at their disposal they could afford something a little better to fly for hours over that deadly, frozen landscape) to do the hard work of real science - taking measurements of the ice sheets that are thinning rapidly in both West and East Antarctica.
Even if you're lucky enough that there's an ice runway where you want to land in Antarctica, that doesn't mean the weather will allow you to. And then, even if your plane is equipped to fly for eight hours, at some point, you do have to find a way to stop flying. When that happens to the scientists of the International Collaboration for Exploration of the Cryosphere Through Aerogeophysical Profiling (ICECAP) team, they manage to land "in the middle of nowhere," according to on-board geophysicist Jamin Greenbaum. Then they camp out. Eventually they'll be able to make it back to their base.
Greenbaum tells me he's never been scared. Even though the plane is an Indiana Jones-style Douglas DC-3 that served in World War II. It can deploy skis as landing gear when necessary, and the pilots are a Calgary-based crew, expert at flying in suboptimal conditions.
"We have had some harried situations," Greenbaum said. For the past eight years he has done annual two-to-five-month deployments to Antarctica to survey the ice. He rides in the cargo hull of the plane, along with 1,000 pounds of ice-penetrating radar, lasers, and magnetic-field mapping equipment. "You know, it's Antarctica; in 1,500 hours you're going to have some bad weather. But no, I've never once gotten nervous."
Sure hope Morano doesn't decide to "release the dogs" by posting personal information about the scientists of the ICECAP team who so recently revealed the dangers of thinning ice from warming ocean current in both West and East Antarctica. But maybe he'll be too busy enjoying his status as the "star" of the documentary about his deceitful and unethical tactics to smear bigger fish in the climate science community, to bother with the folks of ICECAP.
Kenner, 65, does admire people such as Marc Morano, a professional climate-change denier and founder of the Climate Depot Web site who is, arguably, the star of Kenner’s film [Merchants of Doubt]. [...]
In “Doubt,” Morano recounts with glee how he has published the e-mail addresses of climate scientists, subjecting them to intimidation and flaming attacks from anonymous critics. (Several of the abusive e-mails are read aloud in the film by their recipients, in an evocation of Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segments.) It makes for a semi-serious tone that masks Kenner’s more sobering message: We’re routinely being lied to, by people who are darn good at it.
Unfortunately, the efforts of people like Morano, who by any definition is a thug and character assassin, have had a lasting effect already on our ability to limit the effects of man-made climate change, as Harvard Professor, Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the book Merchants of Doubt, on which the film of the same name is based, points out.
“Scientists are worried. We’ve lost 20 years. If this keeps up as we’re going, we’re looking at a 6- to 10-foot rise in the sea level by 2100.” The film brings that point home graphically, showing a map of Boston and nearly all major coastal cities underwater. Reiterating the pandemic fear sweeping through the scientific community, Oreskes points to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recommendation of a significant (some say 80 percent) reduction in emissions by 2050 as a necessary course of action. “The really crucial thing,” Oreskes says, “is to get started on emissions reduction, because once we do, technology and momentum will kick in. The hardest thing is to start.”
Yes, twenty critical years wasted thanks to hacks and mercenaries like Marc Morano. Years that we could have turned the tide to limit our exorbitant emissions of greenhouse gases. Years that we will never recover. And Morano is still out there right now, working hard to delay action on climate change for another twenty years, while being well paid to destroy the lives of hundreds of millions in the short term, and quite possibly by the end of the century, billions of human beings (not to mention all the other species going extinct because of global warming). Is it any wonder I labeled Morano "Evil" in my title? Trust me, it isn't hyperbole.
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