Ryan Maue, a man many consider to be a reliable meteorologist, has a new post at American Greatness. What is this website? Certainly some science-focused and apolitical source, given that Maue’s credibility relies on him being seen as an unbiased scientist and not a political hack, right?
Wrong! Here’s how a fellow conservative at the Washington Examiner describes the site: “At least the Daily Stormer is honest about its neo-Nazi intentions. American Greatness, the self-styled Trumpist journal and blog, lacks even this virtue.”
So what is Maue doing at this pro-Trump blog? He’s writing about how “everything you’ve heard about the Amazon fires is wrong,” of course!
To make his case, Maue points to two very obscure sources that, if anyone has ever heard of or gotten information about the Amazon fires from, would render his entire piece comically self-debunking: The New York Times, and NASA. Instead of actually debunking the bizarre and false claim that the Amazon provides 20% of the planet’s oxygen, which he mentions but doesn’t rebut, Maue instead makes a rambling and only semi-coherent broadside against the media. Appropriate, given the venue.
Maue isn’t the only one to take on the Amazon issue, though. Dr. Roy Spencer also wants to reassure everyone that smoke from the burning Amazon blotting out the Sun is no biggie.
On Sunday, Spencer published a lengthy blog post complaining that he’s “widely considered a climate denier,” despite ostensibly agreeing with the consensus that burning fossil fuels causes warming. He claims this label is bestowed upon him because he is “not willing to exaggerate and make claims that cannot be supported by data.”
But this piece alone is enough to show exactly where Roy Spencer stands. First, he (incorrectly) describes the UN consensus as there being some warming since the 1950s, and “most of that warming is probably due to increasing atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel use (but we really don’t know for sure).” (Yes, we do.)
Then, like Maue, Spencer jumps on the fake news bandwagon, lamenting how in climate coverage, “predicted effects are almost universally biased toward Armageddon-like outcomes.” Stupid media, why won’t they report that ‘everything’s fine, there’s nothing to see here’?
He then moves to energy, where apparently a similar bias exists in favor of renewables and against fossil fuels. Here, Spencer repeats classic fossil fuel industry talking points and points to the work of “philosopher” Alex Epstein (more accurately described as a fossil fuel PR man) and his “Moral case for fossil fuels” book, writing that “if you believe humans have a right to thrive, then you should be supportive of fossil fuels.”
Continuing, Spencer misrepresents a quote by the late Dr. Stephen Schneider, even linking to a piece that debunks the very point Spencer himself is trying to make. Schneider, in describing how scientists have to contend with a sound-bite media system, wrote that scientists need to “decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.” To Spencer, that amounts to Schneider having “admitted to biased reporting by scientists.”
From that deliberate misrepresentation, Spencer move on to another classic denier lie, claiming that the Climategate emails “showed how the alarmist narrative was maintained.” Of course they showed nothing of the sort, and every investigation into them by an independent body showed no wrong-doing.
From there, Spencer goes on to ring the Amazon bell, claim sea level rise is natural, pretend Greenland isn’t melting, and downplay the fact that July 2019 was the hottest month on record. And just for good measure, Spencer dusts off an old Al Gore-Bill Nye canard, and caps it all off with an attack on Greta Thunberg.
His post was then, of course, picked up by Watts Up With That.
But yes, Dr. Spencer, it’s definitely your unwillingness to “exaggerate and make claims that cannot be supported by data” that makes you a denier, not the litany of standard denier talking points you regularly regurgitate.