One of the key tactics of propagandists is to appropriate the language of their opposition, watering down a term's real meaning while glomming on to the attention it's getting. It's a way for them to make fringe ideas sound mainstream, by positioning them squarely within the bounds of reasonable discussion as a Trojan Horse for rejected, racist or otherwise wrong arguments and narratives pushed for ideological or industrial reasons.
Now, debunking climate denial has become so popular and mainstream that those spreading it have resorted to assuming the opposition position: They're actually the ones debunking climate myths.
John Stossel, for example, continues to prove why he was a top contractor for the Koch Institute, with a (monetized Youtube) video on "Hurricane Myths" in the wake of Ian. The first "myth" he addresses by attacking FEMA, the second "myth" is that price gouging is bad. Yes, he defends people exploiting emergencies by price gouging (seriously!).
The third "myth" is that hurricanes are getting worse, and he uses Pat Michaels to make his claims, despite (or because of) the fact that Pat Michaels was funded by the fossil fuel industry to spread climate disinformation, and the even more pertinent fact that Pat Michaels literally can not have anything relevant to say about Hurricane Ian is because he's dead.
Stossel's fourth “myth” is that "America must have government flood insurance," for which he cites his own experience of having a house wash into the ocean, but that being fine because of federal flood insurance.
The man admits that sea level rise destroyed his oceanfront house, and that it cost him nothing because of federal flood insurance, in a video arguing that climate change is no problem and federal flood insurance is bad, actually. Incredible!
Similarly bold in its unintentional irony is a piece at RealClearEnergy by Canadian disinfo spigot Tom Harris and Dr. Madhav Khandekar, who you know has nothing going on because his byline cites him as "an Expert Reviewer for the 2007" IPCC report. But literally ANYONE can sign up to be an "expert reviewer" for the IPCC because all that is required is "a self-declaration of expertise."
So putting that in the byline means someone is desperate to appear credible, but the fact that he didn't even bother to sign himself up to review any of the reports since 2007 is rather telling!
Especially since the person whose comments the entire column is attempting to rebut is Katharine Hayhoe’s, who is an actual practicing climate scientist, and an actual lead author of the US National Climate Assessment, basically an American version of the IPCC reports. So we'll not waste any further time on their disinfo, beyond pointing out that it's framed as "Debunking the climate myths of Hurricane Ian" but obviously is merely reiterating myths in an attempt to debunk reality.
We expect to see more of that in an event tomorrow. Because you know how sometimes disinfo front groups appropriate the names/initials of real institutions to seem more credible, like how the Oregon Petition Project formatted its denial petition to look like a Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences paper?
Now the National Academies of Science rip-off, the "National Association of Scholars," a rightwing disinfo group, is holding a "climate misinformation" event with... Roger Pielke Jr., the basement-office'd, self-appointed "honest broker" of science advice who always says he supports a carbon tax and climate policy while delivering talking points and conspiracy theories about how billionaires "corrupted climate science" to climate deniers who are very much opposed to climate policy.
It's hosted by J. Scott Turner, "Director of the Intrusion of Diversity in the Sciences Project."
If you skimmed it, go back and read his title again. His whole job is being anti-anti-racist! Definitely someone interested in a good faith conversation about climate misinformation.
It's tomorrow, if anyone would like to attend and tell us about it, here's the Eventbrite link.
Obviously the climate content is paramount, but we'd also be curious to ask Pielke what he thinks about this other NAS's views on things like women and people of color in STEM (who needs 'em?), slavery (British slaves had better live than free Africans) and our personal favorite: The Case for Colonialism.
Runner up: the "most commented" piece on the nas.org page announcing Pielke's event is "Against Transgenderism."
Illustrating once again how organizations built to spread conservative propaganda and industrial disinformation will exploit hatred and bigotry to gain support for otherwise unpopular policies, and how propaganda co-opts the very language used to describe and counter it.