Wow, what a week for us to take off! While we're sure you sorely missed our takes on the takes about how the Inflation Reduction Act is totally super bad according to all the people whose livelihoods depend on fossil fuel profits prolific enough to provide millions in "philanthropic" support to their employer or campaigns, on Sunday it passed — so we'll spare you the dissection.
And since the New York Times did such a great job covering the well-coordinated Republican effort to attack good business standards, thanks to Documented, we'll spare you yet another of our rants about the GOP's turn from the party of Big Business to the party of Bad Business — especially since that's what we left you with back in July!
Instead, we want to tell you about something that didn't happen. Because, like the unobserved tree falling in the woods making no sound, if disinformation is produced but no one who isn't already intentionally stupid sees it, does it matter?
As we mocked back in March, notoriously lazy climate denier Anthony Watts is back with a new attempt to cast doubt on the temperature record. According to coverage in disinfo outlets like election-denying Gateway Pundit, and white supremacy-laundering Brietbart (literally the biggest to pick up the "news"), 96% of the weather stations he surveyed didn't meet NOAA's weather station standards.
Of course, thermometers have been around for a while now, and real scientists with the college degrees that Tony could never earn already make data corrections to account for the Urban Heat Island effect of asphalt warming up temperature stations. It's something Tony only knew about in the first place because of mainstream scientists and reports like the IPCC's, but obviously real science isn’t stopping him from being stupid on purpose, in public, for money.
Because instead of being bankrolled in part by Koch funds — like his last effort that ended up proving the temperature record was accurate to show warming — this one is instead funded by the Heartland Institute.
We know that for a fact, because Tony himself had to admit it in the single non-disinfo outlet that mentioned the effort: a letter to the editor Tony submitted to the Chico Enterprise-Record. For those unaware of the titan of local news of California's Butte, Glenn, and Tehama counties, it's a local paper with a circulation of just over 30,000 (as of 2007) that Watts has been barraging with letters because he knows posting to his own website is a waste of time.
"My detractors say my supposedly terrible affiliation with The Heartland Institute is reason to ignore me, citing scurrilous, unfounded accusations typical of the laziness in critics who regurgitate rather than research themselves" he wrote. "Yes, my travel was funded by Heartland; driving, staying in basic hotels, and eating at fast food restaurants."
Okay, so his project was funded by a group that not only denies climate change on behalf of its fossil fuel funders, but still even defends Big Tobacco!
But worry not, apparently the people who defend an industry that literally kills thousands of its best customers every year are totally honest, because "a poster on the wall of the office I occupied during my first day read: 'Rule #1 – Never, Ever, Lie.'" Oh, okay! If there's a poster on the wall then of course they're never going to lie, how silly of us to think otherwise!
"You won’t find anything like that in government, media, or well-funded 'defenders of the planet' like The Sierra Club or WWF."
That’s certainly quite a claim, and also one with literally no evidence — how would Watts know what kind of posters adorn the walls of WWF, government, or media?
The same way he "knows" anything: he made it up! Exactly the sort of "scurrilous, unfounded accusation typical of the laziness in critics who regurgitate rather than research themselves."
Maybe next time Heartland should pay Tony to survey the walls of the media and government to see what their posters say — as apparently posters can clear one from allegations of bias (and it's not like he's doing anything more important or scientific)!