There's nothing really new in the tactics used by people promoting the idea of man-caused global warming. We were told two decades ago the science was settled, thus there was no need to listen to corrupt skeptic climate scientists, end of story. Skeptic climate assessments aren't shown to be disproved in such assertions whenever they are presented, nor do we see highly detailed evidence proving corruption, so it's really been a matter of blind dumb luck that the issue still survives, built on a foundation of sand. The acceptance of their first point is always entirely dependent on the second point being true.

Witness the late IPCC scientist Stephen Schneider's proclamation in the September 1992 Discover magazine (bold emphasis added, back-up link here):

...  a few contrary-minded scientists had always argued that the possibility of a nasty greenhouse effect was too uncertain to justify spending billions of dollars to fix it. They (as the tobacco industry has done for decades with smoking) called instead for further studies.

And this week, California Governor Jerry Brown's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) web site on climate change proclaims (bold emphasis added, back-up link here)

A small but vocal group has aggressively spread misinformation about the science, .... Their goal is to create confusion and uncertainty, thereby preventing meaningful action to remedy the problem. The same strategy was used cynically for decades by the tobacco industry after research showed that cigarettes caused cancer. ...

RedState readers may remember I've written several articles showing how this accusation is literally unsupportable, and therefore should not be surprised that I caved into temptation and sent a letter to the OPR web site's Director asking him to prove the above quoted assertion and others on that page. Considering such emails often end up in virtual trash cans, perhaps if I redirect it as an open letter directly to Governor Brown, it might prompt a public response.

Honorable Governor Jerry Brown
August 14, 2012

Governor Jerry Brown,

Your OPR's "The Deniers" web page makes numerous assertions that are unsupported by the citations you provide, namely that:

  • skeptic scientists are a 'small group'
  • they "spread misinformation"
  • they "create confusion and uncertainty" rather than point to pre-existing uncertainty
  • they "have little or no expertise in climate science"

And most egregiously, that:

  • they "receive funding for their efforts from industries"
  • this is the "same strategy was used cynically for decades by the tobacco industry"

The most simple response to every assertion above is two words:  Prove it.

Since you have California state employee researchers at your disposal to back each of the above assertions with detailed citations, and yours is a state government web site, I strongly suggest you undertake that effort as a matter of basic public obligation to the citizens of your state. Citations relying on guilt-by-association accusations are not credible when no evidence is offered to prove exchanges of money resulted in false, fabricated science papers or assessments.

As I have documented in my own articles ("The '96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists"), the particular assertion about a 'tobacco industry parallel' of fossil fuel industries corrupting skeptic climate scientists into putting out knowingly false, fabricated science papers and assessments is literally unsupportable. Worse, the accusation has every appearance of being consolidated by enviro-activists back in the '90s as a means of manufacturing doubt about the credibility of skeptic climate scientists and those who support them.

How do you justify proceeding with greenhouse gas regulations when the science debate over the idea that human activity drives climate change is not settled, and why has so much effort been made to marginalize skeptic scientists using 20 year-old talking points?


Russell Cook