The New York Times has just published another in a series of establishment press missives seeking to marginalize — from the perspective of establishment press-types — tea party activists and politicians who embrace or are embraced by them.
This latest entry is an embarrassment, if a rather typical one as I detail on Chapter 1 of Red Hot Lies, “Media on a Mission.” Here are some problems with the article:
“Climate change is real, and man is causing it,” [Dem. Congressman and pro-cap-and-trade voter Baron] Hill said, echoing most climate scientists.
The author does not point to any survey of “most climate scientists,” challenge or even inquire about the source for or other evidence to support that claim. That is because there is no such survey or collective assertion by the critical masses of “climate scientists.” Period. It’s a talking point. But he’s a reporter. If he wanted to be straight about the issue he would at the very least turn to the very inconvenient statement by the Association of State Climatologists. But, again, it’s inconvenient.
When pressed, those who scribble or utter this shibboleth generally expand the universe of “climate scientist” to include anyone who is willing to go on record agreeing in return for being called one of the world’s leading climate scientists. Even if they are anthropology teaching assistants. Read on.
That is, they revert to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a collection of (as its name indicates) representatives appointed by governments, which itself appoints anthropology TAs, instructors in “the human dimension of environmental change” (bring own incense, please) and transport policy instructors, for example, to achieve great if still exaggerated (why is that necessary?) numbers of supporters who supposedly (but didn’t) write its proclamations? The IPCC’s “chief climate scientist” and chief “climatologist,” according to outlets like the New York Times and USA Today is, just for the record, actually a… railway engineer.
The piece continued quoting the Member of Congress it sought to defend:
“That is indisputable. And we have to do something about it.”
Except that it is highly disputed, so it must be disputable. Stop and ask: have I not heard great vitriol tossed at scientists who dispute, sign petitions arguing against — and even resign their lifelong membership in professional societies over — this indisputable truth? Have you heard about the Wikipedia gatekeeper now topic-banned from the site for his years of work altering the truth and smearing the many scientists and papers disputing its supposedly indisputable opposite (WSJ notes it nicely, here, subscription required)?
Why would these things be if the argument about man-made global warming isn’t disputable? Or, possibly, is that just a talking point to avoid dispute which, as the years have shown, the alarmists cannot make the case serially stated as fact throughout articles such as this one?
Also unremarked was the salient point that nothing this congressman has ever voted for or voiced support for — meaning, not Kyoto, not cap-and-trade, not ‘green jobs’…nothing — would according to anyone ‘do something’, meaning, detectably impact the climate. So, frankly, it is rather unreasonable to conclude that the prescribed ‘do something’ remedies are in fact about the climate. See “ideological groups,” below.
The piece then adopted a different sort of advocacy, biased and selective characterization:
Of course, solar, wind and related industries underwrote the public affairs, lobbying and smear campaigns. In fact, they even teamed up with left-wing ideological groups who love the prescription (Team Soros over at Center for American Progress, plus the Rockefeller and other foundations). Oh, and oil and utility interests, who lead author Ed Markey (D-MA) even publicly thanked for dragging his bill over the finish line in the House. The article continued:
The oil, coal and utility industries have collectively spent $500 million just since the beginning of 2009 to lobby against legislation to address climate change and to defeat candidates, like Mr. Hill, who support it, according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a left-leaning advocacy group in Washington.
That’s as far as the reporter got into raising Team Soros, oddly. As a source for its information. But in fact, most of the money spent by such groups appears to have been spent writing and lobbying to pass their favored bill — quick, name an oil company which fought the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill? You’d be wrong, and the utilities’ trade association Edison Electric Institute claimed to have helped craft the bill, which they helped pass the House. But that doesn’t fit the template of activist-journalists who channel “most climate scientists.”
Just as some do not understand that it’s the spending, stupid, largely driving public disgust with the political class, our media friends’ decline is largely attributable to such knee-jerk, unthoughtful bias, preening advocacy shrouded in the aura of objectivity.
Washington appears — appears — to be on its way to reform. Possibly the media can be fixed, too. Most Tea Partiers agree. Of course, I didn’t talk to most Tea Partiers, but I read a lot of my peers saying that. So it must be an indisputable truth.