The Crichton Club

May 14, 2008

The flat-earthers of the Crichton Club arguing against the evidence for global warming and climate change are fond of posting long lists of “skeptics” in the scientific community, like the Heartland Institute and its “500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares.” The sheer number of names is meant to be intimidating, and it is. After all, the oil companies can’t have that much money, can they? Surely there must be some honest doubters in there, right?

Ah well, it’s always premature to give conservatives the benefit of the doubt. Turns out Heartland has been misappropriating the research of legitimate scientists, without contacting them, and summarily enlisting them in its denialist jihad. Many of them, in fact, were furious to see their work misrepresented:

Dozens of scientists have demanded that their names be removed from the list and that they be issued an apology, but the Heartland Institute opted instead to simply change the name of the study from “500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares” to “500 Scientists Whose Research Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares.” In a release accompanying the name change, Heartland Institute’s Joseph Bast said the scientists “are embarrassed — as they should be — to see their names in a list of scientists whose peer-reviewed published work suggests the modern warming might be due to a natural 1,500-year climate cycle.”

“I suppose the list included anyone who had published on past climatic changes as inferred from the dated geologic record, even without reference to human factors,” said Wright, who did not seem the slightest bit embarrassed.

In other words, a scientist who conducted research into past climate shifts was automatically assumed to be a skeptic about current global warming, and identified as such in the Heartland list. And when the scientists demanded that the institute stop lying about their work, Heartland simply changed the name of the list and tried to make the scientists look like simps.

This kind of sleaze is part and parcel of the conservative jihad against science, but a bigger question remains: how did surly, petulant denial of the abundant evidence for climate change become such case-hardened conservative doctrine? I realize that the petrochemical companies have plenty of shills on their payrolls, and that they are determined to hold back anything that might affect their historic profit levels, but what motivates the likes of Glenn Beck, WingNutDaily, NewsWhacks and the freelance frothers on the Internets to such intense opposition? Even wingers with enough sense to roll their eyes at intelligent design creationism will turn bright red at the mere mention of global warming, and start muttering nonsense.

I mean, we’re all supposed to cower in fear at every terror alert because even a one percent chance of something happening must be treated as a rock-solid certainty, even if the alleged terrorists plotting to blow up the Sears Tower are a bunch of mental patients who couldn’t even afford new sneakers. And yet even as the glaciers are melting and chunks of Antarctica have started sliding into the ocean, the members of the Crichton Club will scowl and say all the evidence isn’t in, can’t be too hasty, let’s not be rash. After all, the ice caps on Mars have shrunk a bit, so obviously this global warming business is just a lot of liberal fear-mongering.

Do they really hate Al Gore that much?


3 Responses to “The Crichton Club”

  1. Paulidan Says:

    Greens would have you believe that the sun revolves around the earth. They would tell you that solar variation is caused by climate change, that the PDO caused solar cycle 24 to be late and dormant.

    They just can’t stand the idea that no, the earth revolves around the sun. That solar variation causes ocean currents.

    Unfortunately, the glorious humiliation and destruction of the green movement will take years to happen. The effects of this once-in-two-centuries solar cycle will take years to become obvious, but when it does, the ghost of Galileo will be avenged for this crime of “consensus science”.

  2. Caveat Says:

    As a person of conservative leanings, I am quite astounded at what passes for ‘conservative’ these days.

    Profligate would be a better moniker for these knee-jerk yahoos – in other words, the exact opposite of conservative.

    There are too many humans. Humans are a strain on resources due to their size, metabolisms and longevity, among other things. Too many humans causes problems of pollution, environmental degradation, the eradication of other species and a deleterious effect on the atmosphere.

    Here’s what I don’t get: what makes people believe that belching out smoke, cutting down forests, dumping garbage into the oceans, paving the ground and all the other harmful activities in which humans engage does NOT affect the biosphere and the climate of the Earth?

    If people will deny the reality that is right in front of them in favour of slogans and bromides, is there anything they won’t swallow?

  3. Joe Says:

    This reminds me of the lists of ‘scientists’ the flat earth creationists wheeled out to support their cause. My favourite reply was Project Steve – hundreds of scientists named Steve (Stephen, Stephanie, etc.) signing their support for evolution.

    A similar project should be started for the climate change doubters.

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