Spot-on analysis by the Anchoress:
In a nutshell, Climategate is a destroyer of world-views. As someone who has always maintained that the AGW hype was a matter of politicians and grifters seizing an opportunity to use unsettled science as a means of getting filthy rich while imposing harsh measures against human freedom, I am very familiar with the world-view of the alarmists. Whenever I wrote about the “hoo-hah” of AGW (and particularly of Al Gore’s stupendous, international fake-out and hypocrisy), my email would load up with people telling me I was “a stupid hick,” unschooled in scientific method (just like Al Gore) and therefore unentitled to opine on anything, so I should just “shut up” and “go away” and of course, I was a “nazi.” These emails occasionally ended with a diatribe against George W. Bush for good measure, and suggested he and I were both “criminals” against humanity. One person even accused me of being Barbara Bush, in disguise.
All of that was standard-issue hate, but nowhere as amusing as the occasional “Sinner, fry in hell” emails I will get from a Jack Chicker, so I stopped reading them long ago.
But I also had a journalist I admired, and who I still consider a friend, privately and gently suggest that if I doubted the truth about AGW then I was as deluded (and perhaps as evil) as a “holocaust denier.”
Yes. The left went that far. The press went that far. They embraced this unsettled science, this unproven theory, with a fervor of moral righteousness; to dispute AGW was to be a bad and stupid person, even if were a dissenting scientist.
To question the point of “environmentally sound” lightbulbs that give bad light and create a dangerous and toxic risk when they break was to “not get the point,” which was that the planet was “dying” thanks to Hanukkah candles and incandescent lightbulbs.
To suggest that large-numbers of privileged people flying scores of private planes to exotic locals, gorging themselves on fine fare while deciding how the common folk ought to live, in order to “save” the planet from AGW was bizarre, wasteful and hypocritical in an era of video-conferencing, was to be sniffed at as “insipid.” Didn’t one understand the power of the
Gore Indulgencecarbon-offset? Just pay some money to the man with the absolute moral authority on all things green, and your sins are covered. Somewhere, a tree is planted.
The scam of AGW was permitted to gain the foothold it did, because of George W. Bush.
It’s Bush’s fault: if Bush had not fought back when CBS News called Florida for Al Gore before polls in the panhandle had closed, if Bush had not taken Gore’s selective re-count to the Supreme Court, if Bush had just taken those hanging chads like a man and allowed Al Gore to ascend to the presidency (as he’d been groomed to do before he sighed and fumed his way through debates, put his common sense into a lockbox and stumbled into the Buddhist convent, discovering the existence of “no controlling legal authority,”) whether the Vice-President actually won or not (the NY Times eventually admitted “not”) then Al Gore would not have had to seek redemption and his fortune in climate hucksterism, and the left would not have had to over-indulge him in it, overcompensating in order to “kick Bush in the leg.”
That’s basically it. The AGW/Climate Change question became a rigorous boondoggle that got out of control not because the scientist who first suggested a connection between human carbon emission and a change in climate were bad people, or that the question was not worth asking, but because bad people then took the uncertain hypothesis, put it on media-fueled steroids, demonized anyone who disagreed with them, made it political -so much so that even the scientists got caught up in the good/bad, smart/stupid, Gore/Bush, Left/Right identifiers- and found real power there; they allowed the AGW movement to become the dubious centering pole upholding the giant circus tent of their worldviews.
As such, it is not permitted to be shaken. Shake the centering pole, and everything could come tumbling down: Oh. My. Gawd! If the Gore-doubters were right about this, what else might they be right about? And if they’re all stupid, and I’m smart, but they’re right and I’m wrong . . .
If the true-believers of AGW got this wrong, and they’d attached it to all of their politics, all of their hate, all of their superiority, then everything is in a free-fall.
Definitely read the whole thing.
As the Anchoress adds, “And this is why the mainstream media cannot possibly report on Climategate until they have an acceptable counter-narrative that they can haul out in order to either debunk the story or soften its edges, even as they break the news.”
Also, for a “neutral” media, they’re incredibly invested in the concept of global warming, as David Mastio wrote in Real Clear Politics back in 2006:
Next time you read a magazine cover story like the one Time just published (“Be Worried. Be VERY Worried. Polar Ice Caps Are Melting … More And More Land Is Being Devastated … Rising Waters Are Drowning Low-Lying Communities… The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame”) you should remember one little fact: U.S. media companies, including Time Warner, donate more to the environmental movement than any other industry. Companies like The New York Times, Gannett, Tribune, ABC, CBS and NBC have donated more than a half-billion worth of ad space since the 1990s to raise money for some of the nation’s most extreme environmental groups. And yes, that was billion with a B.
The following year, in what would be a remarkable case of foreshadowing of how the legacy media “reported” the 2008 presidential election, newspaper house organ Editor & Publisher urged, “Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers.”
I think we can safely say newspapers took heed of their industry publication’s advice.
This week, Steve Milloy of the Green Hell blog profiled Juliet Eilperin, a Washington Post journalist who frequently reports on environmental issues, and whose husband, Andrew Light Jr., as Milloy writes, “works on climate issues for the Center for American Progress, a global warming-alarmist activist group.”
As Milloy quips, “Wouldn’t it be nice if every activist group owned its own Washington Post reporter?”
And don’t forget the paper at the other end of the Northeast Corridor; the New York Times’ Andrew Revkin was part of the ClimateGate email list, as I noted last week, and Milloy writes in a public letter to New York Times Clark Hoyt ombudsman.
In response, you’ll likely be amazed at how loudly crickets can chirp above the din of New York traffic.
Related: As spotted by Tim Blair, “From the New York Times, 128 years of looming polar doom.”