The American People Aren’t Stupid Enough To Buy The Man-Made Climate Crisis Narrative

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gruber-300x265Late last year, the name Jonathan Gru­ber (pho­to left) became part of the pub­lic con­scious­ness for his new­ly pub­lic dec­la­ra­tions that Oba­macare passed due to the “stu­pid­i­ty of the Amer­i­can vot­er.” While there are many cas­es one can cite affirm­ing that most Amer­i­cans don’t close­ly fol­low pol­i­tics and/or the polit­i­cal process and, there­fore, may be called “stu­pid,” the cam­paign to sell the man­made cli­mate change cri­sis nar­ra­tive proves oth­er­wise.

We are smarter than they think. We are not buy­ing what they are sell­ing.

Harsanyi-275x300Glob­al warm­ing has been the most expen­sive and exten­sive “pub­lic rela­tions cam­paign in history”—as David Harsanyi (pho­to right) calls it in his post at TheFederalist.com. He iden­ti­fies the “25 years of polit­i­cal and cul­tur­al pres­sure,” as includ­ing “most gov­ern­men­tal agen­cies, a long list of wel­fare-suck­ing cor­po­ra­tions, the pub­lic school sys­tem, the uni­ver­si­ties, an infi­nite parade of celebri­ties, think tanks, well-fund­ed envi­ron­men­tal groups, and an entire major polit­i­cal par­ty.” Yet, despite all the “gen­tle nudg­ing,” “stern warn­ings,” and “fear mon­ger­ing,” Harsanyi states: “Since 1989, there’s been no sig­nif­i­cant change in the public’s con­cern lev­el over glob­al warm­ing.”

Based on new polling data from Gallup, Harsanyi points out that with the past 25 years of mes­sag­ing, even among Democ­rats those who “wor­ry great­ly” about glob­al warm­ing has only increased “by a mere four per­cent­age points”—with no change in the gen­er­al pub­lic in the past 2 years.

A pew (Pew)research poll on the Key­stone pipeline—also the tar­get of years of intense mes­sag­ing and fear mongering—offers sim­i­lar insights: “Sup­port for the Key­stone XL pipeline is almost uni­ver­sal,” reads the Wash­ing­ton Post head­line. The poll results report that only those who self-iden­ti­fy as “sol­id lib­er­als” oppose the pipeline.

Clear­ly, Amer­i­cans aren’t that stu­pid after all. We can smell a rat.

It isn’t that we don’t believe the cli­mate changes—it does, has, and always will—but, as Harsanyi states: “There is a dif­fer­ence in believ­ing cli­mate change is real and believ­ing that cli­mate change is calami­tous.” He con­tin­ues: “As the shriek­ing gets loud­er, Amer­i­cans become more pos­i­tive about the qual­i­ty of their envi­ron­ment and less con­cerned about the threats.” And: “As the fear-mon­ger­ing becomes more far-fetched, the accu­sa­tions become more hys­ter­i­cal, and the dead­lines for action keep being pushed right over the hori­zon, few­er peo­ple seem to real­ly care.”

Harsanyi con­cludes: “If you haven’t been able to win over the pub­lic in 25 years of intense polit­i­cal and cul­tur­al pres­sure, you are prob­a­bly down to two options: You can revis­it your strat­e­gy, open debate to a wide range of ideas, accept that your excit­ed rhetoric works on a nar­row band of the Amer­i­cans (in any use­ful polit­i­cal sense), and live with the real­i­ty that most peo­ple have no inter­est in sur­ren­der­ing pros­per­i­ty. Or, you can try to force peo­ple to do what you want.”

With the huge invest­ment of time and mon­ey, it appears the fear mon­gers have cho­sen the lat­ter option. The reg­u­la­to­ry scheme com­ing out of Wash­ing­ton reflects an acknowl­edge­ment that the PR cam­paign has failed, but that the effort is con­tin­u­al­ly being forced on peo­ple who don’t want it—though they may not be fol­low­ing it close­ly; they may not be polit­i­cal­ly engaged.

The cli­mate cam­paign­ers are con­tin­u­ing to do that which hasn’t worked for the past 25 years—somehow believ­ing they’ll get dif­fer­ent results (Isn’t that the def­i­n­i­tion of insan­i­ty?).

On March 6, “a doc­u­men­tary that looks at pun­dits-for-hire,” Mer­chants of Doubt was released. It aimed to smear the rep­u­ta­tions of some of the most not­ed voic­es on the real­ist side of the cli­mate change debate—specifically Fred Singer, who has been one of the orig­i­nal cli­mate skep­tics. But nobody much want­ed to see it. In its open­ing week­end, BoxOfficeMoJo.com reports Mer­chants of Doubt took in $20,300.

A week lat­er, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore, as report­ed in the Chica­go Tri­bune, called on atten­dees at the SXSW fes­ti­val in Austin, TX, to “pun­ish cli­mate change deniers”—which is the tac­tic being used now.

We’ve seen it in the wide­ly pub­li­cized case of Dr. Willie Soon, a sci­en­tist at the Har­vard-Smith­son­ian Cen­ter for Astro­physics, who “claims that the vari­a­tions in the sun’s ener­gy can large­ly explain recent glob­al warm­ing.” The New York Times accused him of being tied to fund­ing from “cor­po­rate inter­ests.”

Sim­i­lar, though less well known, attacks have been made on Hen­rik Moller—Denmark’s lead­ing aca­d­e­m­ic expert on noise research, who was fired by his uni­ver­si­ty after expos­ing a wide-reach­ing coverup by the Dan­ish gov­ern­ment of the health risks caused by wind tur­bine noise pol­lu­tion. And, on emi­nent mete­o­rol­o­gist Lennart Bengts­son, who received world-wide pres­sure after he stat­ed: “I believe it is impor­tant to express dif­fer­ent views in an area that is poten­tial­ly so impor­tant and com­plex and still insuf­fi­cient­ly known as cli­mate change.”

Driessen-3-2012-216-KB-jpeg-300x175Even Sen. Edward Markey (D, MA) and Rep. Raul Gri­jal­va (D-AZ) recent­ly joined the cru­sade. Paul Driessen (see pho­to — a CFACT senior pol­i­cy advi­sor, by the way) draws atten­tion to a let­ter they sent to “insti­tu­tions that employ or sup­port cli­mate change researchers whose work ques­tions claims that Earth and human­i­ty face unprece­dent­ed man­made cli­mate change cat­a­stro­phes.” The law­mak­ers warn of poten­tial “con­flicts of inter­est” in cas­es where evi­dence or com­put­er mod­el­ing empha­siz­ing human caus­es of cli­mate change are questioned—but no such warn­ing is offered for its sup­port­ers.

Driessen states: “Con­flicts of inter­est can indeed pose prob­lems. How­ev­er, it is clear­ly not only fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies that have major finan­cial or oth­er inter­ests in cli­mate and air qual­i­ty standards—nor only man­made cli­mate change skep­tics who can have con­flicts and per­son­al, finan­cial or insti­tu­tion­al inter­ests in these issues.” He quotes Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT atmos­pher­ic sci­ences pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus and one of Grijalva’s tar­gets: “Bil­lions of dol­lars have been poured into stud­ies sup­port­ing cli­mate alarm, and tril­lions of dol­lars have been involved in over­throw­ing the ener­gy econ­o­my.”

But some­how, only those who may receive fund­ing from “fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies” are sus­pect. The anti-fos­sil fuel move­ment has been vocal in its fund­ing for can­di­dates who sup­port its agen­da.

I’ve expe­ri­enced this on a small scale. I wrote on op-ed for the Albu­querque Jour­nal warn­ing New Mex­i­co res­i­dents about con­cerns over SolarCity’s arrival in the state—which includ­ed offer­ing 30-year financ­ing for rooftop solar pan­els. A week lat­er the paper pub­lished an op-ed that didn’t dis­count my data, but accused my orga­ni­za­tion of receiv­ing fund­ing from the fos­sil-fuel indus­try. The op-ed was writ­ten by an employ­ee of SolarCity—but this didn’t seem incon­gru­ous.

The lit­tle attack on me allowed me to ask for peo­ple to coun­ter­act the claim that the Cit­i­zens’ Alliance for Respon­si­ble Ener­gy is not an “alliance of cit­i­zens.” The out­pour­ing of sup­port astound­ed me—though the news­pa­per didn’t post every com­ment.

Oth­ers, with whom I have been in con­tact, while research­ing for this writ­ing, pro­vid­ed sim­i­lar sto­ries of sup­port fol­low­ing the attacks.

In a Desmog post titled: Cli­mate deniers dou­ble down on doubt in the defense of Willie Soon, the author states that Soon’s sup­port­ers “cir­cled the wag­ons.”

In a Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can sto­ry about the Mer­chants of Doubt, Andrew Hoff­man, a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, who stud­ies the behav­ior of cli­mate skep­tics, says: “Tit-for-tats between main­stream and con­trar­i­an researchers tend to raise the pro­file of skep­ti­cal sci­en­tists.” He con­cludes: “Frankly, this degra­da­tion ben­e­fits the skep­tics.”

Because of the fail­ure of the man­made cli­mate-cri­sis cam­paign to cap­ture the hearts and minds of the aver­age American—who, after all, isn’t that stupid—we can expect the Gore-ordered attacks to con­tin­ue. Expect the fear mon­ger­ing to become more far-fetched, the accu­sa­tions to become more hys­ter­i­cal, and the dead­lines for action to keep being pushed right over the hori­zon. When this hap­pens, “few­er peo­ple seem to real­ly care.”

Like the myth­i­cal Hydra, when one “skep­tic” is cut down, sup­port­ers “dou­ble down”—two more grow to take its place. While designed to silence, the attacks draw atten­tion to the fact that there is anoth­er side to the “debate.”