Monday, January 30, 2012

WSJ Publishes Op-Ed From 16 Climate Deniers, Refused Letter From 255 Top Scientists

By Brad Johnson/Think Progress

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, sixteen prominent global warming deniers with scientific backgrounds — such as tobacco apologist Richard Lindzen of MIT and ExxonMobil executive Roger Cohen — concede that manmade carbon dioxide emissions have a warming effect on the planet, but argue that the effect is “small” and nothing to “panic” about. All the other scientists in the world who believe the science are part of a conspiracy to intimidate people like themselves, they write, just as Soviet biologists who believed in genes were “sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.”
As climate scientist Peter Gleick reports at his blog, those other scientists include 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences who wrote a letter about the scientific threat of climate change for the Wall Street Journal — but were turned down:
The most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journal with respect to manmade climate change is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a scientifically accurate essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down. The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. Yet the Journal wouldn’t publish this letter. Instead they chose to publish an error-filled and misleading piece on climate because 16 so-called experts aligned with their bias signed it. This may be good politics for them, but it is bad science and it is bad for the nation.
The NAS letter was eventually published by Science magazine.
Even though the first decade of the 2000s was warmer than the 1990s, and 2005 and 2010 were the warmest years on record, the denier op-ed asserts “the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now.”
This op-ed was promoted on Fox NewsReal Clear PoliticsAlex Jones’ Infowars, and other right-wing political and conspiracy sites.
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