Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
“I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climates change. They’ve been changing ever since the earth was formed. But I do not buy into, that a group of scientists, who in some cases were found to be manipulating this data.”
Not much to quibble with Texas Governor Rick Perry about there. Except if you’re the Washington Post which, like Politico , cannot countenance Perry’s refusal to bow at the altar of what has been decided. So for his apostasy WaPo gives Perry a whopping “four Pinocchios” in a sneering, nasty and intellectually dishonest piece, “Rick Perry’s made-up ‘facts’ about climate change ”, rife with straw men, heavy on double standards, and otherwise mixing and matching errors of omission and commission.”
First, an editorial note. WaPo reveals its delirium on the issue by citing polls as its apparent evidence for man-made climate change, concluding with “After all, it was first established in 1896 that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could help create a ‘greenhouse effect.’” Apple, meet orange.
This non-sequitor misreads WaPo’s own cited source and is more confused than the ritual confusion of climate change with man-made climate change, then conflated with the alleged catastrophic climate change (which WaPo also then offers). So, Mr. Kessler, the greenhouse effect, in existence somewhat longer than man, enables life on earth. Man does not help create it. It’s here with us, or without us. On WaPo’s relative scale, this scolding of another for supposed ignorance, clueless about that of which it scolds, merits at least five Pinocchios.
Perry’s camp referred ’something called’ the Washington Post to “something called the Petition Project , which claims to have collected the signatures of 31,487 ‘American scientists’ on a petition that says there is ‘no convincing scientific evidence’ that human release of greenhouse gasses will ’cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate.’ The petition is a bit old, having been started in opposition to the 1997 Kyoto agreement on global warming.”
WaPo, using a week’s worth of sneer quotes if still citing ‘no convincing evidence’ of catastrophic heating, just polls of other people not addressing ‘catastrophic climate change’, didn’t like that.
“Only 9,000 of the signers actually have PhDs, and the list of signers’ qualifications  shows only a relatively small percentage with expertise on climate research.”
Remember, WaPo cites no evidence at all or even the ritual appeal to authority for man-made climate change (catastrophic or otherwise), but just assumes it without even the courtesy of an ‘arguendo’.
So let’s turn to the evidence WaPo generally cites, in its coverage, as supporting its faith, ’something called’ the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Now, the IPCC ‘is a bit old’, having been started expressly to ’support a possible future climate treaty’ in 1988. And seek to support such a thing, it does. If with increasing hilarity .
Who are these people, regularly cited either as “2,500″ or “2,000″ of the “world’s leading climate scientists” (later downgraded to 400  after a little scrutiny)? Are they that? Do The Four Hundred hold up against thirty-plus thousand including 9,000 PhDs? (and why does WaPo need to distinguish PhDs from the rest, as more credible? The man running the federal government’s climate effort has long claimed a PhD , even in a CV submitted  to get a federal grant many years ago, but it turns out he only possesses an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from a different university than the one he used to claim an academic PhD from? Is he unqualified? Sort of like, well, WaPo’s writer. President Obama. Al Gore. And the rest? Again with the flexible standards).
No. The IPCC’s ‘chief climate expert ’ is a railroad engineer. The 2,000 are anthropology teaching assistants, transport policy instructors , socialist economists  and other climate luminaries.
And the IPCC’s Dr. William Schlesinger admitted that only 20% of UN IPCC scientists deal with climate : “Something on the order of 20 percent [of UN scientists] have had some dealing with climate.” Meaning by his own admission, 80% of the UN IPCC membership has no dealing with the climate as part of their academic studies.
Then there was this odd example of diligence. “Judging from news reports, the number of signers has barely budged from 2008, further undercutting Perry’s claim of a groundswell of opposition.”
Sure, on a relative scale the pace slowed from the original 19,000. And, well, a few other things have emerged since 2008 (if not evidence to support WaPo’s assumed theory). Speaking of ClimateGate, WaPo then goes on to dismiss the affirmations from that leak by an apparent internal whistleblower with “five investigations have since been conducted  into the allegations — and each one exonerated the half-dozen or so scientists involved.” (I say affirmations as they weren’t revelations to some of us; I wrote a book detailing what was affirmed in those emails , naming names and explaining what was known about, e.g., their ‘trick to hide the decline’, a year prior).
This merits a handful of Pinocchios, principally because these panels did not actually inquire in any sense into wrongdoing, and when they edged near the subject they largely limited their pursuit to asking the accused and people who know them, who (surprise!) concluded there was none. As Steve McIntyre , Bishop Hill  and others — including one non-cheerleader who was interviewed, and ignored  in strange fashion — have separately noted.
WaPo has sniveled about me, personally , for daring to look a little deeper than these supposed investigations did. Apparently anxious, transparency for thee, not for me  is the order of the day at this FOIA-using enterprise outraged that others would use FOIA.
Political candidates choose the path of least resistance, seeking to avoid the noise machine dedicated to intimidating debate on an issue they then disingenuously waive as away with ‘the debate is over’. When did we have it? What won it? I don’t know. And you won’t know from reading WaPo.
But this has gotten us where we are. WaPo knows this, and is trying to make an object lesson out of Rick Perry, after Iowa voters and nationwide poll-respondents made one of former climate activist Tim Pawlenty. Someone needs to have Perry’s back on this or the alarmists who seek to cow the brave into submission will win.