The Post’s story appeared online on February 20th with a nice photo of Happer. The next day the story appeared on the paper’s front page without the photo. The New York Times caught up quickly and also ran a story the same day on the front page with a photo of Happer. Both stories in the Post and Times discussed and criticized Happer’s views that global warming is not a crisis, or even a problem, and that increasing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are beneficial to the biosphere.
Fair enough, but the Times’s story ran online with the headline, “White House Climate Panel To Include Climate Denialist.” This elicited strong reactions, which were compiled by Valerie Richardson in a story in the Washington Times. As I was quoted in the story, calling one of America’s most distinguished scientists a denialist is just stupid.
The New York Times’s headline is just the opening salvo by the climate alarmist establishment to derail the first official critical review of consensus climate science. And it’s straight out of the political far left’s handbook, which is to ignore the issues and first try to undermine or destroy the opponents. In this case, I think the alarmists are going to fail. I’ve known and worked with Will Happer for several years in his capacity as chairman of the CO2 Coalition (and before that as chairman of the Marshall Institute) and since he’s been on the White House staff. Will is a man of tremendous integrity and high scientific attainments. He is also highly respected by his peers.
As for the issue at hand, it seems to me that the climate establishment should welcome a critical review of the science contained in the various official reports. They should have nothing to fear. After all, they’ve told us over and over that the thousands of articles published in scientific journals are peer reviewed and that peer review is the gold standard. If the science is as robust as claimed, then an official, high-level review should put to rest the doubts that have been expressed over the last three decades by skeptical scientists. Of course, if the claimed consensus is a phony house of cards, then it’s understandable that they will fight like hell to stop it.