Climate Depot Exclusive: Smearing Skeptic Scientists: What did Gore know and when did he know it?


By: - Climate DepotMay 23, 2011 10:19 PM

Below is written by Russell Cook as an exclusive for Climate Depot

My thanks to Marc Morano for allowing me to share this unreported fault of the issue that any ordinary citizen can ask about: why the MSM ignores massive efforts relying on unseen, unsupported evidence to suppress skeptic climate scientists.

Smearing critics of any argument is a huge red flag, reasonable people will ask, “Why do that, why not just disprove the critics?” That’s what surrounds the idea of man-caused global warming. In my May 9 American Thinker article, “Warmist Mantra Wearing Out“, I detail how global warming believers push their agenda using an easily remembered 3-point mantra, “the science is settled / skeptic scientists are paid by fossil fuel industries to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” / the media gives too much attention to those skeptics, who don’t deserve equal time”.

In 2009, I saw an internet blog repetition of that strange “reposition global warming” sentence once too often, along with a coincidental repetition of the #3 point about ‘overly fair media balance’ from the ombudsman at the PBS. So, I wrote about that specific problem in my American Thinker article, “The Lack of Climate Skeptics on PBS’s ‘NewsHour’ “.

After that, I concentrated on finding the origins of the “reposition global warming” accusation sentence, which supposedly came from a coal industry internal memo. The results led me to write several articles at American Thinker, a pair of Breitbart articles here and here, and an 18 page paper here, where I describe how the memo sentence was essentially consolidated into the 3-point mantra by anti-skeptic book author Ross Gelbspan and his associates at the enviro-advocacy group Ozone Action in early 1996. I told how it gained huge publicity partly through Al Gore’s mentions of it (including a full screen spell-out of it in his movie), how it ended up in two of the three major global warming nuisance lawsuits, and most important, how it appears to be out of context when portrayed as a top-down industry directive for skeptic scientists. A compete reading shows it as nothing more than an interoffice instruction to PR staffers.

AGW believers never show the memos in their full context (I eventually found them in Greenpeace scans here, which no one else links to). Almost no one, including Gore, bothers to say they first came to light in 1991 as “a packet of internal correspondence…provided to The New York Times by the Sierra Club”. There is not one word about it at Sierra Club’s web sites, and nearly everyone praises Gelbspan for his work ‘uncovering’ them in 1996 despite somewhat easy-to-find internet references of two books citing the memos prior to 1995.

Gore said in February that skeptics were out to “…transform global warming into a theory rather than a fact… the opponents of the effort to recognize climate change embarked upon a dedicated, cynical, lavishly funded strategy, utilizing conservative talk radio, commentator Rush Limbaugh…” Last May, he linked to his New Republic essay here (full text here), which said, “It is a game plan spelled out in one of their internal documents, which was leaked to an enterprising reporter, that stated: ‘reposition global warming as theory rather than fact.’ “. Gore directly credited Gelbspan in the companion book to An Inconvenient Truth, “One of the internal memos prepared by this group to guide the employees they hired to run their disinformation campaign was discovered by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ross Gelbspan. Here was the group’s stated objective: to “reposition global warming as theory, rather than fact.”

Up until just days ago, I thought Gore was just a ‘famous-name’ working with Gelbspan around 2004 to marginalize skeptic scientists, and it was a ordinary coincidence that his current spokesperson, Kalee Kreider, was the Communications Director for Ozone Action in the mid ’90s.

Then I picked up a ’93 reprint of Gore’s 1992 Earth in the Balance, a book I had not read because it isn’t available for preview online at Google Books:

On page 7, he speaks of environmental group resistance in helping him to spread awareness about global warming, “…some told me they had other priorities.” Ok, it would be understandable for him to talk with such groups, considering his environmental views………

On pages 38-39, he says about a few skeptic scientists, “their views sometimes carry far too much weight… The news media must take some responsibility for this quandary…This is not to say [skeptics] should not be heard. But their theories should not be given equal weight with the consensus now emerging in the scientific community…” Uh-oh, that’s mantra point #3, eerily similar to the 1995 Arizona Republic newspaper quote I reproduced in my article about the PBS NewsHour, which said, “… greenhouse critics…should continue to be heard, but they should not counterbalance the overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion.” A Greenpeace archive scan (page 3, 5th paragraph) of a 1996 Ozone Action report’s excerpt from the story shows the newspaper reporter prominently citing Ross Gelbspan.

On page 360, Gore states: Documents leaked from the National Coal Association to my office reveal…as follows: “People who respond most favorably to such statements are older, less-educated males from larger households, who are not typically active information-seekers… another possible target is younger, lower-income women [who are] likely to soften their support for federal legislation after hearing new information on global warming. These women are good targets for magazine advertisements.” His quoted part is straight out of the 1991 ICE memos, (page 17, 3rd & 4th paragraph), where the infamous “reposition global warming” sentence is seen on pg 10, and a Rush Limbaugh ICE radio ad is on page 13.

We now have an enormous problem here. The most obvious question is whether Gore gave Gelbspan credit for discovering the ICE memos because he forgot when he first saw all those, or did he have a far larger role in both the original efforts by the Sierra Club to marginalize skeptic scientists, and in the repackaging of the efforts at Ozone Action, and also later with Gelbspan?

I can’t answer this. Professional journalists need to ask why the entire accusation against skeptic scientists doesn’t square up, and why so much effort has been put into this instead of simply disproving the skeptic scientists.

Russell Cook’s entire collection of writings on this issue can be seen at “The ’96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists.”