Today I read a provocative article in Vanity Fair. It is called A Convenient Untruth by Michael Schnayerson. It is essentially an expose on policy analyst, soundbite artist, and oil industry mouthpiece Myron Ebell. You may not immediately know who Ebell is but no doubt you have heard his global warming skepticism as Ebell is the to whom the media, the oil industry, and even our government turn to when they need the obligatory opposing view on climate change.
And see here so many people think that anti global warming science was actually coming from scientists right? Schnayerson will open more than a few eyes with this wonderful article.
He points out that global warming skeptics are becoming harder to find these days when even companies like Texaco and three major automakers in Detroit have like glaciers melted away from the fight. But there are, unfortunately, some holdouts that make it their life’s work to skim the scores of scientific studies coming out every day, aiming for miniscule inconsistencies or a way to work in a seemingly valid counter argument. Then they have the audacity to act offended when you happen to inquire if they take money from the oil industry.who would certainly profit from their opinion. Well, as the article goes on to show nearly ALL of them take money from Exxon Mobile.
Ebell claims that he, unlike most of his skeptic counterparts, is NOT a lobbyist for the energy industry. He is also NOT a scientist! It appears that he is merely an opinionated man who likes to comment on public policy. He works for CEI, a think tank, where journalists the world over go to get juicy tidbits for their anti global warming articles and stories. These articles then appear before the public and what is essentially the opinion of a fifty year old father with NO scientific background or training is given equal weight with genuine scientific findings.
So Gore is right well he is right about a lot of things… but in this instance he is right about the fact that almost no true scientists doubt that a climate crisis is looming. But Ebell and his associates (partners in crime) sustain the impression that a scientific debate is still raging.
What would be his motive you might ask? Well the more studies published that confirm global warming the more demand there is for Ebell and his quotable opinions. What a racket he has going on! With seeds of doubt now implanted within the unsuspecting public politicians and oil companies go on about their business.
Ebell admits that CEI takes a considerable amount of money from Exxon Mobile but he claims that is irrelevant. CEI’s employees comment on whatever issues they would like from mileage standards to endangered species acts trying to affect public policy and seeking donations from grateful industries. Incredible!
No doubt CEI is a bight shining star for Exxon Mobile. According to this Vanity Fair article, Exxon Mobile has spent millions funding these types of studies at think tank institutes. Pretty good considering a middle aged man with no scientific background probably concocted the findings in several global warming studies that appeared in the media of late all while he brushed his teeth one morning.
These think tank groups have no standing in mainstream climate science. They crank out statement and policy papers that supposedly disprove global warming with great regularity. But do they publish their findings in peer reviewed scientific journals? No.
Instead they seek the media to publish their unsubstantiated reports and papers and with this bit of credibility seemingly added to their stance, politicians swoop them up to deride global warming as a hoax and make sure they get disseminated on the Internet like viral advertising.
The Vanity Fair article names a few of the fringe scientists who publish global warming studies through these think tank institutes and how much money they were paid by big oil interests. It is shocking to say the least. There goes scientific integrity right out the window. The article also has several pages of arguments made by Ebell against the concept of global warming. Each argument is refuted by reputable scientists. In response, Ebell criticizes these scientists by saying they know nothing about climate science because their scientific training is based upon oceanography, geology, or physics for example and not climate science. Never mind the fact that their own field of study led them all to the much greater issue of global warming.
It is very ironic though that Ebell should take that stance and bash scientists for working outside their degreed fields when Ebell is not a scientist at all! He studied political theory and got a degree in philosophy. It is shocking that this reckless man is allowed to affect public policy. I found a blog dedicated to following his movements and it refers to him as an intellectual terrorist I would have to agree.
I always knew that the studies refuting global warming were suspect but I did not know the depth of this deception. Kudos to Vanity Fair and Shnayerson for this whistle blowing expose.
The most important lesson to be learned form all of this though is that global warming IS a problem and the information disseminated by the skeptics is all suspect and should be avoided like the plague. Their interest in global warming is political and monetary. They have no interest in doing what is best for humanity or for the planet. Don’t let their dirty politics sway you away from an important issue. We are in the midst of a climate crisis and we must act now.
Saturday, May 5th, 2007