The notion that global warming is merely a hoax — or, at least, is not being caused by humans — is firmly entrenched among righties. Countless megabytes have been devoted to “exposing” the hoax. Most of their arguments, such as this one, reveal that they understand global climate change about as well as I understand quantum mechanics. Which is pretty much not at all.
Some of the “it’s a hoax” sites are hoaxes themselves, even spoofs. Recently our pal Rush mistook a site spoofing climate change deniers for a serious anti-climate change argument.
Breaking news: â€œproofâ€ that global warming is entirely a natural event published in a definitive looking (okay, at first glance) site with The Journal of Geoclimatic Studies. (The links are down. Great Beyond has links to the cache material.) According to a â€˜research paperâ€™ published on the website, rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are coming from CO2 emissions from â€œsaprotrophic eubacteria living in the sediments of the continental shelves fringing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.â€ In other words, humanity had no role. Well, this paper began to run the lines of the Climate Denier branch of the Flat Earth Society.
Well, add Rush to the list of Flat Earthers caught, well, caught flat-footed. Yes, â€œAmericaâ€™s Truth Detectorâ€ has such a good nose for fraud that we can expect that Brooklyn Bridge salesmen have had a good time with him.DeSmogBlog has a run of some of those who chose to run with this fantasy. Well, for these Flat Earthers, one problem: none of the authors existed.
The author of the site said in an interview —
Its purpose was to expose the credulity and scientific illiteracy of many of the people who call themselves climate sceptics. While dismissive of the work of the great majority of climate scientists, they will believe almost anything if it lends support to their position. Their approach to climate science is the opposite of scepticism.
Are you surprised at the pick up your coverage has generated?
Not really. Equally ridiculous claims – like those in the paper attached to the “Oregon Petition” or David Bellamy’s dodgy glacier figures – have been widely circulated and taken up by the â€˜scepticâ€™ community. But you can explain this until you are blue in the face. To get people to sit up and listen, you have to demonstrate it. This is what I set out to do.
How quickly did you expect people to realise that your paper was fake?
In the Age of Google, hoaxes can’t last for very long. But it hooked quite a few prominent sceptics before it was exposed. According to the various exposes now circulating online, among others, Rush Limbaugh broadcast it on his programme, James Inhofe’s office posted it on his site [Editor’s note: Sen. Inhofe’s office says it was never posted on his website], Benny Peiser sent it to 2000 people and Ron Bailey wrote it up in glowing terms.
This rightie “it’s a hoax” site also says Michael Savage was taken in.
It gets worse. Last week Rush blasted an Eskimo teenager for speaking out about global warming. Erika Bolstad writes for McClatchy Newspapers:
Charlee Lockwood has never heard of Rush Limbaugh or listened to his radio program, and perhaps it’s just as well.
On Monday, the talk radio king told listeners that Democrats were exploiting the 18-year-old Yupik Eskimo, and that her emotional testimony that day in front of a U.S. House committee on global warming made him “really want to puke. I just want to throw up.”
“It’s the Democrats exploiting a young child, ladies and gentlemen, for the advancement of a political issue that will grow the size of government and increase their control over everyone,” Limbaugh told listeners of the 600 stations nationwide that carry his show.
Lockwood didn’t let Limbaugh’s comments faze her. Her upbringing in the community of St. Michael included learning “about respect and treating people the way you want to be treated,” Lockwood said, during a brief interview just before she got on a plane to return to her village on Alaska’s west coast.
And she had plenty of people willing to defend her.
“For Rush Limbaugh to make fun of young people coming in and trying to be a part of the political process, it really shows a disdain for political discourse and for the role of young people in that political discourse,” said Eben Burnham-Snyder, a spokesman for the chairman of the committee, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
Limbaugh’s attack on the teenager was “outrageous and grotesque,” said Deborah Williams, an Anchorage environmentalist who accompanied Lockwood on the teen’s first trip to the nation’s capital in 2005. It’s one thing to take aim at a public figure, Williams said, but it’s quite another to attack someone young and eager to participate in the democratic process.
You think Limbaugh gives a bleep for the democratic process?