Want to buy a scientist?
When you find a scientist who claims to show that human-caused catastrophic climate change either isn’t real or isn’t a problem or doesn’t really exist, you usually find a money trail leading to one of the worst polluters (usually, oil giant ExxonMobil, sometimes, petrochemical magnates and right-wing darlings Koch brothers).
But ultra-right-wing think-tanks play in this sandbox too. Friday, TriplePundit posted leaked secret anti-climate-change strategy documents from Heartland Institute; they actually have the chutzpah to put $100,000 toward developing a K-12 school curriculum to
…show that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.
Oh yes, and they’ve also set aside $18,000 a monthly to fund pundits who present the climate-change-is-not-a-problem viewpoint.
Hmm, that sounds a lot like the attempts by creationists to throttle the study of evolution and biology. When science can’t back up your position, influence young kids with the Big Lie technique that was so beloved by Nazi propagandists. And the get television news commentators to present a “fair and balanced” approach, pitting your purchased experts against objective scientists as if they were equally credible, and sow doubt in the public mind.
To climate skeptics, I say “look out the window.” In my own area of Western Massachusetts alone, we’ve experienced the following just since June 1:
- A tornado that wrecked a big swath of the largest city in my area and several small towns, June 1
- Massive damage from Hurricane Irene, in an area whose last really damaging hurricane was in the 1950s, August 28
- More huge damage from a freak snowstorm October 29 , destroying thousands of trees
- A nearly snowless winter since then
None of these events are the normal weather pattern around here.