In the Beginning
In 1988 Atmospheric Physicist Dr. James Hansen, now head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies,
at a US Senate Committee hearing that:
it was 99 percent certain that the warming trend was not a natural variation but was caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial
gases in the atmosphere.
George H.W. Bush, Texas oil man, became President between the time that Hansen made that statement and his next appointment to testify at a Senate
sub-committee. I can't imagine why he would take issue with science when science was stating that human consumption of fossil fuels cause the earth
to warm beyond a natural rate and the effect would cause dramatic climate change. Surely a President would care more about the future of the nation he
was elected to manage than that which made him and all his buddies, who helped get him in the White House, rich men.
In May 1989, a few months after NASA scientist James Hansen declared that global warming had arrived, he would provide another testimony to
clarify the risks of future climate change.
But before Hansen could make his presentation to Senator Al Gore's subcommittee, the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) intercepted
the testimony and rewrote its conclusion. According to the revised copy, the cause of climate change was still unknown.
NASA Headquarters said Hansen could accept the changes or not testify, he later recalled.
Why would the President or anyone in his Cabinet re-write someone's testimony? Why use deception and pressure to get a scientist to say what he knows
isn't true? It's a very different kind of thing than engaging the scientific process and hearing what other scientists have to say on the subject.
Our press was a bit freer, slightly less corporate at the time and more able to actually engage in journalism (major newspapers tended to keep TV
network news more honest), Congress as a result might have been more inclined to ask why Geologists in the employ of the oil industry were testifying
about greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, something completely outside their field of expertise, than they are now.
It was not the first OMB revision of a Hansen testimony. This time, he decided, would be different. Hansen notified Gore that his testimony did
not reflect his actual opinion, which led Gore to frame the hearing's questions to reveal the OMB edits. It was the lead story on all major
television networks that night.
A room full of people expecting to hear a bunch of maybes and mights that they wouldn't be required to act on, gasped in shock when Dr. Hansen,
risking his job and entire career, deviated from the script and under oath stated that his testimony had been re-written and he couldn't agree that
his testimony reflected his knowledge.
The obfuscation does indeed go back further but the above is where the status quo was first challenged so strongly and the issue of Global Warming
exploded into the American public domain.
Queue the Think Tanks and Disinformation Campaign
Right around the time of Hansen's testimonies the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
volunteer based scientific body, formed under the United Nations. Open to member States, it's purpose is to assess and review research, scientific
observations, findings and papers relating to Global Warming.
In reaction to that body forming another was formed, the Global Climate Coalition
(dissolved in 2002). The group of concerned businesses spent tens of millions of dollars to raise doubts and minimize the effects of global warming.
It's main purpose was to stop the US from signing the Kyoto Protocol Treaty.
The majority of climate 'skeptics' that have appeared in a television interview or testified before Congress, have been paid by a Think Tank that
can be traced back to the Fossil Fuels Industry, status quo Corporations or 'Conservative' Foundations, most of whom are either not scientists or
not climate scientists.
Among the most recognizable, those who have testified before congress, given 'the other point of view' arguments on television, newspapers and
, Director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy at the Competitive
Enterprise Institute (CEI
) (Conservative Think Tank) who has no science degree but several climate skeptic enterprises.
PhD, Ecological Climatology, has held high ranking positions at University of
Wisconsin, University of Virginia, George Mason University, the Cato
Institute (Conservative Think Tank) knows that
greenhouse gasses affect the atmosphere, he knows that the global temperature has increased, he doesn't deny these things but maintains a position
that he doesn't see scientific reasoning in assuming that the effects of global warming will be disastrous.
Robert C. Balling
PhD, Geography, opposes the consensus (AGW) but says AGW is real... just
modest. I'm not sure how that all works out but that is what he says, over and over and over again.
Balling and Michaels often team up together in the media, rally tours, lecture tours as well as in writing. Both state that they receive funding from
both the government and from the fossil fuels industries.
an attorney and senior fellow at CEI. Probably one of the most recognizable faces
of climate skepticism, is a media favorite go to guy.
Horner has represented CEI as well as scientists and Members of the U.S. House and Senate on matters of environmental policy in the federal courts
including the Supreme Court.
PhD (Botany), Vice
President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and
(Conservative Think Tank), takes issue with Carbon Dioxide being labeled as a pollutant and asserts that Global Warming is natural
even though he acknowledges that CO2 levels in the atmosphere affect global temperature.
Together with the weight of their various organizations and support of similarly funded members of Congress have shaped the 'skeptical' argument
against AGW. An Ironclad echo chamber promoting circular logic combined with emotionally charged words, socially engineered into sound bites to appeal
to Conservative voters who are ideologically prone to resisting change and are distrusting of government.