“Lies, More Lies and Damn Lies” is, indeed, the perfect title for Larry Weitzman’s latest column on climate change. What is the tipping point for Larry to accept that the earth is round, that it is 13 billion years old, and that evolution, climate change, relativity and gravity are all “theories” backed by overwhelming science?
For starters, Larry invokes Swedish botanist Leif Kullman to support his position. I read Kullman’s article written in 2009, not “recently” as Weitzman maintains — five years is an eternity in science. Kullman’s expertise lies in the study of certain fossilized conifers found in northern Sweden. His findings? Temperatures have risen and fallen over the millenia. Nothing new there. No scientist denies that fact. The questions are why those variations exist, and how fast are they occurring now? Kullman’s article does not answer those questions.
Weitzman then mentions “Professor Mike Lockwood.” Professor of what? What are his credentials, his specialty? Perhaps Weitzman expects us to genuflect at the mention of the word “Professor” and not ask questions. The only “Mike Lockwood” I can find on the Web is a guitarist. Does “Professor of Musicology” qualify as “climate expert?”
Finally, Weitzman cites one Dr. Roy Spencer. Indeed, Spencer is an actual professor and his “study,” really a monograph barely one page long, includes enough weasel words to make him appear a skeptic while also allowing him to preserve a soupçon of academic legitimacy. However, and I couldn’t make this up, the monograph starts with a sentence praising British Petroleum, how BP is looking after “America’s and the Gulf’s welfare.”
There are about a dozen scientists like Spencer (the Dirty Dozen), with legitimate doctorates, though not necessarily in climatology, who are making millions conducting “quick and dirty” studies commissioned by oil, gas and coal interests: They’re “Big Oil Whores” who have sold out to the 40-plus “think tanks” financed by the Petroleum Institute, Exxon Mobil and the Koch brothers. The most virulently anti-science of these think tanks (with my apologies to thinkers) is the Heartland Institute, followed closely by the Heritage Foundation.
Obviously, Larry Weitzman does no independent research, no fact-checking on the people, or claims, he cites in his columns. He simply regurgitates what he reads in the Heartland Institute’s or other pro-Big Oil propaganda mailings. That’s what’s called a “useful idiot.”