Jeffrey D. Sachs has written an opinion piece: "Climate Change and the Catholic Church", directed at people in the USA. In a well-written article, he targets the political and other vested interests that are working against any and all action to mitigate climate change. He frames climate change as both a moral and a scientific issue, which it is. His article starts with:
Pope Francis is calling on the world to take action against global warming, and many conservatives in the United States are up in arms. The pope should stick to morality, they say, and not venture into science. But, as the climate debate unfolds this year, most of humanity will find Francis’s message compelling: we need both science and morality to reduce the risk to our planet.
He goes on to cite research that I've mentioned here briefly, writing:
In a survey of Americans conducted in January 2015, an overwhelming majority of respondents (78%) said that, “if nothing is done to reduce global warming,” the future consequences for the US would be “somewhat serious” or “very serious.” Roughly the same proportion (74%) said that if nothing is done to reduce global warming, future generations would be hurt “a moderate amount,” “a lot,” or “a great deal.” Perhaps most tellingly, 66% said that they would be “more likely” to support a candidate who says that climate change is happening and who calls for a shift to renewable energy, while 12% would be “less likely” to support such a candidate.
The Heartland Institute is in a sulk
At one stage Dr Sachs mentions the Heartland Institute and its funded opposition to addressing the problem of global warming.
The Heartland Institute is one of several organisations forming a closely aligned network of anti-science lobby groups in the USA. It specialises in disinformation propaganda, but really isn't very good at it. Although it reflects the views of some powerful interests, who've managed to snag puppets in Washington to do their bidding, it does seem intent on becoming a laughing stock.
Today it's managed to persuade Anthony Watts to post a sulk at the world in general and Jeffrey Sach's article in particular. I'd call it a hissy fit, but it's not even that. It's as if Joe Bast, Christopher Monckton and Anthony Watts had a phone hookup. Ranted and railed at being laughed at, and decided to fight back - by writing an article for WUWT! Anthony needed no bribe or arm-twisting. He is a fan of the Heartland Institute, has used them to get money for one of his various projects, and has been a speaker at its conferences (yes, the Institute is that desperate these days). (Anthony has forgiven Heartland for it's pro-smoking campaigns. He doesn't ever mention them when he goes off on an anti-smoking rant, let alone condemn them. He's in denial about that too. Another case of the triumph of ideology over principle.)
Heartland is in a snoot because the Vatican not only accepts mainstream science, but sees it as a moral imperative that we address the rapid climate change we are causing. It's probably especially peeved that the Vatican has a body of some of the world's most respected scientists to advise it, whereas all the Heartland Institute has is a diminishing and motley lot of ageing creationists, pastors, disinformation propagandists, potty peers and anti-science bloggers. I'm imagining Christopher Monckton hunkered down with Joe Bast wondering what the heck to do about the Pope. A professional disinformer with a somewhat insane denier entertainer up against the head of the Catholic Church. Are they deluded or desperate? They decided on an action that was only slightly less ridiculous than their terrorist posters. They sent a bunch of doddering denialati to Rome.
Talking to an empty room
I've no idea what they expected to achieve in Rome. From what I saw, no-one attended their "presentations" except for nine people, all of whom were journalists. It was an empty room. Few reported the nonsense they said, but if you want to get the gist of it, there's a report at DeSmogUK. How a straight face was kept I've no idea - or if it was kept.
|The "audience" of the Heartland Institute deniers - no-one but nine reporters! Credit: Photo by Brendan Montague. Source: DeSmogUK|
Solution: An anti-science blog "of record" to post a "
press blog release"
Anthony Watts dutifully complied with a directive from the Heartland Institute and copied and pasted a Heartland Institute "blog release". He headed up his copy and paste with this, which encapsulates the depths of despair the Heartland deniers must be feeling - to have had to beg a conspiracy blogger to post their article, since no-one else would bother:
NOTE: Since WUWT has the broadest reach of any climate blog and is essentially a “publication of record”, I have been asked to carry this opinion piece by the Heartland Institute. I have not received any compensation directly or indirectly for publishing this rebuttal. – Anthony Watts
What can I say? A denier blog that specialises in wacky conspiracy theories of the climate and non-climate kind. And I do mean wacky conspiracy theories. Give a WUWT-er two explanations for anything and they'll opt for the "black helicopter" theory every time, whether that is an option they've been offered or not. Did you like Anthony's "publication of record"? I wonder who fed him that line.
Buzz words from the Denier 101 manual
Here are some bits from Anthony's copy and paste. Note the buzzwords from the denier manual - "population control", "alarmists", "real scientists", "opinion":
Observing that only alarmists and advocates of population control – most notably, Jeffrey Sachs – were on the program, I decided Heartland should send some real scientists and other experts to Rome to provide a different opinion.
Though they decided to send real scientists they had a problem. The problem was that the Heartland Institute couldn't find any "real scientists or other experts" who would promote their nonsense, so instead they sent a rag-tag mob of deniers. Namely:
- E. Calvin Beisner, who has pledged to disregard science and theology and follow an anti-environmental cult, the Cornwall Alliance
- Hal Doiron, one of the many engineer deniers
- Richard Keen, a retired "instructor" who has wacky ideas about climate
- Christopher Monckton, the potty peer and professional entertainer
- Marc Morano, professional disinformer
- Tom Sheahen, one of Cato Institute's 100 science deniers whose name is spelt in a variety of ways on the internet
- Elizabeth Yore, J.D., former general counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia - who went to Rome looking for a lost child?
Jim Lakely and Keely Drukala, Heartland’s director and deputy director of communications, respectively, traveled to Rome as well and managed the complicated and last-minute logistics of the trip.
Our presence generated extensive worldwide press attention. We were able to reach millions of people with our simple message that “climate change is not a crisis.”
They had to use paid advertising to get their "simple message" out there. (I had to block their ads.) And talk about wishful thinking. As if the Pope doesn't already know there are vested interests in the USA intent on making global warming worse as quickly as possible. Here is how the Heartland Institute spins things:
The Vatican and United Nations seemed shocked that anyone would criticize their bias or the lack of scientific credentials of their speakers. Peter Raven, a speaker at the summit, devoted several minutes of his remarks to commenting on our presence, and now Sachs’ essay appears to be part of the UN’s effort at damage control.
To claim that the Vatican and the United Nations lacks access to scientific experts is ridiculous in the extreme, particularly so given the pathetic mob the Heartland cobbled together. What's even sillier is that in the very next sentence they refer to Professor Peter Raven. They do love it when anyone mentions their name though, probably thinking that any publicity is good publicity.
The Heartland Institute admitted that no-one came to hear them, apart from a few reporters. In their article they wistfully write: "To our knowledge, none of the persons scheduled to speak at the “summit” chose to attend our public events." Yep - to their knowledge did anyone, apart from the people in the photo above "attend"? And of the nine reporters who did attend, how many would have preferred to be elsewhere?
The Heartland "press release" or should I say "blog release" claims that they don't get money from Koch brothers, apart from $25,000 some time ago. That none of their $7 million, much of which is probably funnelled through whatever organisations have been set up to funnel donations to right wing lobby groups, originates from any part of the Koch empire. They could be right or not. (Maybe John Mashey knows.)
The "blog release" then disputes climate science, asks a rhetorical question to make sure the readers understand that the Heartland Institute is a climate disinformation organisation, and ends up using one of the favoured denier 101 buzzwords "truth" - a red flag if ever there was one.
From the WUWT comments
The Heartland Institute will be gratified that so many intelligent people have read their sook. Here's a sample of the erudite "thoughts":
csanborn plays "mix the metaphor"
May 7, 2015 at 6:15 pm
Ditto in spades. And much thanks to Anthony for posting. The efforts of the many Davids against the insidious juggernauts – the UN, IPCC, and various political machines are paying off. We know David wins in the end saving this canary in this mine. Unfortunately, there will be more canaries to save – another topic…
Gunga Din tries out a new word he just heard:
May 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm
They have a lot to lose. No wonder they’re to bellicose!
Ray Boorman spouts his own version of the climate conspiracy scam:
May 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm
...Well said Joseph. It is very sad that so many otherwise intelligent people have allowed their genuine concern for the environment to blind them to the fact that the CAGW theory has been hijacked by totalitarian left-wing elements to bring about their own control over the people of the world.
climanrecon regards the Catholic Church and the world's leading scientists, scientific institutions and academies as a "fringe group". What is he smoking?
May 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm
Good response to a fringe group of environmental zealots who fail to see that fossil fuels have allowed Man to deal with Weather of all types, and Man is not going to give them up just to stop miniscule changes in Weather, with any such changes being more likely than not to be beneficial.
Pippen Kool had a comment deleted
May 7, 2015 at 5:01 pm
“[snip -policy violation -mod]”
trafamadore wondered why, when it was the most interesting "thought"
May 7, 2015 at 5:58 pm
This was the most interesting “thought” on this post, and it’s deleted? As Pippen said, “What a joke”.
Pippen Kool ponders the likely answer. (What's the bet that the WUWT mod is a creationist themselves.)
May 7, 2015 at 6:42 pm
So what is the policy violation? Calling out an creationist “scientist” that has a PhD but has never done any scientific work? Really, that’s who you are protecting now, just because they work for Heartland?? Pretty sorry. Or are you that scared of Heartland? That’s interesting.
Mike Maguire is really upset with his Pope and embarks on a silly tirade:
May 7, 2015 at 5:32 pm (extract)If you are interested in the list of scientists, including many Nobel Laureates, who form the Pontifical Academy of Sciences - click the names in the sidebar on this page. There are more listed under the Academicians link on the top menu. Eat your heart out, Heartland Institute.
We should understand that this position on the science of climate change by Pope Francis is being driven by his scientific advisers, The Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
These so called climate change “experts” of the Catholic Church that Pope Francis is relying on to provide him with guidance so that he can morally advise Catholics and the world, regarding good decisions for the poor and being good stewards of this planet have catastrophically failed him.
It is that group, The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, that has been corrupted and fails to use the scientific method as they fall in line with the ideology(s) of the UN.
Faith in the predictive power of falsified global climate models has no place in the world of science.
Paul Westhaver mixes with other deniers socially, or religiously, or something, who find their religious leader deeply offensive:
May 7, 2015 at 7:19 pm (extract)
Joe Bast and Anthony,
You guys are heros of truth and I am so happy you made the effort and sent a delegation.
There are many Catholics who are deeply offended that the church has been seduced by fake science, to lend moral credibility to this latest push to tax carbon etc. I know many who are quite besides themselves.