Background information is important.
This is what I was thinking while I was reading “The Twenty Three (and Growing) Smoking Guns of Global Warming” on the Heartland Institute website, while researching for quotes to use in my post A Well-Documented Strategy. The introduction reads,
“Before you read this essay, I ask you to forget everything you have learned about global warming…..Your job is to review the study with unbiased eyes, and grade the project based upon how sound the science is in supporting the conclusion.”
Robert Wagner, the author, seems to equate background information and expertise with bias, as “[climatologists’] funding depends on carbon being the cause of global warming.” He does not trust climatologists, or any sort of expert in this issue, as their salary seemingly depends on AGW.
If you read the article while “forgetting everything you have learned about global warming”, it has an internal logical flow. If you rely upon your background information and expertise – even if you’re not a scientist, just a nerdy volunteer blogger like me – their conclusions fall apart.
This is most obvious when the article pulls out the old “CO2 lags Temperature” crock. It makes perfect sense – how can carbon change temperature if it’s actually the other way around? – until you read a little further into other sources.
Then they go on about Christy’s satellite data. Which seems to support their conclusion, until you find out that it’s been discredited multiple times and Christy has now retracted his data.
They have a throwback to the early days of climatology when everyone believed that the bands of radiation CO2 absorbed overlapped so much with water vapour that extra CO2 wouldn’t make a difference. They phrase this in a way that makes it seem like this is the current theory.
They take the correction that GISS made, where 1934, not 1998, was found to be the warmest year in the US, and conveniently remove “in the US”, implying that 1934 was the warmest year globally.
All of this works…..as long as you don’t read anywhere else. The author says to you, “Forget everything you know, and only accept what I tell you, as well as the blog posts and newspaper articles that I cite.” Knowledge from anywhere else is seen as “biased” because climatologists are just out for grant money to increase their personal wealth. Yes, the only credible source out there is the Heartland Institute. So of course their articles have an internal logical flow…..as long as you obey their instructions to only believe their articles.
What a creepy form of censorship. What an underhanded way to manipulate the reader. How is the Heartland Institute allowed to exist without some sort of disclaimer? How does anyone take them seriously?