Home Energy and Environment Bacon’s Rebellion Jumps Shark Into Climate Science Denialism

Bacon’s Rebellion Jumps Shark Into Climate Science Denialism


It’s sad, because I’ve generally liked and respected the wonky, Virginia-focused Bacon’s Rebellion blog over the years. True, I’ve mostly read the superb Peter Galuszka, and largely just skimmed Jim Bacon’s increasingly boilerplate conservative talking points (e.g., about how the Baby Boom and entitlements mean that we’re doomed, DOOMED – to Armageddon, no less – I say! lol). Still, I’ve always thought that Jim was a relatively sane, mainstream Republican of the type that used to exist in this country, but is basically extinct at this point. Sadly, Bacon himself now appears to have jumped the proverbial shark, joining the rest of his party on its lurch far, FAR away from reality, empirical evidence, and specifically science (in this case about the climate), with his post, From Rising Temperatures to Big Government In Six Easy Steps. Oy vey.

Look, I’m not even going to waste anyone’s time quoting from the original article, because it’s just an ungodly mishmash/mess of untruths, red herrings, and dark conspiracy theories (while discounting the Koch brothers and others spending millions of dollars a year in their assault AGAINST climate science). Instead, I’m simply going to quote from our own Kindler, a real, honest-to-goodness expert (I know, what a concept!) on environmental issues, who responded calmly, rationally, knowledgeably, and effectively over at Bacon’s Rebellion. Kindler’s responses follow. Enjoy…and learn!

Do you also talk about the “Gravity Establishment”? How about the “Evolution Priesthood”?

No? Why not? Perhap because enormous corporations like Koch Industries and Exxon do not find those scientific issues threatening enough to spend millions creating an infrastucture of websites, NGOs, etc., all united by a very savvy communications strategy designed to discredit climate science in order to protect their share prices. A big part of that strategy is convincing people who repeat their talking points that they are brave, free-thinking”skeptics” taking on some evil Establishment as opposed to just the latest yahoos to fall for the latest Internet scam.

For example, you fell for the so-called “Climategate” so-called scandal without mentioning that something like 7 different investigations across 2 continents found no wrong doing in the stolen emails whatsoever. But facts just don’t matter in the age of the Internet and Fox News, do they?

Science is not determined by some priesthood meeting behind closed doors. It’s based on experiments and findings being replicated by many different people in many different places. Climate change was not dreamed up by some enviromentalist, but first hypothesized 100 years ago by Nobel Prize winner Svante Arrhenius and increasingly demonstrated through findings that range from ice core drilling to sea level examination to research on impacts on a vast range of species.

You can throw all that research in the garbage can if you want, but don’t fashion yourself some sort of intellectual in the process. And please don’t accuse others of groupthink when you’re falling for such a well-financed manipulative corporate scam.

Kindler then followed up in response to Jim Bacon’s absurd response (in which he put the word “facts” in quotes, and penned the knee-slapper phrase, “Scare up all the Exxon and Koch Brothers bogey men you want, but the fact is, there is debate – in some instances within the AGW movement itself – on each of the six points I raised.” Uh huh. Anyway, here’s Kindler’s demolition:

James, I find it amusing that, after repeatedly raising the bogeymen of a shadowy “Global Warming Establishment” and “Big Government”, you accuse me of doing that with Koch. The money and personnel that Koch has invested in climate denial (and at the same time in the Tea Party to find the dupes who’ll believe this stuff) is an undeniable, documented fact. See the report http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/… for example.

If all of the red herrings you cited are points of debate in the scientific community (as opposed to political and conspiracy theory communities), could you please cite published, peer reviewed research that discusses them?

If you’d like responses to all of these issues and more denialist arguments, the website skepticalscience.com has the best – and it cites actual scientific research.

And please don’t just cherrypick data to make a point – i.e., showing charts that begin around 1998, which was an incredibly hot year, in order to make tbe years after look cooler. 9 of the 10 hottest years ever recorded in fact have been in the 2000s. The climb in warming has paused several times, but the long term trend has not stopped.

I know it’s a fun game where the Koch Machine spews out new factoids every week and everyone is supposed to drop all they’re doing to respond point by point, so that we’re all so busy we never get the chance to actually take any action that could harm the fossil fuel industries. But it gets tiresome after a while. If you want to know about the actual scientific debate, then read actual scientific journals, not Rupert Murdoch publications.


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