News Story

Changing the Climate on Climate Change

Paul Chesser spoke of the nearly 20 controversies that have been recently uncovered involving the science promoting global warming.

There was China-gate, Climate-gate, Peer-Review-gate. Those were just a few of the 19 documented controversies that have shined a light on the faulty data and assumptions behind global warming.

Chesser, special correspondent for the Heartland Institute and director of Climate Strategies Watch; Henry Payne, Pulitzer Prize nominated cartoonist for The Detroit News; and Shikha Dalmia, senior analyst at the Reason Foundation, spoke for about 90 minutes at Oakland University shooting down the hype surrounding global warming. The event was called "The Changing Debate on Climate Change" and was put on by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

"Climategate was the beginning," Chesser said, referring to the release of e-mails last year from England's East Anglia Climate Research Unit that suggested researchers fudged data and tried to discredit critics of global warming. "It has been revelation after revelation after revelation."

Chesser focused on the United Nations' 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that he referred to as the "come to Jesus" findings for global warming activists.

Chesser said that while hundreds contributed to that report, only 52 were in on the "summary for policymakers" often quoted by the media. He said that 52 scientists are now dubbed the "overwhelming consensus of scientists."

Some of the findings of that report were based on tour guide publications, environmental magazines such as "Climbing News," and a geography student's dissertation, he said.

Hugh McDiarmid Jr., communications director of the Michigan Environmental Council, attended the forum and contested what he called the "villainization" of the environmental movement.

"This is not the world I see," McDiarmid told the panelists. "They aren't zealots. They aren't nuts."

Payne told McDiarmid he objected to environmental movement's purposely "poisoning of the well with language."

Payne pointed to the Associated Press handbook that calls the opponents of the Iraq War "war critics," yet calls people who argue against global warming "skeptics" and "deniers." Payne said the term "deniers" was purposely "loaded" because it was linked to the Holocaust.

Payne also took on his own profession, saying the mainstream media's coverage of environmental issues "has reached a level of corruption."

He pointed to the the Tennessee Center for Policy Research's 2007 report about Al Gore paying nearly $30,000 for his combined electricity and natural gas bills in 2006. Payne said the Tennessean newspaper knew that Gore lived in a mansion, but that it was the public policy think tank that broke the story.

"They don't want people to know about it," Payne said about the media.

"It's not that our profession doesn't know," Payne said. "It's corruption."

He said the media has been a major driver of the green movement.

After the meeting, McDiarmid said the event was "one-sided" but noted it was promoted as an opposing view to global warming.

"I hear a lot of things today that I have seen pretty well refuted," McDiarmid said. "I believe climate change is real and that man is accelerating it."

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.