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When Cornered, Make Up Things about Your Opposition


At least that seems to be the reaction to Climategate. Here’s a few examples of it, many of them about my organization, the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

First, Congressman Ed Markey (D., Mass.) alleges here (at around 2:40 in) that CEI was “the very same people who launched the lawsuit against doing anything about the linkage between tobacco and lung cancer.” That’s a lie. We launched no such lawsuit. As far back as 1997, in an oped in USA Today (which appears to have disappeared into the ether), our General Counsel Sam Kazman talked about the reduced life expectancy of smokers, clear evidence that we are not “tobacco deniers.” We have launched a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Master Settlement Agreement, the deal between state Attorneys General and Big Tobacco that presents huge entry barriers to market penetration by small tobacco companies, but that is a very different issue and one in which we are clearly not on Big Tobacco’s side.

Then there’s the allegation that CEI is planning to sue NASA’s Gavin Schmidt over his comment moderation policy. I can’t believe anyone fell for this poppycock (do they think blog moderation is illegal or something?), but it’s a quite spectacular twisting of our decision to sue NASA for failure to comply with the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, so that we can see more of the internal government correspondence that Climategate has revealed to be so damaging.  NASA has been stonewalling FOIA requests for over two years on this and are in clear breach of their legal responsibilities.  How this translates to suing a blogger, I have not the faintest idea.

Then there’s this, which is doing the rounds: a preposterous allegation that CEI has received over a billion dollars in funding from Big Oil and Hate-filled Billionaires. If only!  For the record, we’re a $4-5 million organization. I can only assume those who are spreading this disinformation assume we get as much as the alarmist groups. More on the funding gap between the rich enviro groups and the poor skeptical groups from Paul Chesser here. If you’d like to help us close the gap, click here.

Then there’s Al Gore’s bare-faced assertion that Climategate is about ten-year-old e-mails.

And finally, there’s the bizarre speculation that Climategate was the work of the Russian mafia, and that CEI and other groups were somehow tied into it, when all the evidence suggests it was the work of a whistleblower. Yet Barbara Boxer wants criminal investigations over “e-mail-theft-gate.”

A lie can get around the world sooner than the truth can get its boots on, they say. Of course, when the lies are as bad as these, all it means is that the whole world is laughing at them.


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