Planet Gore

Batman’s a Scientist

Anyone with even a casual acquaintance with the global-warming industry knows that this crowd’s first response to any challenge, of any sort, from any source, is to go ad hominem. When the climate facts are not helpful, ad hom is their way to change the subject. They know what they need to know — that climate legislation is the instrument at hand for long-desired “social change,” and whatever means that are necessary will be employed. To these people, facts and logic are for losers –and often enough, ad hominem is used to conceal the ideologues’ staggering ignorance on the issues (ignorance of the sort that President Obama revealed with his recent claim that carbon dioxide “contaminate[s] the water we drink and pollute[s] the air we breathe” – he said, opening a Perrier and exhaling a sigh).
So when the EPA got caught suppressing the sole substantive report submitted as part of its “internal deliberation” over whether and how to seize the energy sector of the U.S. economy, you knew ad hominem was sure to follow. In the Washington Times story about the suppressed report, we read that a spokeswoman for EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson — who made the determination that CO2 threatens the world — “noted that the memo’s author, Alan Carlin, is an economist, not a climate scientist.” Funny how people tasked with certain jobs become unqualified only when they are inconvenient.

Carlin is, indeed, a Ph.D. economist from MIT, a degree he obtained after earning a degree in physics from Cal Tech — both of which probably explain why he holds the job of reviewing such proposals. But this reflexive ad hom raises several obvious questions, none more obvious than: What makes Lisa P. Jackson a climate scientist? (She’s a chemical engineer.)

For that matter, who the hell are Barack Obama, Henry Waxman, Ed Markey, Nancy Pelosi, Carol Browner, Al Gore . . . need I continue? They all apparently are perfectly suited to reach informed judgment on the issue. Waxman is a scientist (bachelor’s in political science, UCLA ‘61) like Batman’s a scientist. Freeman Dyson, meanwhile, is “just a physicist.” Clearly, our governmental solons are qualified because they agree that this issue must be ridden to achieve the desired “change.”

As I detail in Red Hot Lies, this ad hom addiction doesn’t serve the alarmists well — particularly when their credentialism is a one-way street. EPA now joins the rest of the gang in assailing critics of the IPCC report (to which the agency admits outsourcing its decision making on climate science) as lacking proper scientific credentials. But that report was written by 52 government representatives as part of a process expressly chartered to support a future global-warming treaty and was not, as EPA claims, peer-reviewed. (Many peers did review it, and we learned through a FOIA threat that — just like EPA’s reviewer — they rejected it, only to be ignored. That’s a lot of things, but peer review isn’t one of them.) Naturally, some of us wondered about the amazing qualifications of the “world’s leading climate scientists” behind the IPCC who are not to be challenged  – what it must take to become qualified to speak! — only to discover that they included teaching assistants in anthropology and the like (really).

Team Soros was particularly adamant about an economist daring to opine, sniveling “since when have economists . . . become scientists, and why should we care what they think about climate science?” And now the EPA plays the same card against economist Carlin, and suggests we defer instead to the IPCC, as did they. But, uh, the fellow posing as the IPCC’s chief “climatologist” (New York Times and USA Today), or the UN’s “chief climate scientist” (AP), is . . . an economist.

The alarmists, now joined by the Obama administration, are bullying, sneaking, dissembling, and on occasion openly lying to the public to get their way. You’ve got a little bit of time left to be outraged. My colleagues and I are flattered that so many people just assume we’re handling these things, and the public can go about their lives. I have a life on the outside, too, with a wife and children. So, please, if this should come to be, don’t call me. We told you.

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