The Usual Suspects

So how does Sen. Inhofe (R-OIL) spread his disinformation, other than his website (see “Uber-denier Inhofe misquotes Hadley, gives big wet Valentine’s kiss to Pielke — go figure!“)? This post first run in WonkRoom,Marc Morano’s Pack Of Climate Denial Jokers,” explains.

JokersMarc Morano, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)’s environmental communications director, sits at the center of the right-wing global warming denier propaganda machine — of fifty-two people. Conservative columnist Fred Barnes recently refused to tell TPM Muckraker who’s informed him “the case for global warming” is falling apart, but all signs point to Marc Morano.

Morano’s “entire job,” Gristmill’s David Roberts explains, “is to aggregate every misleading factoid, every attack on climate science or scientists, every crank skeptical statement from anyone in the world and send it all out periodically in email blasts” to the right-wing echo chamber.

The Wonk Room has acquired Morano’s email list, and we can now reveal the pack of climate skeptics, conservative bloggers, and corporate hacks who feed the misinformation machine. Promoted on the Drudge Report and Fox News, Morano’s moronic misinformation enters mainstream discourse through columns by Barnes, George Will, Robert Samuelson, and others. Many in the Morano gang are funded by right-wing think tanks, though a few are committed activists, conspiracy theorists who believe their homebrew interpretations of climate data. Others are aging scientists with strong conservative beliefs, motivating them to challenge action on global warming not because they disbelieve its existence, but because they are ideologically opposed to regulation of pollution:

Marc Morano’s Pack Of Climate Denial Jokers

Marc Morano, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Committee on the Environment and Public Works

The Scientists
Bob Carter   James Cook University, Queensland, Australia
John Christy   University of Alabama at Huntsville
David Deming   University of Oklahoma / National Center for Policy Analysis
David Douglass   University of Rochester
Don Easterbrook   Western Washington University
Stanley Goldenberg   NOAA
Vincent Gray   New Zealand Climate Science Coalition / Natural Resources Stewardship Project
William Gray   Colorado State University (ret.)
Ben Herman   University of Arizona
Craig Idso Arizona State University /
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Richard Lindzen   Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Roger Pielke   Colorado State University (ret.)
James A. Peden   Extranuclear Laboratories (ret.)
Hans Schreuder Rocky Mountain Research Station
Thomas P. Sheahen   Western Technology, Inc.
Fred Singer   University of Virginia (ret.) /
Science and Environmental Policy Project /
National Center for Policy Analysis
Roy Spencer University of Alabama at Huntsville / Marshall Institute / Interfaith Stewardship Alliance
Philip Stott   University of London (ret.)
Willie Wei-Hock Soon   Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics / Marshall Institute / Fraser Institute / Science and Public Policy Institute
The Bloggers
Michael Asher  
Joseph Bast Heartland Institute
Edward John Craig National Review
Dan Gainor Media Research Center
Barry Hearn
Steven Milloy Competitive Enterprise Institute
Tom Nelson
Lubos Motl Harvard University (ret.)
Roger Pielke, Jr. University of Colorado
Jon Jay Ray
Gabriel Rychert
Marc Sheppard Frontiers of Freedom
Noel Sheppard Media Research Center
Matthew Sheffield Media Research Center
Phil Valentine The Phil Valentine Show
Anthony Watts
The “Think Tankers”
Dennis Avery Hudson Institute
Mike Burita American Council for Capital Formation
Terry Dunleavy New Zealand Climate Science Coalition
Robert Ferguson Science and Public Policy Institute
Tom Harris International Climate Science Coalition
Christopher Monckton Science and Public Policy Institute
Craig Rucker Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
James Taylor Heartland Institute
The Weathermen
William M. Briggs statistician
Richard S. Courtney   CoalTrans International
Joseph D’Aleo Weather Channel (ret.)
Art Horn weatherman (ret.)
Alan Siddons    
George E. Smith   Monsanto, Hewlett Packard (ret.)
James Spann weatherman, ABC 33/40
Herb Stevens   weatherman (ret.)

The Scientists: Ph.D.s, often with strong industry ties, who may or may not have experience in climate science, but are ready to denounce the scientific consensus

The Bloggers: They flood the Web with “news” and opinion, ready to be picked up by Drudge, Fox News, and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber

The “Think Tankers”: Ready spokesmen associated with impressive-sounding organizations, often founded by themselves

The Weathermen: Meteorologists, statisticians, and corporate scientists not associated with a think tank or university, but happy to give reporters their “expert” opinion

Update 1: Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard responds, “I’m sure I speak for all my fellow jokers when I say that I am honored to be mentioned with these highly-respected climate realists.”

Update 2: DeSmogBlog is “working to research the individuals on Morano’s list” and compiling this handy referral guide; we’re linking the names to their backgrounders as they’re added.

Update 3: George E. Smith ( writes in to inform the Wonk Room that he is not the George E. Smith formerly of Bell Labs who invented the charged coupled device. In fact, this Smith is a different inventor with “no discernible experience in climate or earth sciences.” He writes: “I think you owe George E. Smith, Bell Labs (ret) an apology.” The Wonk Room agrees, and apologizes for sullying that George E. Smith’s reputation.

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8 Responses to The Usual Suspects

  1. Gail says:

    The funny this about this article is that you could substitute “climate crisis” for “financial crisis” and it would be just as accurate.

    The same mentality that leads people to deny AGW allowed them to believe that “the fundamentals of our economy are sound.”

    The only difference is, the eco-system meltdown is going to dwarf the effects of the economic collapse.

  2. john says:

    Weatherman are to climatologists as journalists are to historians.

  3. Greg N says:

    Agreed, Gail. The parallels between the two CCs are uncany. By the time reality crushes denial the damage is already done and we all pay the price.

  4. Dano says:

    That particular GE Smith worked on wireless mouse technology, but I didn’t know he purveyed propaganda at a scale beyond blog comments…



  5. David B. Benson says:

    Well, for a long time I have thought of George Will as unreal. Now I know of a bunch more.

  6. Dennis says:

    Ultimately the bloggers and think-tankers can be dismissed as they have no qualifications in the science of climate change. The weatherman are quasi-scientific, but can be dismissed because they, too, do not have the appropriate training (I use the comparison of a pharmacist is in the field of medicine, but that doesn’t qualify him to perform surgery). Finally, each of these scientists must be researched to determine: 1. What is their actual field of study? 2. What research have they conducted? 3. What have they peer reviewed? When I have done that for bona fide climate scientists I typically find that at best, they are expressing an opinion but not basing it on any research they or anyone else has done.

  7. Anne says:

    Why doesn’t this list include Will Happer, physics professor at Princeton? It’s gotta be in Morano’s listed favorites….

    In an interview last month with the Daily Princetonian (link below), Happer said that carbon dioxide does not cause climate change. “This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the Earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda,” he told the campus paper. “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”

    Happer is chair of the board of the George C. Marshall Institute that spends nearly a third of its budget on climate change (on the contrarian side of the issue) and has received three quarters of a million dollars from Exxon.

    Thanks to Inhofe and Morano for providing the entertainment portion of the upcoming Feb 25 Senate EPW Committee hearing on the state of the science in climate disruption. Happer will “testify” alongside Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Christopher Field, director of the global ecology department, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University; and Howard Frumkin, director of the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  8. Pre 98 says:

    Looks like a who’s who of top climate scientists to me. Roy Spencer, Fred Singer, Willie Soon, Richard Lindzen. I wonder if the folks criticizing the “deniers” ever finished freshman physics. We must remember, the moron who started all the AGW hype, Al Gore, made near failing grades in every math and science class he ever took.