Ah, the power of Drudge Report-influenced headline writers. “Global warming hoax or man made?” asks the Weather Channel’s Forecast Earth, its website on climate change and sustainability. “University investigation reveals hidden skepticism,” the subhead blares:
If you click on the link, you reach an Associated Press article on Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann. Mann has been a long-time target of polluter smear campaigns because of his groundbreaking research and effective communication on the threat of man-made global warming. The article, with only the mildly deceptive title “Pennsylvania global warming researcher calls self ‘skeptic’,” describes Mann’s reaction to the latest smear campaign, based on hacked email correspondence that involve Mann and other climate scientists:
Mann also said some people who challenge global warming are not real skeptics “because their skepticism is one-sided.” “I would call them contrarians or, frankly in some cases, climate change deniers,” he said. “I’m a skeptic. When I see a scientific claim being made, I want to see it subject to scrutiny and validation.”
Mann is trying to explain to the irresponsible journalists and copy editors that climate conspiracy theorists are not “skeptics” — they’re liars and loons.
The Weather Channel’s outrageous headline, and even the poorly framed Associated Press article, is typical of the whole “Climategate” swift-boating campaign — organizations whose job is purportedly to increase public knowledge and understand of the world around them, such as the Associated Press and the Weather Channel, write articles and headlines that lend credence to the fantastical notion that the world’s governments and scientific organizations are engaging in a corrupt conspiracy. And so an ever-increasing proportion of the body politic, hammered by disinformation sources that make explicit the accusation of such a global hoax, loses touch with the harsh scientific reality of man-made global warming.