Al Gore: Arguing for censorship in 1992 (a blast from the UK media past)
guest post by Russell Cook
When the idea of human-induced global warming cannot stand on its own scientific merits, the critical necessity now – as it always has been – is to marginalize critics in the eyes of the public by any means possible. And to erase any hint that a “consensus” does not actually exist.
Thankfully, the UK Independent sees fit to maintain a current web link to a July 6, 1992 US New Republic “Green Cassandras” article by Gregg Easterbrook. (original scan is at the U. of California San Francisco Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, despite the article not mentioning a single word about tobacco or cigarette smoking).
Its 5th-to-last paragraph contains these gems:
In exemplary doublespeak, some enviros put forth that dissenting views should be suppressed in the name of balance. Mr Gore, for example, says reporters should attach little weight to scientists who question greenhouse emergency claims, because perhaps 2 per cent of credentialed researchers feel that way. This simply isn’t true. Greenpeace recently surveyed climatologists, doubtless hoping for evidence of global warming panic; instead, it found that the largest group of respondents, 47 per cent, believe a runaway greenhouse effect is almost impossible.
This is a marvelous example of why I hammer so hard on the accusation that skeptics are corrupted by coal & oil funding. The original ’91-’95 smear of skeptics was predominantly a two-prong “settled science / media need not balance reports with skeptics because of point #1” mantra. Weak, that was. It got traction only when the “skeptics are corrupt just like tobacco industry shill experts” point was added in late 1995. Guilt-by-association ties with industry donation money was still too weak, unless they tied it to a “smoking gun” leaked memo, namely the “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” one. But they could never show that one in public because it was never the top-down industry directive they portrayed to be. No need to trust me on this. Dig through the entire internet, and you’ll see my articles are the only ones that link directly to those memo scans (click thumbnail pg 10 here for the “reposition” one). Read through that whole pile of coal association PR campaign memos and it doesn’t look like the ‘sinister directive’ Gelbspan claims it is, it instead looks like nothing more than a fairly straightforward small pilot project PR effort to show the public that the issue was not the least bit settled.