|July 09, 2010|
| Media Matters: The greatest science "scandal" "in the history of man" predictably falls apart|
In their never-ending quest to prove that they understand the intricacies of climate science better than actual climate scientists, conservative media figures routinely promote any ridiculous "evidence" they think undermines the scientific consensus about climate change.
This is a group that repeatedly points to snowstorms in February as proof that global warming is not real; claims that CO2 can't be a pollutant because "we breathe" it; and ignores actual temperature data to baselessly claim that the Earth is really "cooling."
Last year, conservative climate change skeptics, in the words of Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel, thought they had found a "gold mine." Conservative media figures seized on emails stolen from climate scientists and proceeded to completely distort their contents. As we pointed out repeatedly at the time, this "scandal" relied on outrageous misrepresentations of the stolen emails and did not in any way undermine the scientific consensus about climate change.
Nevertheless, conservative media figures incessantly hyped the non-scandal with their usual overblown rhetoric:
Last December, Bozell told Lou Dobbs that "Climategate" is the "biggest scandal in terms of science, finance, and politics ... in the history of man." After Bozell compared the climate science "cover-up" to "the craziness" of Dan Brown's fiction, he actually managed to draw laughter from Dobbs. Unfortunately, contrary to Bozell's suggestion that media outlets ignored the story, numerous non-Fox "Climategate" stories adopted conservatives' dishonest framing of the non-story.
And now for the inevitable conclusion of this manufactured controversy.
As reported by The New York Times' Andrew Revkin -- who, by the way, Rush Limbaugh thinksMedia Matters, joined by numerous progressive and clean energy groups, called on all outlets that reported on the original "Climategate" controversy to set the record straight. should "just go kill" himself -- the Independent Climate Change Email Review "cleared climate scientists and administrators" involved in "Climategate" of "malfeasance." This follows several other exonerations of the scientists involved in the phony scandal. In response,
So this leaves us where we were before the "Climategate" freakout: There is still overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the theory of global warming.
And once again conservative media proved that they don't hesitate to rely on blatant distortions, outright falsehoods, and a complete disregard for reality to advance their political causes.
Mainstream media outlets would be doing everyone a service if they remembered that the next time they decide to report on whatever Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News, and the perpetual conservative outrage machine are yelling about.