It's been two years now since we said hello to scienceblogs, and had our introductory posts on Conspiracy, Unified theory of the Crank, and the denialist deck of cards.
Lately reading a recent profile of a crank, Marc Morano in the NYT, which was sent to me by the crank himself. I can't help but be amazed how our initial description has held up.
For one, throughout the article, it's wonderful how wihtout realizing it, Morano exposes the the fact he's living in a bizarre fantasy world. Starting with the questionable reality of his confrontation with Al Gore:
For example, Mr. Morano said he once spotted former Vice President Al Gore on an airplane returning from a climate conference in Bali. Mr. Gore was posing for photos with well-wishers, and Mr. Morano said he had asked if he, too, could have his picture taken with Mr. Gore.
He refused, Mr. Morano said.
"You attack me all the time," Mr. Gore said, according to Mr. Morano.
"Yes, we do," Mr. Morano said he had replied.
Mr. Gore's office said Mr. Gore had no memory of the encounter. Mr. Morano does not care. He tells the story anyway.
Then his pride over being a swift-boater:
He then jumped to Cybercast News Service, where he was the first to publish accusations from Vietnam Swift-boat veterans that Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, then the Democratic presidential nominee, had glorified his war record. Many of the accusations later proved unfounded.
Mr. Morano is proud of his work, which he says is not advocacy but truth seeking.
Or the bizarre way he justifies including scientists who completely disagree with his position on his BS AGW dissenter list:
Kevin Grandia, who manages Desmogblog.com, which describes itself as dedicated to combating misinformation on climate change, says the report is filled with so-called experts who are really weather broadcasters and others without advanced degrees.
Chris Allen, for example, the weather director for WBKO-TV in Kentucky, is listed as a meteorologist on the report, even though he has no degree in meteorology. On his Web site, Mr. Allen has written that his major objection to the idea of human-influenced climate change is that "it completely takes God out of the picture." Mr. Allen did not respond to phone calls.
Mr. Grandia also said Mr. Morano's report misrepresented the work of legitimate scientists. Mr. Grandia pointed to Steve Rayner, a professor at Oxford, who was mentioned for articles criticizing the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 international treaty on curbing carbon dioxide emissions.
Dr. Rayner, however, in no way disputes the existence of global warming or that human activity contributes to it, as the report implies. In e-mail messages, he said that he had asked to be removed from the Morano report and that a staff member in Mr. Inhofe's office had promised that he would be. He called his inclusion on the list "quite outrageous."
Asked about Dr. Rayner, Mr. Morano was unmoved. He said that he had no record of Dr. Rayner's asking to be removed from the list and that the doctor must be "not to be remembering this clearly."
Yes, clearly, Dr. Rayner must not be remembering how he never said anything in support of the denialist position on warming. Only Marc Morano is ever correct.
It's amazing to me how people who are so clearly cranks can remain so influential, especially on a topic as important as global warming. We clearly have more work to do.
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The rest of the story on Gore encounter:
Excerpt: The Times reports "Mr. Goreâs office said Mr. Gore had no memory of the encounter" with me in 2007 during a flight in which Gore rebuffed me. Yet, according to Joe Romm of Climate Progress, Gore appears to remember the incident after all.
Romm reports in an April 10 post: "I happened to be speaking to Gore today and he remarked on this Morano fable and said he just doesnât remember it happening the way Morano describes."
Hmm. Gore tells NYT that he has "no memory of the encounter" yet Romm says Gore "doesn't remember it happening the way Morano describes."
Since Gore cannot seem to recall his encounter with me very well, I have â for the first time ever â publicly released the full report of our airplane encounter in 2007:
Excerpt: The New York Times also focuses on Steve Rayner of Oxford who initially claimed to the paper that he asked to be âpulled from [the report] numerous times. and despite being told he would be removed, he still remains." After I challenged that assertion, it appears Rayner changed his recollection. I told NYT reporter Kaufman in an email: âCan you ask [Rayner] to produce his request to me and the alleged assurance he would be removed? I can tell you definitively that I never made any such assurance to him.â
Shortly after my challenge, Rayner told the Times that his initial claim of asking to be removed "numerous times" was not accurate. âTo be honest, I have never followed up, but assumed that they would comply. What is to be done?" Rayner told the paper.
Rayner was indeed included in the Senate report, but he never spoke with me â the only person responsible for the report -- to protest his inclusion. Rayner never asked me to be removed and I never told him he would be âremoved."
Rayner was included in the report for several reasons. About half the climate debate today is predicated on the UN and Stern Reviewâs âitâs cheaper to act now than wait.â That is why the report includes a few economists. Rayner rejects the UN approach completely, which qualifies him as a dissenter of the UN approach. He has also written about âbizarre distortions in public policyâ by downplaying adaptation to climate change. He has also challenged tropical disease risks from climate change. Raynerâs wholesale rejection of UN âsolutions,â his focus on adaptation and his key debunking of alarmist points, qualified him to be in the report. There is obviously a wide range of opinion and views on man-made global warming, from Bjorn Lomborg and Pat Michaels to even complete skeptics of the greenhouse gas effect. The Senate report features the full range of views and unlike a âlistâ the actual quotes of the scientists were included in the report with web links for further reading. That is why it is a "report" and not a "list." Rayner was not misquoted or labeled in his entry, his words were complete and featured web links for further reading. Rayner clearly rejects the so-called âsolutionsâ and much of the alarmism proposed by Gore and the UN.
Read more at link above.
If you've ever wanted to be a scientist, just say that global warming is a scam and Morono will make you one and put you on his list.
Re/ #4: The whole point of Joe Romm's post was that Marc Morano does not seem to care much about accuracy. Morano's comments here aren't doing much to counter that message. Whatever the history of Steve Rayner's correspondence with Morano's office, he has now made it crystal clear that he feels Morano has distorted his views, and he does not want to be on the list. Yet he is still on it, and Morano has no intention of taking him off. Morano's privilege, of course -- but a thing to keep in mind when the topic of "shameless political hacks" comes up.
Sorry Marc, as mentioned in our introductory post linked above, we do not argue with cranks.
And Yes, JRE has it right. The point of the entire article seems to be how Morano's worldview seems to be only tangentially related to reality the rest of us occupy.
Gee, Marc Moreno, the Duane Gish of climate change denial.
Since you are limited by things like "logic and data" as you state in your introduction "What is Denialism", I'm wondering if there were any reports/research/facts/data that could convince you that anthropogenic global warming (ASW) theory is incorrect?
For example, it seems to be a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for proving AGW theory is that the earth's mean climate is indeed increasing as CO2 levels go up. However, there are data from satellites and weather balloons do show not warming even to a minimal amount of statistical significance.
These are read data, real facts, which are inconsistent with AGW. They don't disprove AGW, but are certainly enough to put me in the skeptics camp. I guess you can write them off as cherry picking, but if you ignore these data/facts and if you won't debate, then maybe you are the denialist crank?