Skeptics strike back at campaign aiming to ‘smear and intimidate’ GOP lawmakers

CLIMATE: Skeptics strike back at campaign aiming to ‘smear and intimidate’ GOP lawmakers

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter

Published: Friday, April 26, 2013

[Complete article available from E&E Greenwire – April 26, 2013 – subscription required]

 A climate skeptic blog today denounced a liberal group’s new campaign that spotlights congressional Republicans who don’t believe in man-made climate change.

On his “Climate Depot” blog, Marc Morano, a former aide to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), said the activist group Organizing for America was attempting to “smear and intimidate global warming skeptics” in Congress.

A video released yesterday to OFA’s member email list showed 12 Republican lawmakers making statements about the science of climate change. These ranged from Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) statement that he has seen “reasonable debate” about the role human emissions may be playing in driving global warming to Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) declaring, “I don’t think CO2 is a problem.”

The video will be part of a larger effort by the group that is affiliated with President Obama to pressure lawmakers in hopes of paving the way for eventual legislation (Greenwire<>, April 25).

“OFA believes that it is hard to make progress in Congress without confronting the challenge that there are still a lot of members of Congress who do not believe that climate change is caused by carbon pollution,” OFA’s Ivan Frishberg said in an email. “Despite the overwhelming scientific agreement that man-made climate change is real, there are climate change deniers all over Congress and we are going to call them out and start exposing just how dangerous and extreme this denial is.”

But Morano cried foul.

“Obama’s new campaign hopes to silence skepticism, despite the fact that the GOP is the party taking a pro-science stand when it comes to man-made global warming fears,” Morano writes.

Morano cites a post by Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, who in December was evicted from the United Nations climate change conference after impersonating a delegate from Myanmar so he could gain access to a microphone (Greenwire<>, Dec. 6, 2012).

In his post today on a blog maintained by the Science and Public Policy Institute, a skeptic group, Monckton offered a vindication of each of the 12 Republican statements in the OFA campaign. For example, he said, Barton was correct that carbon dioxide is not a problem because “even if CO2 were a problem, the cost of stopping it today would be 50 times the cost of adapting to it the day after tomorrow.”

Monckton praised House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans for refusing requests by the “Donkey Party” to hold additional hearings on climate science. “The Eeyores are upset,” he said, referring to panel Democrats led by California Rep. Henry Waxman who helped launch the OFA effort on a call Wednesday night.

The blog post is written under the byline Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, and datelined Invercargill, New Zealand.

Among other things, Monckton was once an adviser to the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, though not on climate change. Thatcher, who died earlier this month, was one of the first proponents of international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, though she renounced some of those views in later years.


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[Complete article available from E&E Greenwire – April 26, 2013 – subscription required]