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On the smearing of Steve Fielding June 11, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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On the smearing of Steve Fielding

By Andrew Bolt
Herald Sun, June 11, 2009

How the Sydney Morning Herald reports – fairly and with balance – Senator Steve Fielding’s desire to know why the world isn’t warming, even though our emissions are increasing:

THE Family First senator Steve Fielding has challenged the work of thousands of the world’s top scientists, saying he is not convinced by the work done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…. Senator Fielding’s newfound scepticism is a result of his trip to the US to listen to the Heartland Institute of Chicago, an organisation that is funded by the fossil-fuel industry. The organisation also believes public health campaigns against smoking are based on “junk science”.

All smear, no science. And note the casual insertion by reporter Stephanie Peatling of falsehoods – such as the claim that the IPCC reports are the work of “thousands” of like-minded scientists, and her implication that there aren’t also ”thousands” of scientists who’d actually support Fielding, too.

Note also the sneaky insinuation that Fielding’s opinion is based not on scientific facts, whose meaning must be debated, but on lies peddled by a bribe-taking organisation that denies even that smoking kills.

Peatling here is either repeating a smear she hasn’t even bothered to check out, or deliberately deceiving her readers with a particularly rotten red herring. The Heartland Institute is not denying at all that smoking kills, but is challenging claims that smokers, despite indeed dying much earlier, don’t already pay for the extra health costs they incur through existing high cigarette taxes. It’s also not convinced by some of the extreme claims about the health risks of second-hand smoke.

This, too, is a debate that should be settled by a discussion of evidence, not buckets of slime – and is, in any event, utterly irrelevant to Fielding’s point about the climate, which Peatling could have learned is well-based had she bothered only to consult any measure of the world’s temperature, such as this:


It hardly needs pointing out that Peatling also misleads readers by implying that all the Heartland Institute’s funding comes from the “fossil-fuel industry” (and that the Institute is so corrupt that it will therefore say what is not true, as if it were Greenpeace). The fact is that prime villain ExxonMobil has not funded it for three years, and 95 per cent of the Institute’s funding comes from sources other than oil and coal interests. None of those interests funded the conference Fielding attended, using his own cash. But, once again, this is a red herring: what’s at issue is the science, not the funding, or else Peatling should never again believe a word said by Al Gore, who has become a multi-millionaire through peddling “green” investments, or by Tim Flannery, who charges as much as $50,000 a speech to beat the doomsday drum, or by Ove Hoegh-Gulberg, whose reef-is-doomed research has attracted millions of dollars of funding.

Conclusion: it seems to me that Peatling and her kind are more interesting in preaching than in reporting. And thus are their readers misled. But as long as Fielding’s question – why is the world not warming, when our gases are increasing? – is met by smears, not science, we must conclude that such warming alarmists actually have no answer to give.



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