So now we’re Holocaust deniers

Climate change alarmists sink to new lows in attacking those who doubt catastrophe theories

by Roy Spencer
April 21, 2006

Dr. Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist for University of Alabama in Huntsville. In the past, he has served as Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where he directed research into the development and application of satellite passive microwave remote sensing techniques for measuring global temperature, water vapor, and precipitation. He currently is the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA's Aqua satellite.

see also: Hurricanes and Global Warming Interview with Dr. Roy Spencer by James K. Glassman -- Capitalism Magazine

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As part of the current media frenzy over the “imminent demise” of Planet Earth from global warming, it has become fashionable to demonize global warming skeptics through a variety of tactics. This has recently been accomplished by comparing scientists who don’t believe in a global climate catastrophe to “flat-Earthers,” those who denied cigarettes cause cancer, or even those who deny the Holocaust. It is interesting that it is not the scientists who are making the comparisons to Holocaust-deniers, but members of the media. For instance, Scott Pelley, who recently interviewed NASA’s James Hansen for CBS’s “60 Minutes,” has been quoted on the CBS News PublicEye blog saying:

“There is virtually no disagreement in the scientific community any longer about ‘global warming.’ … The science that has been done in the last three to five years has been conclusive.”

Pelley also posted this quote to the same blog: “If I do an interview with [Holocaust survivor] Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”

This comparison between global warming skeptics and Holocaust-deniers illustrates the upside-down worldview that makes the public increasingly distrustful of the media. The photographs, movie footage, concentration camps, artifacts, death showers, ovens, human bones.

What does manmade global warming have? The theory that mankind has caused the globally averaged temperature to be 1 degree F warmer than it was a century ago. (I’m sure holocaust survivors appreciate the minimization of their ordeal through use of this analogy.) In stark contrast, what we do have as a direct result of the environmentalist-led restrictions on the use of DDT is tens of millions of deaths, and hundreds of millions of cases of severe illness, from malaria in Africa . The silence from scientists and many in the media on this is remarkable. Thankfully, the trend against DDT bans is finally changing, with countries like South Africa virtually eliminating malaria with DDT. Is mankind really ready for another major policy catastrophe based upon environmentalist (and media) rhetoric?

Whenever you see any media statement that “the science is settled” on global warming, you will observe that there is no mention of what exactly is “settled” about global warming. If something specific were mentioned, the statement would either be false, or at least it would not convey the necessary urgency that we much “do something immediately about global warming.” Of course, it might also be that today’s journalists cannot deal with that level of complexity. However, for the time being, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

So, just what part of “the science is settled on global warming” is really settled? Well, I would say that our current period of globally-averaged warmth is pretty indisputable, though possibly over-estimated. I say “globally-averaged” because some areas have actually cooled in the last 100 years. Furthermore, the majority of climate scientists would probably agree that some part of that warmth is manmade. But in contrast to the warmth itself, which has actually been measured with thermometers, attributing some or all of that warming to mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions is only one possible explanation among many.
A number of us would suggest that we really don’t know how much of the current warmth is manmade versus natural. I suspect we are the Holocaust-denying, cancer-ignoring, flat-Earthers who still think the Moon landing was staged.

Marc Morano of Cybercast News Service recently reported on a curious teleconference, in which environmental group representatives, members of the media and a Democratic congressional staffer joined in bashing those who would stand in the way of convincing the public that we should all “be worried, be very worried” about global warming, as the Time magazine cover recently intoned. One of those participating was Mark Hertsgaard, author of an article in the recent Earth Day issue of Vanity Fair, which had a (literally) green cover included environmental “experts” Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and (of course) Al Gore. In his article, Morano related some of Hertsgaard’s comments:

“People in the American media in the last six weeks have begun to say ‘the debate is over.’ There is] a lot more coverage than we have ever seen of ‘global warming’; a lot more pointed coverage than we have ever seen. It is very striking that it is years behind the coverage in Europe ,” Hertsgaard said.
“People in Europe talked about the ‘the climate loonies in the United States .’ The Brits do not understand why people pay attention [to skeptics],” he added.

So, once again, we apparently need to look to Europe for our cues on what we should believe about global warming and climate policy, just as we should rely on their judicial rulings.

Further, the teleconference group derided “free-market think tanks.” Reporter Paul Thacker offered, “I have often felt that these think tanks are kinda there just to dissuade journalists from covering these issues effectively.” Yes, and you know it’s a well kept secret that free-market advocates only exist to keep everyone from learning how well socialism has worked throughout history. (Note the free-market comfort from which a free speech-loving journalist in a wealthy free-market economy can so freely bite the invisible hand that feeds him.)

Even Dr. Global Warming himself, James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies – who participated in the same teleconference – cautioned the others against pushing the rhetoric too far: “I am a little concerned about this, in the sense that we are still at a point where the natural fluctuations of climate are still large – at least, the natural fluctuations of weather compared to long-term climate change,” Hansen said. This is good advice – though it is a much more moderate musing than some of his recent views, which include the warning that we might have only ten years left to turn things around on the global warming front, or it will be too late.

Dr. Hansen’s advice might be too late. Recent Gallup Poll results indicated that Americans believe global warming will probably be worse than the media coverage suggests; nevertheless, on a 10-point environmental worries scale, global warming still only rates a 2. This suggests that environmentalists still have a lot of convincing to do. With upcoming movies, books and the inevitable stream of still more news stories about global warming science being settled, the tone of the debate does not appear to be ready to moderate any time soon.

Still, I’m left wondering … why does the global warming issue seem so much more important to the media than to the public – to the point where “journalists” have do demonize skeptics with ad hominem attacks? Do they know something we don’t know? I suspect it is more the reverse.

And how, exactly, do the media make the jump from “global warming is real” to “the warming is entirely manmade” … to the warming is “catastrophic” … to the warming is the fault of the US government for not implementing policy changes (Kyoto, McCain-Lieberman, Domenici-Bingaman) that will do virtually nothing to help solve the problem anyway?

That wasn’t a rhetorical question. I really do want to know the answer. Send me an e-mail if you happen to know.


Dr. Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He’s also member of the TCS Science Roundtable. This article was originally published on