The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Fox global warming special brought to you by big oil

Media Matters has a rundown of the "experts" that will appear on a special about global warming. Or rather, a special about global warming denial.

Patrick J. Michaels, a University of Virginia professor and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, is a vocal critic of global warming theory with strong ties to the energy industry. Michaels is chief editor of the World Climate Report, a biweekly newsletter on climate studies funded in large part by energy interests. According to an October 11, 2005, Seattle Times article, "Michaels has received more than $165,000 in fuel-industry funding, including money from the coal industry to publish his own climate journal."

Bjørn Lomborg is the associate professor of statistics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. In his book, The Skeptical Environmentalist (Cambridge University Press, 2001), Lomborg purported to conduct a "non-partisan analysis" of environmental data in the hope of offering the public and policymakers a guide for "clear-headed prioritization of resources to tackle real, not imagined, problems." . . . But in January 2002, Scientific American ran a series of articles from four well-known environmental specialists that lambasted Lomborg's book for "egregious distortions," "elementary blunders of quantitative manipulation and presentation that no self-respecting statistician ought to commit," and sections "poorly researched and ... rife with careless mistakes."

John Christy is the director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Christy and fellow University of Alabama professor Roy Spencer co-authored a 2003 global warming study based on extensive data from weather satellites. Their report, which concluded that the troposphere had not warmed in recent decades, was ultimately found to have significant errors. As The New York Times reported, when their miscalculations were taken into account, the data used in their study actually showed warming in the troposphere. . . . Beyond his criticism of global warming theory, Spencer has also taken up another cause that places him well outside the scientific mainstream -- his view that "intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism."

I think it was Al Franken who coined the term 'biostitutes' to describe scientists who sell their credentials to the highest corporate bidder. If the shoe fits...