Newsweek’s Global Warming Cover: Ridiculous

By August 12, 2007Global Warming

It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the excesses, inanities and intolerance of the global-warming radicals, those who would sweep aside facts and freedoms in the interest of social change. Just last week:

  • Veterans asbestos lawyer Gerald Maples readies his class-action Mississippi-based litigation against oil companies for causing Katrina. Emissions equals climate change equals bad hurricanes equals class-action lawsuit. Q.E.D.
  • Former Department of Energy official (1995-98) Joseph Romm blames global warming for the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Because it had been warm in Minnesota.
  • NASA scientist and hero to the warming crowd James Hansen let errors slide by; NASA recalculates and it turns out that 1998 was not the warmest year on record, but 1934 was. Investor’s Business Daily has the full sad story of science being manipulated in the interest of political pursuits. No! Shut up! The debate is over! (UPDATE: More here.)

    But the absolute worst was Newsweek’s cover story — The Global Warming Deniers — slandering those who question the science, pseudo-science and social change being pushed by the global-warming radicals. They’re a powerful cabal, funded by evil energy forces, creating doubt where none should exist — or so Newsweek claims. (We skipped it, first time around. Any story with an Eleanor Clift byline is by definition cant.)

    Newsweek and Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson, who credibility is beyond dispute, this week takes great exception to his magazine’s package.

    If you missed NEWSWEEK’s story, here’s the gist. A “well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change.” This “denial machine” has obstructed action against global warming and is still “running at full throttle.” The story’s thrust: discredit the “denial machine,” and the country can start the serious business of fighting global warming. The story was a wonderful read, marred only by its being fundamentally misleading.

    And his conclusion.

    What to do about global warming is a quandary. Certainly, more research and development. Advances in underground storage of carbon dioxide, battery technology (for plug-in hybrid cars), biomass or nuclear power could alter energy economics. To cut oil imports, I support a higher gasoline tax—$1 to $2 a gallon, introduced gradually—and higher fuel-economy standards for vehicles. These steps would also temper greenhouse-gas emissions. Drilling for more domestic natural gas (a low-emission fuel) would make sense. One test of greenhouse proposals: are they worth doing on other grounds?

    But the overriding reality seems almost un-American: we simply don’t have a solution for this problem. As we debate it, journalists should resist the temptation to portray global warming as a morality tale—as NEWSWEEK did—in which anyone who questions its gravity or proposed solutions may be ridiculed as a fool, a crank or an industry stooge. Dissent is, or should be, the lifeblood of a free society.

    This kind of journalistic repudiation of one own’s publication is exceptional, evidence of both Samuelson’s intellectual integrity and Newsweek’s lack thereof.

    Let the debate continue, honestly.

  • Join the discussion 19 Comments

    • Michael Malloy says:

      Cart – You better re-read that article. It does not refute or rebut the theory of climate change. In fact, it supports the theory.

    • iQuack says:

      That “Newsweek” cover story oozes with bias and there’s nothing convincing in it.

      Note, too, references to those who question man-made global warming as the “denial machine”–a term used 14 times throughout the article.

    • gavagai says:

      “Let the debate continue, honestly.”

      That’s exactly what’s been going in the scientific community over the last few decades. Science works by competition. Let the best theory win, and over the long run, the most accurate theories become the scientific consensus.

      The leading international body of scientists on climate change, the IPCC, has stated that global warming is occurring at an unprecidented rate as a result of human activities. Do your homework and read the report:

      Then, if you’ve got some credible data that goes against what the vast majority of the world’s leading scientists are saying, show your data and write up a report. Get it peer reviewed by experts in the field. If it’s solid, it will get published and you’ll get surely get famous and rich as the scientist that debunked global warming. Then you can really stick it to the lefties.

      But until you’ve got that solid work to back up your claims of denial, shouldn’t you all be deferring to the scientific consensus? All of your knee-jerk commentaries just makes you look silly.

      Denials are worthless unless you’ve got the science to back it up.

    • Dave says:

      I find it interesting that many of those that dispute that global warming is occuring or that man is not the cause of it (i.e. a natural cycle) are using Robert Samuelson’s criticism of the Newsweek article as support for their position. As stated above, his conclusion was “we simply don’t have a solution for this problem.” So, he is admitting that we have a problem, but that we just don’t have a solution for it. Not only does this not support their position, it is actually against it. I guess that soon they won’t be stating that Mr. Samuelson’s “credibility is beyond dispute”.

    • Frisco says:

      As long as you believe that CO2 is causing global warming you are going to have to deal with a single issue–coal. How will you coexist with the coal burning 3rd world? Ever hear of helium-3? Google it and read.

    • Damon says:

      “There’s also evidence that the North Pole has had grass (indicating that there were no/little glaciers on the North Pole)”

      I meant to say Greenland (not the North Pole). Greenland was called such a name because it was lush with forests and wildlife.

      “DNA of trees, plants and insects including butterflies and spiders from beneath the southern Greenland glacier was estimated to date to 450,000 to 900,000 years ago, according to the remnants retrieved from this long-vanished boreal forest”

    • Michael Malloy, CPA, MDiv. says:

      I agree with Harley, aka, Citizen Joe.

    • Michael Malloy CPA, MDiv. says:

      Your criticism of the Newsweek article falls flat because the basic premise of the article is true, there was (and you article raises the question of whether there still is) a well funded cover up of climate change research coupled with a campaign to produce doubt about the science. Now, faced with overwhelming evidence that the climate is changing and the change is partly anthropogenic, all you (and Robert Samuelson) can do is criticise the those who push back against the corrupting influence of money and politics on science. “Disent is, or should be, the lifeblood of a free society”. On what planet do you folks live?

    • Damon says:

      “climate change is happening”

      This is true. History tells us that climates change over time. Remember, Egypt used to be plush with greens and trees. Now it is a desert. Also, the glaciers used to come down below the state of Michigan. There’s also evidence that the North Pole has had grass (indicating that there were no/little glaciers on the North Pole)

      The same people above that say “The reality of global warming is undeniable”, that is the same thing these same people were saying in the 70’s about global cooling “The reality of global cooling is undeniable.” Yes! There was evidence that the earth was cooling! And we were going into an ice age! Well, we know what came of that. Nature provides for climate change.

    • I am a regular reader of your article. And I am very impress with your blog upon Global Warming. Now I am also write a blog upon effects and causes of Global Warming. This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

    • Hugh Campbell says:

      1934: This is exactly how peer-reviewed science is supposed to work, through iteration and continual improvement. Science is not advanced through special interest forums and the main-stream media. But back to the data correction:

      “The net effect of the change was to reduce mean US anomalies by about 0.15 ºC for the years 2000-2006. There were some very minor knock on effects in earlier years due to the GISTEMP adjustments for rural vs. urban trends. In the global or hemispheric mean, the differences were imperceptible (since the US is only a small fraction of the global area).

    • Dr Steven Doyle says:

      I am absolutely amazed to read this nonsense in a publication of this kind. The reality of global warming is undeniable. Here is a tremendous opportunity for American Manufacturers to move into markets that are going to be astoundingly rich and it sounds like you have all got your heads in the sand. A huge range of new products are going to be needed. New technologies are already being created. Manufacturers in other nations are already beginning to develop products and services in response. Are Americans so stuck in the past that we’ll let what has happened to the auto industry happen to industry in general? I hope not, but your statements are not encouraging.
      We have a very big challenge coming meet it with some old fashioned courage. Good Luck.

    • Michael says:

      I’m surprised that NAM has such a pro-denial editorial on its blog. How stupid do American Manufacturers have to be to deny that climate change is happening, or that there are people who are trying to mislead the public into thinking otherwise? This is an opportunity for manufacturers to help build a greener economy…a huge task with many opportunities.

      American manufacturing will go down the tubes if it divorces itself from science as do most of the people who deny global warming. Again this is an opportunity for American business not an anti-business conspiracy.

    • I don’t know about that but I’m sure
      NASA not will be fine more 10 years becoms

    • Harley says:

      For the past 3 years or so,I have advocated that global warming’s existance,or non-existance,,will be determined by Big Government,and Big Business.
      As soon as they can figure which way will bring in the most profits.Yes,they have denied,ridiculed,put gagg orders on scientists,destroyed credibility of thousands of otherwise inteligent personages,magazine editions,newspapers,,you name it,it is under control of the powers that be.
      Seems the big boys are gainning ground in favor of global warming,,,taxes are in place,laws are being passed,companies are altering data and figures to thier benifit, (dont forget about Enron)and alternative solutions are being created as I type this email.
      To repete-
      “Global warming will not exist,until Big Governmennt can figure out how to tax it,,and Big Busines can figure out how to make a profit from it.”
      Until that time arrives,GW does not exist,it’s only a temporary situation.
      Washington has run out of ideas for createing taxes,To many are refuteing the idea of raiseing the old taxes yet again,,so the only two alternitive solutions they have agreed upon are,taxes for fighting global warming,,or revert to the old,confiscate the first born child . Which has already been done,,so all that’s left is three taxes for local,National,and Global .
      Citizen Joe

    • Go here for the scientists view on correct information on climate.

    • Don says:

      In just a few short years it will be what can we do to slowdown global warming and how fast can we do it. A little secret start now.

    • Damon says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. These same “radicals” were the same ones that cried out about Global Cooling in the 70’s. They actually wanted to put a big tarp over the North Pole to melt the ice…google search it, it’s funny.

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