Field of Science

The Heartland Institute - helping teachers get climate change "right"!

A nice booklet was mailed to TPP; it's titled Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science.  As a member of a number of conservation and scientific groups with major outreach functions, the booklet did not seem out of place until a careful look revealed that this was a publication from the Heartland Institute, a bought-and-paid-for science denial factory.  Teachers are urged to read this document and use it's facts and conclusions in their teaching.  The report was conducted by the “Nongovernmental International Panel of Climate Change” (NIPCC). Both the appearance of the report, it's title, and it's source acronym are intended to look and sound just like the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and it's report on climate change Climate Change 2013: The physical science basis. This is a typical Heartland ruse to fool the unwary. Spoiler alert: the NIPCC doesn't find any evidence to suggest human activities have anything to do with climate change. And there's no evidence that smoking harms you or negatively affects your health either.  Yes, it's that Heartland Institute.  And the NIPCC report is replete with sciency citations and references, and authors with impressive sounding titles, foremost this and that.  A few years ago TPP let a graduate seminar dissect one of these type of reports, and they are all done the same way.  Data, facts, and conclusions are taken out of context, or cited selectively, i.e., only counting the ones that support their position, and ignoring those that don't agree with your position. Some of the original reports actually reached diametrically opposite conclusions to what they were cited to support.  The authors, rather than being real academics, were hired guns.  In other words, it was scientifically dishonest, from front to back. It's hard to argue policy; it's easier to pretend the science supporting climate change is uncertain, iffy, or politically motivated and this is the Heartland Institutes stock and trade.  And here's the biggest laugh; the NIPCC report starts by stating it was conducted under no political pressure.  That's actually true because the report was paid for by corporations that think science, real science, might result in policies that they won't like, like cleaning up their CO2 pollution. A recent study found that the majority of all the CO2 of human origins could be traced to just 90 corporations, and if they really were people they might have a conscience or a worry about what they are doing to all of us. And you can bet the money that paid for the NIPCC report came from among those 90. If you want to read more here's a link to the National Center for Science Education and their article on this report.  So maybe TPP will use their report for teaching, but he bets his students will figure out the ruse, again.

No comments: