In case you missed it, I thought y0u should catch up on the global warming scam.
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Assertions and Creditable Evidence: This week, the movie, Merchants of Doubt, was released, which claims that certain scientists were in the pay of tobacco companies, etc. without advancing credible evidence. These scientists had the audacity of challenging that human emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming. Of course, warming has stopped even though emissions continue to increase and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) continues to increase.
The movie is based on a book of the same name by Oreskes and Conway, which offers no credible evidence showing that the four scientists, including SEPP Chairman, Fred Singer, were paid by tobacco companies.
Without a causal mechanism, establishing that inhaling hot cigarette smoke was the primary cause of lung cancer was a difficult, statistically debatable process. Initially, many possible causes were considered, including replacing dirt roads with asphalted roads. The work by Sir Bradford Hill, and others, is laudatory.
There is no question that tobacco companies used unscrupulous means to attack the credibility of the researchers. This is well documented. Today’s issue centers on claims that anyone who questions the rigor of the statistical work supporting a politically popular cause must be using similar methods as the tobacco companies did – guilt by association. Fred Singer, who does not smoke, had the audacity of questioning the claim that second-hand smoke causes cancer. The claim is extremely weak, and far below any standard statistical threshold. For this, he was attacked in both the movie and the book as receiving money from tobacco companies, without any credible evidence supporting the claim.
These efforts illustrate how politically motivated persons will label those, who criticize the lack of rigorous science supporting a politically popular cause, as anti-science, or as paid by third parties. That scientists, and once highly-regarded scientific institutions, join this effort demonstrates the general lowering of standards of acceptable scientific rigor.
Fred Singer has challenged the producer of the movie for evidence. Ken Haapala is asking those who give it positive reviews to please provide credible evidence supporting claims that Singer were financially supported by tobacco companies. Of course, there is none. In fact, during his 25-year service as president of SEPP he received no salary or fee income whatsoever. Further, SEPP does not solicit support from corporations or government.
There may be a silver lining in the release of the movie. It comes at a time of increasing popularity of courtroom drama and crime shows. These are educating the viewing public that hearsay and rumor are not credible evidence. Some members of the public may begin to question the claims in the book and the movie that fail to produce credible evidence as hearsay and rumor. Who knows, they may begin to ask the same question about claims that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming? See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Dream Evidence Up.
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