THE BLOG
12/10/2009 12:54 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sarah Palin and "Climategate" Propaganda

I really don't want to waste my time blogging about Sarah Palin's ridiculous op-ed in yesterday's Washington Post on "Copenhagen's political science," that is, about what she (or whoever really wrote the piece) thinks is the "politicized" science behind global warming.

Needless to say, she plays up the right's (that is, the denialists') talking points on those hacked University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) e-mails.

Among other idiotic things, she calls the CRU researchers "so-called climate change experts" (as if they're just a bunch of hacks); dismisses "the radical environmental movement" as some nefarious force behind "politicized" science; claims there is "no real consensus" among climate change researchers; suggests there are "strong doubts" among scientists regarding historical temperatures (implying there are similarly strong doubts regarding global warming generally); and refers to the supposed "agenda-driven policies" at Copenhagen (whatever that means).

Thankfully, Marc Ambinder has performed an invaluable service in providing an annotated rebuttal to Palin's op-ed. Read it in full. His key points (with my comments) include:

-- "By 'radical,' Palin means the overwhelming scientific consensus... The global warming consensus minus the East Anglia contributions is still a strong consensus, one that has been regularly, repeatedly and independently verified." (I would add, of course there are disagreements between and among scientists. Science isn't religion or ideology, it's an ever-evolving quest for the truth ascertained through the scientific method. When it comes to climate change, what's truly remarkable is that there is such an overwhelming consensus. Denialists take this as proof of some grand conspiracy, which is just silly. What it really means is that, whatever minor differences there may be, climate change researchers are in general agreement about the key points. It isn't a conspiracy, it's the truth.

-- "These are experts. Their science has been validated, independently. Their 'actions' here consist of insulting climate change skeptics, immature name-calling, and, at worst, devising a strategy to keep the climate change deniers out of debates and peer-reviewed journals. The 'concerns' that Palin speaks of are the result of years of accumulated science denialism that now, conveniently, has been seemingly 'validated' by the fog of a grand conspiracy, suddenly revealed." (Yes, the e-mails make them look bad, but it doesn't make them wrong, or a part of some grand conspiracy.)

-- "[T]he politicization came about as a response to an extremely well-funded political campaign by those whose bottom lines would be most harmed by carbon taxes, cap and trade schemes and the like." (Absolutely, the blame belongs with the denialists and their industry backers, who are doing everything they can to undermine the consensus and turn the public against the truth about climate change.)

There you go.

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For more on the faux scandal known as "Climategate," see my post "Hacking reality: 'Climategate,' denialist propaganda, and the truth about climate change."

See also Brad Plumer's recent post at TNR's The Vine.

(Cross-posted from The Reaction.)