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Environment

A New Think Tank Attack on Gore

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyMay 3, 2007 11:40 PM

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Via Guns, Germs, & Steeled, I just noticed that Steven Hawyard of the American Enterprise Instiute and Pacific Research Institute has released a rather tacky parody movie of Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. I just watched it; you can do so here. In general, Hayward is trying to position himself as a moderate, someone who accepts some human caused global warming but who isn't an alarmist like Al Gore and those wacky environmentalists. There's just one problem with this stance: Hayward was aiming straight at the scientific consensus as recently as two years ago:

What do we actually know? The earth's temperature has risen about 1 degree Celsius over the last 100 years. That's where the agreement ends and the arguments begin....Some of the increase may be man-made, but much of it may be a natural warming trend stemming from the "little ice age" between the 14th and 19th centuries. Some scientists believe the warming may have more to do with deforestation and other land-use trends than greenhouse gases. There is no consensus on this point.

The reference is Steven F. Hayward, "Cooled Down - The global-warming hype is running out of (greenhouse?) gas, as it very much deserves," National Review, January 31, 2005. Now, like so many other "skeptics", Hayward has supposedly shifted towards accepting the central global warming consensus. But he's still opportunistically fighting over the science around the margins: Is Antarctica warming or cooling? How much sea level rise are we going to get? Do the models get clouds right? In short, he has repositioned politically but is still engaging in the same basic tactic--constantly trigger the "scientific uncertainty" frame. Pick, pick, and pick at the information. It's the same, tired game.

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