There has been a story floating around the blogosphere the last several days (e.g., here and here) about a fourth grader who won the junior division of the NSF National Science Fair with a project called "Disproving Global Warming." The project supposedly "beat more than 50,000 other projects submitted by students from all over the U.S.," and irony or ironies, one of the judges was none other than Al Gore.
Not surprisingly the story is a fake.
But it does illustrate the absolute lack of credibility and moral integrity of the climate denialist industry and their ideological blogger lackeys. I'll discuss a few of them below.
1) Reliance on a fourth grader for "science": Seriously. The climate denialist community actually is touting as credible "disproof of global warming" a science project done by a fourth grade student as a class project. What does it say about the denialist industry that they think it is somehow credible that a fourth grade student's science project can invalidate the entire body of climate science by scientists who actually study the science and all the major national science academies worldwide? Why? Because somehow in their world they think it furthers their predetermined viewpoint to rely on non-science free market lobbyists and their front groups (and apparently now, fourth graders).
2) Lack of intellectual verification: As with most other "disproofs," this one doesn't hold any water. The fourth grader actually did do a project for her class. But her project consisted solely of looking at the historical temperatures for Beeville, Texas going back to 1900. She concluded that temperatures went up and down and that, to her, there was not enough evidence to prove global warming. Okay, that's fine for a fourth grade science project, but denialists didn't stop for one second to ask how the temperatures in one little town in Texas could somehow be representative of what is going on globally. Seriously. One local trend? That is like saying that the world is a big ice cube because you happen to be standing on Antarctica in winter.
3) Lack of factual verification: The sad truth is that the denialist industry doesn't really care about facts. The blogger post says what they want to hear so they promote it without making any attempt to see if it is true. As I've said, it is true that this fourth grader did do a science project for her class, which was in the fall of 2009. Ironically, the local web site that promoted her fabricated NSF win had one of those automated "related stories" crawl at the bottom, and it links to the actual list of winners of the R.A. Hall Elementary School Science Fair. And guess what, she didn't even make it into the top five. Nope. Didn't even win in her local school competition, which of course would have made her ineligible to submit to any national competition. But this is typical of denialists - facts don't matter, what matters is that whatever is being said appears to support the narrative. [Even here, most of the time they have misrepresented the information and it actually does NOT support their contention.]
4) Invoking the "Al Gore" code words: Yep, denialists love to mention Al Gore. Forget the fact that his only contribution was to do a movie in 2006 based on the work of 200 years of thousands of scientists worldwide. Oh, and basic physics. But Al Gore is the code word that invokes the Pavlovian responses of the denialist lackeys. Want to get a denialist to spread your lies? Mention Al Gore's name. And lo and behold you'll have the same exact fake story circulated all over the internet, plagiarized from blogger to blogger, with no attempt to verify anything. But hey, volume is important, facts are not.
5) Moral bankruptcy: Steve B has a post on the moral cynicism of climate denialists. And here we have yet another example, in this case the denialists have stooped to dragging a fourth grader into their deception. This girl worked hard to prepare a class project, and she has now been used as a tool in the cynical game the free market lobbyists are playing to protect their corporate members from any kind of policy action taken to deal with the realities of the science. While the usual misrepresentation and outright lying is bad enough, corrupting the innocence of a child is shameful.
It seems the denialist industry will stop at nothing to push their free market goal of stopping any regulation that might impact their short-term profit. And this example shows just how fast a falsehood can be spun around the denialist network of paid bloggers and their ideological lackey co-dependent bloggers. And they know that. The denialist industry knows that everyone hears the false story and hardly anyone hears the retraction (if there even is a retraction, which usually there isn't).
So why is it that the denialists have to lie about everything? And why should anyone listen when everything they have said, and I mean everything, has proven to be an intentional misrepresentation, mischaracterization, or outright lie?
Exactly. We shouldn't believe anything they say. Because it is always - ALWAYS - a lie.
Note that this article is part of a group called "Exposing Climate Denialism - A Guide to Tactics and Tall Tales," located at climatelies.gather.com.Â Please join the group and set settings to receive new articles when they are posted.Â The group also includes an archive of past pasts.