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Anti-government activists convene science bashing forums at OU, CMU

‘Expert’ climate panel features cartoonist, ideologues, no scientists
Mar 16, 2010
Anti-government activists are convening on the campuses of Oakland University and Central Michigan University today. They will attack the consensus of thousands of scientists from dozens of countries that climate change is occurring, is significantly accelerated by manmade emissions, and needs to be forcefully addressed.

The ‘expert panel’ addresses the most significant scientific matter of our time. Yet it includes no speakers with background in climatology or science of any kind.

Instead, it is comprised of a newspaper cartoonist and representatives from ideological organizations fiercely opposed to government regulation. In an attempt to confuse the public, the speakers will distort the significance of recent developments including e-mails stolen from some climate scientists.

The Michigan Environmental Council believes it is important to remember what attendees are not likely to hear at the forums: All major United States scientific organizations concur with the most recent findings of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). All these organizations are aware of the e-mail revelations referred to by skeptics. None have concluded that the information undermines the IPCC’s climate change conclusions.

The groups include:
 -- American Meteorological Society
 -- American Physical Society
 -- American Geophysical Union
 -- American Association for the Advancement of Science
 -- Geological Society of America
 -- American Chemical Society
 -- American Statistical Association
 -- National Academy of Sciences
 -- National Academy of Engineering
 -- Institute of Medicine
 -- National Research Council

More than 250 U.S. scientists, the majority of whom are climate scientists, have signed an open letter concluding that no recent revelations undermine the IPCC’s conclusions. National science academies from 32 nations support the IPCC conclusions.

These institutions have the expertise to make educated assessments of climate science data.

The anti-government and anti-regulation panelists on the agenda today do not. They are blinded or willfully dismissive of science that does not fit neatly with their ideological goals.

Like the infamous cigarette industry memo of a generation ago, “doubt is their product.”

Who’s talking?
Two speakers on the panel are representatives of organizations with histories of opposing any science that might suggest a need for new or more protective regulations to safeguard human health: the Heartland Institute and the Reason Foundation. Both are funded by oil and tobacco interests. Both have consistently opposed regulation of tobacco and dangerous chemicals.

The Heartland Institute’s anti-regulatory stance is so extreme it opposed the Great Lakes Compact. It believes we should allow pipelines and tankers to ship Great Lakes water to other states and nations.

The third speaker is a cartoonist for the Detroit News. The newspaper’s editorial stances mirror those of the Heartland and Reason organizations – opposing almost any policy or scientific finding that might be used to suggest a new or expanded role for government in protecting public health.

The forum is sponsored by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, whose goals and methods are consistent with its allies on the panel.

Hugh McDiarmid Jr., 248-660-4300
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