At last! The controversy is over. It turns out the "scientific" claims promoted for decades by whiny self-righteous liberals were a lie, a fraud, a con–and we don’t need to change after all. The left is humiliated; the conservatives are triumphant and exultant.
The year is 1954, and the "science" that has been exposed as a "sham" by conservatives is the link between smoking and lung cancer. Welcome to Tobaccogate, as Fox News would call it. The conservatives are championing professor Clarence Cook Little, who says he has discovered insurmountable flaws in the use of statistics and clinical data by "anti-tobacco" (and quasi-commie) scientists. The press reports the "controversy," usually without mentioning that Cook Little is being paid by the tobacco industry. A relieved nation lights up–and so, over the next few decades, millions of them die.
It is happening again. The tide of global warming denial is now rising as fast as global sea levels–and with as much credibility as Cook Little. Look at the deniers’ greatest moment, Climategate, hailed by them as "the final nail in the coffin" of "the theory of global warming." A patient study by the British House of Commons has pored over every e-mail from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and interviewed everyone involved. Its findings? The "evidence patently fails to support" the idea of a fraud; the scientists have "no case to answer"; and all their findings "have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified" by other scientists. That’s British for "it was a crock."
Yet a startling amount of denialism now, like Climategate, travels across the Atlantic from my country–Britain–to the United States. Yes, I know our accents make us sound instantly plausible, but it’s time Americans knew who these Brideshead bull-scientists really are. Look, for example, at their doyen–a man named Christopher Monckton. He has been lauded by the Wall Street Journal, National Review and Rush Limbaugh for exposing the truth about global warming, and is used by the New York Times as a balancing voice against the claims of climate scientists. In fact, Monckton is an English aristocrat with no scientific training. He studied ancient Greece and Rome, and worked as a policy adviser for Margaret Thatcher.
Oh, and he claims he can cure HIV. Seriously. As journalist George Monbiot points out, Monckton has stated in writing that he is "responsible for invention and development of a broad-spectrum cure for infectious diseases…including…HIV." He is prone to such wild fantasies. He has stated that he persuaded Thatcher to use biological weapons in the Falklands War. He falsely claimed he is a member of the House of Lords and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. When challenged, Monckton has admitted to a weakness for telling "stories that aren’t actually true."