Steven Hayward, Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute and Weyerhauser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has a documentary out that claims to refute the “overall pessimism” in Al Gore’s An Inconventient Truth.
As always, the source matters. The Pacific Research Institute is one of dozens of groups receiving money each year ($175,000 from Exxon since 1998) to “discredit” global warming in much the same way creationists attack evolution — by claiming that it is “just a theory,” by using inconsistencies to undermine an complex body of scientific research, and by accepting money from powerful groups whose interests are contrary to the entire notion of empirical validity and intellectual honesty.
Redbeard had a fine thumping of the awful Times piece on this film, but it’s worth reminding ourselves again that Hayward and friends are contemptible hacks. Two years ago, Hayward offered this gem in the National Review Online:
It is a great myth that SUVs are greater polluters. True, they use more gasoline, but they now have the same emissions standards as all other automobiles, so replacing your old clunker with a new SUV will actually help clean up ozone smog in America. Because they use more gas, they do emit more carbon dioxide, but remember, carbon dioxide is not a noxious pollutant, but plant food.
Yes, and while eight glasses of water a day might be a good idea for maintaining decent health, overhydration can kill your ass. In their attitudes toward war as in their beliefs about ecology, the notion of proportionality is foreign to these people.
We might also look at this. Signed by two dozen industry-funded critics of the “global warming” thesis, this 2002 letter chided Bush about that year’s Climate Action Report, which Bush himself dismissed as a product of “the bureaucracy.” Not satisfied with just bitching about the report, Hayward and others recommended that heads be severed and mounted on pikes:
We therefore urge you to withdraw Climate Action Report 2002 immediately and to direct that it be re-written on the basis of sound science and without relying on discredited products of the previous administration. As production and release of this report demonstrates, pursuing your global warming and energy policies effectively will not be possible as long as key members of your administration do not fully support your policies. We therefore also urge you to dismiss or re-assign all administration employees who are not pursuing your agenda, just as you have done in several similar instances.
No word yet about whether this letter wound up in Gonzo’s hands, but I suppose a good idea is a good idea….