Heartland Institute, a right-wing political “think tank,” is sponsoring another conference of crank science about and crank scientists on global warming, May 16 to 18 in Chicago.
“Another?” Yeah, this is the fourth one.
The first one featured pure crankery, often, from Christopher Monckton and Steven Milloy, two people who have made careers out of pissing in the soup of science. The second conference pretended warming isn’t happening (the title of the conference was). The theme of the third conference is “Reconsidering the Science and the Economics,” but you’d have to be complete fool to think the Heartland Institute would allow a reconsideration of their misplaced sniping at science and bizarre claims that we cannot afford a healthy planet (we can’t afford an unhealthy planet!).
Monckton and Milloy, you recall, are two of the people promoting the shameful and erroneous attacks on Rachel Carson. Monckton stepped up the insanity, blaming Jackie Kennedy for malaria in Africa.
Milloy’s been left out of this one, but most of the grand cranks of climate science denial will be there — Soon, McIntyre, Monckton, and our friend Anthony Watts, who thinks talk of sunshine in policy issues is “hate speech” (Watts does not appear to be familiar with the ethics rules of journalism and political reporting.) Former Sen. George Allen will be there to lend his expertise on energy issues, as director of the Houston-based Institute for Energy Research. Fred Singer and Ian Plimer are scheduled. It’s a dense program.
Watts’s topic will be “Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?” It should be a remarkable presentation.
If the surface temperature record isn’t reliable, what’s he doing using it every day in his weather forecasts? If it is reliable, what’s he doing attacking scientists for using it, and where does he propose to get better, more reliable data?
You can rely on this: There will be lots of press releases, but precious little science that has gone through any peer review process to provide reliability.
In fact, now would be a great time to brush up on Jeremy Bernstein’s methods for telling crank science from genius, and Bob Parks’s “Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science.”
I’d love to have the concession to sell the “Bogus Science Bingo” cards at the meeting.
Chicago in May can be delightful. Cooler days do not get so cool. Spring flowers still erupt. Warmer days will invite outdoor dining downtown and at Chicago’s great neighborhood restaurants.
But these guys will stay indoors and carp about science, about imagined conspiracies to keep their words of wisdom out of publication. Most of them will have some corporate or PAC group paying their way, but a few people will pay to see this parade of voodoo science. They will be had by all.