Thursday, December 31, 2015

Marc Morano, Champion of Willful Ignorance, contempt, and oblivion

(Final touch up edits shortly before midnight 12/31/2015, my time)
Another year has come and gone and what do we have to show for it?  More Earth observations confirming that our 'global heat and moisture distribution engine' is in a state of increasing transition towards a hotter more energetic regime.  More climate science and communication outreach programs (and here and here and here and here). 

The COP21 climate agreement in Paris?  To be honest, I have no idea what it actually means or how it will impact the climate or me, and I doubt anyone else does either.  What about the most important thing?  Did we as humans in a global society learn anything?

Have the folks who've been battling climate scientists moderated their outlandish attacks in light of what's been happening before our eyes?  Has the Republican PR machine slowed down enough to learn anything?

ClimateDepot's (and Senator Inhofe's pal), Marc Morano is happy to supply the answer:

(This article is followed by a dozen+ interesting Marc Morano related articles and links, 
for the curious.)   

Looking at that picture I can't help wondering, did Marc transport that thing over there for this one show of utter in-your-face contempt towards people who think our finite physical planet is worth worrying about and conserving?

His display of contempt underscores a profound disconnect from the physical realities of our planet.  These people remain in love with their Reaganomics mantra of Greed is Good and Too Much Is Never Enough - they can't see through the lie because they are on top of the heap and honestly don't give a rat's ass about the rest. 

It really is that simple.  It's why observation and fact-based rationalists continue losing this "debate" - which is supposed to be a learning process, not a PR game.  
Learning requires a mutual commitment to follow certain rules encompassing honesty and allowing facts to take one where they will.  Mistakes are for learning from, not bludgeons for attacking.  Notions that have been resoundingly exposed as false and rejected, don't keep getting recycled, they are abandoned.  Facts are not misrepresented and corrections are taken into account and built upon.  Slander, character-assassination and malicious dirty-tricks is criminal.

Learning about our home planet requires a mind that can imagine and conceptualize our physical Earth as a real, infinitely complex entity, more living than not.  A planet with a magnificent four and a half billion year old life story that informs today's world in every way.  A precious thing that deserves (and these days requires) our understanding, appreciation and nurturing, or we lose.  Earth can recover, we can't!

I think we need to face the fact that we are dealing with people who have no conception for any of that.  Nor do they care to.  They don't want to see outside of their own self-absorbed worlds.  How do we address that?  

Rather than trying to understand the fantastic creation around us, they choose to hide within ancient "holy books" as though that and the struggles within their heads/hearts were reality while our physical world outside were a thing of fantasy.  After that, what is left?  Tribalism, obsessive pursuit of self-interest and conjuring enemies?  In a shrinking world it's a bad recipe.

Of all the wonderful things we humans have achieved, we've failed ourselves by failing to incorporate an attitude of friendship toward the greater Earth and it's creatures and her processes, into our 'weltanschauung.' 

Elevating the awareness of our Earth's biosphere to the status of a member of the family circle, or even a religious object.  Why not!?  We were born out of it, and we depend upon it for everything, and we are going back to it when we die!  It sure beats the ego-trip of presuming one understands the Mind and Will of the God of time and creation. 

But no, instead our society considers Earth a commodity to be consumed as fast as possible. Which brings me back to Marc Morano the oh so proud spokesman for that attitude.  He has done as much as anyone to reinforce public ignorance regarding what manmade global warming is doing to our world.  This is what we are up against.  
I was going to keep this Marc Morano Collection chronological until I found Michael Tobis' insightful, as opposed to simply informative, article of August 10, 2009 so I'll start the following collection with a flashback to 2009.

Morano Claims It's Over
Michael Tobis | August 10, 2009

"Marc Morano of Climate Depot has written an article of his own, claiming to summarize the evidence (or pseudo-evidence) that can be brought to bear on the proposition that

"Desperation time has arrived for the promoters of man-made global warming fears. As the science of man-made climate fears continues to collapse, new tactics are being contrived to try to drum up waning public support."

Well, I suppose the final clause has some merit. There are signs that, in the US (as opposed to pretty much everywhere else) the public is lukewarm about climate change as a policy priority.

But why is the public so unconcerned? Is this because the science "continues to collapse"? Or is it because of clever misrepresentations of the increasingly robust state of climatological science and systematic neglect of the direct toxic effect of CO2 on the viability of ocean life?

The last week was a revealing one in the history of American politics. We have seen systematic national deployment of shrill mobs, intended to disrupt public ("town hall") meetings between congressional representatives and the public, intended to portray an impression of a popular trend that doesn't exist. ...

"... In particular, there's an enormous reluctance to trace beliefs and movements to their roots in rumor, innuendo and misrepresentation, since that would appear to be opposed to the point of view in question. A fine example is in the "neutral" coverage of unjustifiably extreme statements about the currently debated healthcare legislation.

The climate denialists are engaged in a very similar tactic; be as loud and prominent as possible, misrepresent a small angry minority as a growing force, and spin the press.

I think it will be necessary for somebody to take Morano's account apart piece by piece. ..."
(and Michael does )
(The final item in this collection an interesting story about Michael Tobis and his own investigations into the anatomy of denial.)

Behind the clown's curtain.
Morano's gala red carpet event.
image courtesy of Baerbel W

From a certain angle and with a sympathetic camera positioned just right, a triumphant Marc Morano emerges from a stretch white limo and raises his hand to an out-of-shot Paris crowd as he hits the red carpet for the world premiere of his new movie Climate Hustle.
Behind him comes a gaggle of suited climate science deniers, the stars of a film that producer Morano promised would “rock the climate debate”. To many, the big night appears to be a roaring success.
But just like many of the arguments from professional climate science denialists, what at first might appear a cinematic coup d'état turns out to be little more than fakery and stage management.
How do I know?  I was there.
Marc Morano is one of the most recognisable faces of professionalized climate science denial in the United States. He is the communications director for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), a think tank that claims human-caused climate change is either overblown alarmism or a hoax.
The Paris “premiere” took place on 7 December 2015 at the tiny Cinéma du Panthéon, about 15 kilometres away from the actual venue of the major United Nations COP21 climate talks, which were beginning their second week.
Following Morano out of the back of the Hummer limo was a guy dressed in a large white teddy bear costume (I’m guessing the costume store was all out of polar bears).
Then came the denialists — Dr Fred Singer (who doubts secondhand tobacco smoke causes cancer), Lord Christopher Monckton (who claims Barack Obama’s birth certificate is almost certainly fake, and also lots of other stuff), Dr Bob Carter (an Australian geologist who advises a string of climate science denial groups) and Dr Willie Soon (whose research is exclusively paid for by conservative causes and the fossil fuel industry). ...
Excellent summation of the ideologically-shackled and passion-blinded climate science denial spinmeisters.

Doubling Down on Denial and Deceit
By Michael E. Mann | 09/21/2015 

Thanks to a months-long investigation by the Pulitzer-prize winning Inside Climate News, we learned last week that ExxonMobil's own scientists had secretly confirmed the science behind human-caused climate change as early as the late 1970s.

Yes -- this is the same ExxonMobil that has funded efforts to attack the science of climate change for more than two decades. As I recount in The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars ('HSCW'), I found myself at the center of those attacks because of the iconic Hockey Stick graph my co-authors and I published back in the late 1990s. 

The graph highlighted, in an easily understandable way, the unprecedented nature of modern global warming. As a result, it proved greatly inconvenient for vested interests, like ExxonMobil, who are opposed to regulation of carbon emissions -- from the burning of fossil fuels -- that are behind the warming of the globe and the associated changes in climate. ...
So one might well wonder as we head toward the critical December 2015 climate summit in Paris, have the latest revelations about ExxonMobil caused climate change deniers to see the light, to reconsider their position? And one might well suspect the answer...

Since the ExxonMobil story broke, the "merchants of doubt" have instead engaged in a campaign of misdirection, presumably hoping they can distract the public and policymakers from the stunning new revelations. Among other things, we have seen these events unfold in the few days since the story broke:

1. The right-wing Canadian newspaper National Post engaged in a reprehensible personal attack against climate advocate Naomi Klein and her opposition to mining the Canadian tar sands ... The piece included a false and libelous allegation of "fraud" against yours truly. It is worth noting that the National Post has previously lost a defamation suit brought by a climate scientist. It is also worth noting that the columnist who penned the piece, Conrad Black, is best known for having served a prison term for actually committing fraud. Chalk one up for chutzpah.

2. Conservative commentator George Will, known for his serial distortions when it comes to the matter of climate change, has attacked Pope Francis for his efforts to raise awareness about the threat of climate change. Though Will's commentary is filled with half-truths, falsehoods, and innuendo, what is most cynical and pernicious about the piece is the pretense of concern that acting on climate change "would devastate the poor" when precisely the opposite is known to be true.

3. Professional climate smearmonger Marc Morano joined with Koch Brothers-funded attack dog John Hinderaker and others in the conservative media and blogosphere accusing climate scientists of wanting to "arrest climate skeptics". As with just about anything that comes out of the climate denialosphere, the allegation is of course completely untruthful. The reality is that a small group of climate scientists recently suggested that the department of justice investigate the possibility that certain fossil fuel companies (not individuals) might be subject to civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") charges. ...

As the curtain continues to be lifted on the climate change denial machine and its deceitful tactics, we must assume that the smears and distortions will simply grow more desperate, the misdirection and distraction more brazen. ...

The entire article is worth your time:

Marc Morano's Climate Hustle Film Set For Paris Premiere With Same Old Denial Myths
By Graham Readfearn • Thursday, November 12, 2015

Marc Morano is never short of a superlative or two, but when it has come to promoting his long-gestating documentary Climate Hustle, the climate science denialist extraordinaire has been outdoing himself.

“We are putting together what I think is the most comprehensive, unique, entertaining and humorous climate documentary that has ever been done or attempted,” Morano has said.

His documentary Climate Hustle will get its “big red carpet premiere,” as Morano has described it, on 7 December in the Cinéma du Panthéon in Paris at the beginning of the second week of major United Nations climate talks taking place in the French capital. 

“The reason that this is a unique film,” Morano has said, “is that we are going for a pop culture-friendly… sarcastic approach and we actually give both sides in this movie.” ...

Get Rich Or Lie Tryin': Climate Hustler Marc Morano
By cgibson  -  11/14/15

If you've ever turned on the TV and seen a charismatic, boyish, conservative looking man yelling at scientists in an animated fashion, there's a good chance it was Marc Morano.
Marc's new movie, Climate Hustle, is slated for release during global climate change negotiations next month. 

How The Merchants Of Doubt Push Climate Denial On Your Television

Denise Robbins  ››› 

Climate Change Misinformer Of The Year: Marc Morano
Research by Jill Fitzsimmons & Shauna Theel | December 27, 2012 founder Marc Morano has been called "the Matt Drudge of climate denial," the "king of the skeptics," and "a central cell of the climate-denial machine," and he revels in these descriptions. Although he has no scientific expertise, he is adamant that manmade global warming is a "con job" based on "subprime science." Morano gained prominence working for two of the most vocal climate deniers in the U.S.: Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who notoriously called climate change "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," and Rush Limbaugh, who we named Climate Change Misinformer of the Year in 2011 for his steadfast denial of climate science and wild conspiracy theories about the climate change "hoax."

These days Morano is paid by an industry-funded group to run the climate denial website At Climate Depot, Morano serves as the de facto research department for the right-wing media's attacks on climate science, and mobilizes his readers to target individual scientists and reporters for telling the public about climate change threats. ...

This Man Wants to Convince You Global Warming Is a Hoax
By John Richardson | March 30, 2010

Early on the morning of November 17, Gavin Schmidt sat down at his computer and entered his password. It didn't work. Strange, he thought. He tried a few other accounts and none of them worked, either. Now he was alarmed. As a leading climatologist with NASA's Goddard Institute in Manhattan, he'd been hacked before. He was used to e-mails from people who disapproved of his work, threatening e-mails that detailed the romantic life he was going to have in prison. So he knew what to do: He logged in via the Unix shell command.

A second later, the computer logged him off — and locked him out. Someone was in there, fighting him in real time. Schmidt sent an emergency message to his Web server:


When they started the system up again, hours later, Schmidt found a forged Web page and a link to a file holding thousands of what looked like private e-mails written by some leading climatologists who study global warming. In addition to being a massive theft, it was a dark joke. ...

Marc Morano - Global Superhero
By Patrick Lockerby | February 16th 2010

"Marc Morano does not think global warming is anything to worry about.  He is utterly convinced that it is the greatest scam in history, a fraud, a pack of lies, etc. etc.

So convinced is he of THE TRUTH that he has made a most astounding offer.  Entirely of his own volition he has taken on the entire financial burden of damages payable to the world at large's children and grandchildren should he prove to be wrong.

Marc Morano made that offer on his own website - - and in his own name.  He was responding to a speech by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia given on 6 Nov 2009.


Morano's response: "Climate Depot Response: Nice maudlin touch, Mr. Rudd. The fact is children are probably the only ones left that you and your climate fear promoting friends can convince that a climate catastrophe is just around the corner and you and your colleagues are their saviors. You are in luck, Mr. Rudd. Climate Depot takes full responsibility for the fate of your children and grandchildren from any future man-made climate catastrophe. Climate Depot can and will gladly take public responsibility for the children and future grandchildren of our planet for “doing nothing” about climate. So there, problem solved." ...

Source: "

Dissenter on Warming Expands His Campaign
By Leslie Kaufman April 9, 2009

WASHINGTON — Marc Morano does not think global warming is anything to worry about, and he brags about his confrontations with those who do. ...

As a spokesman for Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Mr. Morano was for years a ceaseless purveyor of the dissenting view on climate change, sending out a blizzard of e-mail to journalists covering the issue. Now, with Congress debating legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions, Mr. Morano is hoping to have an even greater impact. He has left his job with Mr. Inhofe to start his own Web site, ...

Lies, Conservatives and Statistics: 
Marc Morano's Fantasy
By Terry Krepel | 8/23/2007

While at CNS, Morano served as a willing amplifer of attacks on NASA global warming scientist James Hansen by George Deutsch, a former NASA press aide accused of censoring Hansen. (Deutsch was forced out of his job after it was revealed that he had not, as he had claimed on his resumé, graduated from college.)  ...

Purple Heartbreakers
By James Webb | January 18, 2006 | OP-ED Contributor

... After all, in recent years extremist Republican operatives have inverted a longstanding principle: that our combat veterans be accorded a place of honor in political circles. This trend began with the ugly insinuations leveled at Senator John McCain during the 2000 Republican primaries and continued with the slurs against Senators Max Cleland and John Kerry, and now Mr. Murtha. ...

Cybercast News Service is run by David Thibault, who formerly worked as the senior producer for "Rising Tide," the televised weekly news magazine produced by the Republican National Committee. One of the authors of the Murtha article was Marc Morano, a long-time writer and producer for Rush Limbaugh.

The accusations against Mr. Murtha were very old news, principally coming from defeated political rivals. Aligned against their charges are an official letter from Marine Corps Headquarters written nearly 40 years ago affirming Mr. Murtha's eligibility for his Purple Hearts - "you are entitled to the Purple Heart and a Gold Star in lieu of a second Purple Heart for wounds received in action" - and the strict tradition of the Marine Corps regarding awards. ..., in the Marines Mr. Murtha's Vietnam Bronze Star would have required the approval of four different awards boards. ...

What is it that allows someone such as our Morano (and pals) to so totally disregard truth, integrity, respect, appreciation and spin the most outlandish stories with impunity.  When his lies are exposed, he laughs it off, so what, his people are buying it and digging deeper in their self absorbed oblivion (regarding the planet we are a part of and depend on.).    It requires a phenomenal contempt for others.  Or is it as simple as never outgrowing the infantile stage, and remaining completely unaware of the world beyond their own personal wants and needs and greeds. (fixed that 1/2/16)

The ego has landed: A personal look at egomania
Posted by Dr.MarkGriffiths
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

I will close with this excellent dissection of how the Republican attack on science operates.

Character assassination in climate science: the Michael Tobis story 
By A.P.Smith | Sat, 03/07/2009 |

"... The media has frequently been inadequate to the job, we know that. But the most important reason for public confusion on global warming seems to trace not so much to the influence of money, corruption, or incompetence, but ideology. The cooperative nature of the fight needed to combat global warming runs counter to the centrally selfish individualist thread in American thought, and so-called "conservatives" have stubbornly and insistently refused to acknowledge the facts on CO2 and warming. This trend seems to be only increasing in Obama's America, where they are starting to be marginalized. The reaction to George Will's ignorant recent columns at least shows a new self-assertiveness among the climate-knowledgeable, since Will has been writing much the same thing for decades without this level of reaction.

But even so, the NY Times had to balance their report on the Will affair with criticism of Al Gore. Where did that come from, and why did it happen? Andy Revkin, the normally excellent climate reporter who wrote that piece, was quickly taken to task by many in the climate community, including Michael Tobis, a blogger and climate modeler at the University of Texas, Austin. Tobis was so appalled by Revkin's article equating Gore's and Will's "exaggerations", he expressed himself rather strongly on the matter on his blog, and went on something of a quest to find out what happened. What motivated Revkin to do something that Tobis felt, given Revkin's understanding of the climate issues, was unethical, even "evil"? ..."

Therein lies a very interesting story.

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