the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

When Propaganda Goes Mainstream

Posted by Jeff Id on February 22, 2010

Today the guardian put an article up which was absolutely packed with detail that can only be called lies.  It’s so far left and so extreme, it left my jaw in my lap.  Anthony Watts was apparently invited for input into the article which he referred to in a scathing post here as slime.  I had a recent experience where I asked another reporter to leave my first name out of an article.  He agreed and said my name was easy to come by but he wouldn’t say how, the next thing I know it’s in the article several times.  He apologized and blamed his editor which prevented the blasting post by me, which was to follow shortly, but let’s just say that newspapers are pretty good about taking care of the sources they like while the rest are chucked to the wolves.   I’m not really buying the story.  Now today Anthony Watts wasted his time on a different reporter/professor who can be accurately described as a denialist himself.

The headline for the article can only be described as propaganda and the article is worse.

Climate sceptics are recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain

What are the rules of propaganda? Marginalize your enemy through false comparisons and innuendo?  I dunno, cause I’m not a paid propagandist, Jeffrey Sachs is.

22 Responses to “When Propaganda Goes Mainstream”

  1. Earle Williams said

    I know it’s unfair to paint all of Columbia University with the same brush, but I cannot help but feel a loss of respect and credibility for anything associated with that institution.

    It’s a pity that these ranters are blind to the collateral damage inflicted by their screeds.

  2. Mike D. said

    Twits will be twits, and Sachs certainly is one. But despite the Alarmists howling at the moon, their scam is in a death spiral. The AGWers are on the ropes, and this kind of thing is to be expected.

    Brush it off, rise above it, and keep the pressure on.

  3. Sean Inglis said

    Valueless though I think his article is, isn’t he in the same position as any other guest columnist? He can be given a platform (ala Nick Griffin) to “slime” to his heart’s content, without that being the Guardian’s position (yes, optimistic I know).

    The upside is that, in the interests of balance, a similarly unfettered platform should be offered to someone with a more level head and an interest in presenting facts and evidence.

    In some ways, this could be quite a clever way to allow a much more compelling foot in the door in the face of general editorial policy.

  4. Duster said

    That particular pattern of “trash talk” – condescension, marginalization, name calling and outright lying – is precisely why politicians are regarded with such cynicism and despite by many of the rest of us. In science when one of the debators resorts to that kind of talk, they have passed from science into “politics” in its worst form.

  5. Sean Peake said

    It’s Soros’ Evil Empire. Have a look

  6. P Gosselin said

    They’re way below what I call sophomoric…just sleazy liars.
    More proof their world is coming down.

  7. Kenneth Fritsch said

    As someone noted above this may be a case of a twit being twit. What I look for is whether more of the MSM will become involved in an attack on the motives of the climate skeptics and attempt to disparage their behavoir.

    If that happens then I am thinking that the MSM must think the case for immediate mitigation for AGW does not consist of hard evidence and a shift must be made to a war of words for hearts and minds of the voting public.

    And that makes it even more important for us who want to learn more about climate science to stick to the science.

  8. BarryW said

    All those poor psuedo-marxists that are wandering about without the USSR to admire. if you disagree with them you become an enemy of the state and a capitalist running dog lackey. Must be hell to be an intellectual today. All that time and effort trying to find a way to convince people to let them be led by their masters, the intelligentsia.

  9. JimD said

    Sadly the Guardian is now removing entirely factual sceptical comments. Mine was taken down because I told them peer review wasn’t infallible, linking to their own article today about the withdrawal of Siddall’s sea level paper.

    Censorship and lies. Thanks a lot guys.

  10. Craigo said

    I encourage this kind of propaganda. It is just the kind of verbiage that makes people sit up and ask – who do I believe? It is the “settled science” or the “debate is over” and we need to “Act NOW before its too late” that finally invites the previously unconcerned to take notice. Radicals can’t help but be radical and will polarise the debate because it’s what they do which ever end of the spectrum they occupy. Nothing exceeds like excess! Just ask Henny Penny. (

  11. Christopher K said

    With their paradigm slowly collapsing under them, those warmists who have chosen to base their careers and jobs on it will become increasingly desperate as their opportunismm is exposed.

    Ad hominum attacks and appeals to baseless authority will not help. Better to look for a new career.

  12. KimW said

    Some time ago, I subscribed to the Skeptical Inquirer – which describes itself as ‘The Magazine for Science and Reason’. I liked it; it having good reasoned articles that applied common sense and reasoned science to various problems. No more.

    Over the last few issues, it has continued to pour scorn on ‘Psychic Issues’ , ‘Evolution Deniers’ and the like, but it has now – March/April 2010 – started describing Climate Skeptics like myself as ‘Deniers”, publishing Commentary Articles that compared the recent petition to the American Physical Society as ” .. led by a core group connected with think tanks experienced in anti-science disinformation efforts, starting with tobacco companies”, and recommending as a reputable site. In other articles in this issue, it is made clear that being a skeptic on climate is now ‘Anti-Science’.

    It has pulled blinders over its own eyes and is completely in the tank for AGW. Thanks guys, for resorting to ad hominum arguments.

  13. Duke C. said

    Well, it’s no surprise that Professor Sachs has ties to Gavin Schmidt.

    He wrote the Forward to a book authored last year by Gavin, Climate Change: Picturing the Science

    Both he and Gavin were Copenhagen Climate Summit Experts sponsored by Columbia U.

    Scientists, economists, politicians, bureaucrats… It’s one big incestuous circle.

  14. I’ve written a related blog post. I think part of the dynamic here is that many environmentalists these days come from big, lavishly-funded organizations. In their world, it costs a small fortune to get anything done due to bureaucracy, corporate structures, etc.

    From their perspective, therefore, they can’t really imagine ordinary grassroots folks doing stuff minus access to deep pockets of (big oil/coal/tobacco) funding. Just a thought. Cheers!

    Independent bloggers vs corporate environmentalists

  15. Jimchip said

    Anthony Watts pointed out over at CA that RealClimate is “Part of the Guardian Environmental Network”. The Guardian lists some of their network memebers on their pages. I imagine that the Guardian is part of the Noble Cause more than it is an independent news organization.

  16. xyzlatin said

    Must be a world wide campaign.

    Check out Andrew Bolts blog in Australia.

    The rant is on the ABC web site here:- follow the links.

  17. Ausie Dan said

    What is happening now can best be described by the Kubler-Ross Five Stages of Mourning” model.
    These stages are:
    1. denial ans isolation
    2. anger
    3 bargening
    4 depression
    5 acceptance
    People spend different periods of time in each stage and frequently vascilate backwards and forwards betwwenn stages and pass through them in different orders.

    The AGW has died. Its supporters are in mourning. At the moment thay are fluctuating between denial and anger – hence the retreat to old stories that worked in the past, denial of what has happened and angry personal attacks.

    It will be interesting when they start to move forward to the third stage; barganing.
    We should be careful then and not attempt to negotiate.
    Scientific knowledge cannot come from compromise.

  18. JAE said

    “What are the rules of propaganda? Marginalize your enemy through false comparisons and innuendo? I dunno, cause I’m not a paid propagandist, Jeffrey Sachs is.”

    Well, there is nothing new here. The New York Times prints this kind of pap every single day. So does every other leftist newspaper and blog site. The leftist/socialists have no factual ammunition to “shoot,” so they have to be very creative in inventing and tirelessly repeating this kind of innuendo and bullshit. If they start dealing with facts, they are dead in the water, and they know it.

  19. Ausie Dan said

    The Sydney Morning Herald is the oldest newspaper in Australia, being established in the early years of the British colony in NSW.
    Its readership is up market, better educated, older, conservative to small L liberal people. In the past it has nor hesitated to criticise governments from the left or the right.
    For many years, it has been a critic of the incompetent NSW state Labor government.
    It started out admiring the national Labor goverment elected at the end of 2007 and made fun of the opposition. Since Tony Abbott was voted leader, it has given them more respect.
    More recently (post Copenhagen) it has got stuck into the Labor government for a series of incompetent blunders, but strangely it is still the captive of the AGW scam, which, surprise, surprise, the government supports (but now with much reduced enthusiasm, after Rudd made such a show of himself at Copenhagen).

    As late as this morning (23-02-2010) the paper published a scary report by a visiting professor who warned local councils to start preparing for coastal flooding, which he claimed would occur because of lack of government action to curb CO2 emissions.
    Well as far as Sydney harbour is concerned, the council should not worry.
    However there was no analysis or criticism by the reporter.

    Monthly data is availabe about water level in the harbour going back to 1914.
    The harbor level has been rising steadily at the rate of 8.4 centermetres per 100 years. The very latest data shows no sign of any increase in that rate.
    Why does the media publish such rot?
    What is their commercial interest in so doing?
    The SMH is rapidly losing readers to the internet, where competent analysis abounds. None of my three adult middle aged children buy any newspapers.

  20. Peter of Sydney said

    It’s clear the AGW alarmist will do anything to keep their agenda going, and they will succeed if the they lie long and hard enough. There is only one way to stop this for good. Charge many of the leaders of the AGW scam with fraud charges, and if found guilty place them behind bars. Then and only then will the tide really turn against the AGW hoax in the corrupted media world.

  21. Charly said

    Isn`t Jeffrey Sachs the dude who helped Russia get into deep economic trouble shortly after the implosion of the USSR?

  22. Gary said

    With mendacious essays like that by Sachs, the best response is mockery. You just have to be witty and avoid sophomoric humor.

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