Thursday, April 10, 2014

CFACT + Lovelock = Climate Confusion

The Denialsphere has a new meme:

And as usual, it would be charitable to call it a half-truth.

It took me less than five minutes to find that out.

Yes, the irrepressibly outspoken originator of the Gaia theory of our planet, James Lovelock, did say what CFACT (the “Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow,” as Stephen Colbert might have named it) triumphantly says he did. Without even fact-checking, I'm willing to believe another climate change obfuscation outfit on that one, because at least the Global Warming Policy Foundation is responsible enough to publish the 94-year-old scientist cum natural philosopher's words in partial context – a context that includes other tidbits you won't see in any disinfographic from CFACT.

Lovelock's quote is loosely taken from a BBC Newsnight interview broadcast on April 2, just a few days after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its massive Working Group II report on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.

Early in the interview, Lovelock opted to illustrate his point that we're not as smart as we think we are, and that we're cruising for a bruising with extinction, by opining:
Take this climate matter everybody is thinking about. They all talk, they pass laws, they do things, as if they knew what was happening. I don’t think any of them really know what’s happening. They're just guessing it. And a whole group of them meet together and encourage each other’s guesses. 
(I'm using my own transcript now that I've watched the interview myself. It corrects some errors in the transcript by the GWPF and adds a few more lines of context.)

So there it is. The get, the ripe cherry to be picked, the quote to be mined, tweaked and decontextualized by CFACT, Friends of Science, Watts Up With That? and all the other climate confusionists dedicated to pulling the wool over the people's eyes in the guise of enlightening them, ensuring the fossil fuel companies will live to profit another day and keeping the bogeymen of “Big Government” and global governance away.

And here's the context.