International Journal of Inactivism (now supplanted by Decoding SwiftHack)


Are any of these supposed to make any sense at all?

Source: Balloon Juice.

Source: Balloon Juice.

cite as: F. Bi. 2009. Are any of these supposed to make any sense at all? Intl. J. Inact., 2:63

Former Swift Boat smearer Marc Morano leaves the employ of US Senator James Inhofe to start a new web site to promote global warming ‘skepticism’ []. Balloon Juice observes that ACORN “is turning into the phlogiston of wingnut conspiracy theories” []; the next day, the serious academic think-tank known as the Heartland Institute shows its serious seriousness by spreading this wingnut conspiracy theory, citing Rush Limbaugh approvingly [].

None of these make any sense whatsoever (unless “making lots of noise” counts as sense), so I’ll just say this:

Happy Easter to All!

* * *



  1. Just a quick submission, Frank, but courtesy of Climate Progress, apparently Steve Milloy openly admits to deliberately choosing to use alarmist tactics, because ‘it’s easier’ (presumably easier than Junkscience). He did this at a Heartland event pimping his new book, which is yet another conspiracy theory about greens as secret totalitarian Bolshevik Illuminati masterminds. The irony, it burns.

    Comment by Brian D — 2009/04/16 @ 15:08 | Reply

  2. Brian D:

    Wow, great. (By the way, it seems that was a Heritage Institute event, not the Heartland event — I didn’t see Milloy’s name there for this year’s Heartland ‘conference’.)

    Comment by frankbi — 2009/04/17 @ 17:38 | Reply

  3. Oops. I read “Heritage” but wrote “Heartland” — I’ve been discussing Denialpalooza ’09 with a resident legitimate skeptic, and it must have led to memetic mutation.

    One long-forgotten point on Heritage that I forgot to mention earlier: They themselves did similar alarmist tactics on Kyoto, warning Americans that implementing it would be the doom of us all because gas would go up to *gasp* $1.91/gallon. (Of course, it did no such thing, and it took prices nearly double that to actually produce a change in American behaviour. What Heritage actually did was merge a formal report with a discussion piece, repeat a claim from the discussion piece four times and frame it as if it were all from the report, and then publish without links to the original sources.) It was one of their backgrounders; once I get home I can look up which one it was.

    Comment by Brian D — 2009/04/17 @ 18:07 | Reply

  4. Brian D:

    That’s some weird stuff; do let us know when you find it. 🙂

    Comment by frankbi — 2009/04/20 @ 07:45 | Reply

  5. I actually found it back when I wrote that last comment, but forgot to post it here. It wasn’t my own discovery: I first heard about it from Greg (wonderingmind42, the Manpollo videos), and his introduction to it from the second How It All Ends video “Risk Management” sums it up well:

    The Heritage Foundation’s article is subtitled “More Bad News for Americans,” and their lead economic consequence, the biggest, scariest impact that they chose to highlight to warn the reader of the “Devastating Economic Consequences” was: if we followed the Kyoto Protocol, by the year 2010 a gallon of gasoline could cost as much as $1.91. I had to laugh. I mean, to be fair, there’s lots of other numbers in there. But that’s the scariest thing that they could dredge out of the report, and they repeated it three more times! Given that they’re always calling the people who advocate action on climate change “Chicken Littles,” you just gotta appreciate the irony.

    What wasn’t a laughing matter, however, was how deviously manipulative the article was. It was supposedly about the DOE’s report, but woven in with the mild quotes from the DOE report were quotes from “a nationally recognized econometric firm,” which were the ones predicting dire consequences. The carefully crafted message that the casual reader takes away is that the heavyweight DOE report predicted harsh economic consequences from the Kyoto Protocol, something that simply wasn’t true if you looked at the actual report. I take the time to relate this to you in order to underscore the importance of evaluating your sources. That Heritage stuff was downright slimy.

    Editor’s note: DOE = Department of Energy; the report in question is from the EIA (Energy Information Agency) within it. Also, when Greg first said this in October 2007, petrol prices in the US were averaging ~$3.23/gallon — interesting tidbit, but this was slightly higher than the previous inflation-adjusted record of $3.22/gal set in 1981 (i.e. during the fallout from the oil shock), and obviously Kyoto was not ratified.

    Original report, Backgrounder #1229, is available here. The report by the “econometric firm” (WEFA, Inc.) is here. (Both Tinyurl’d) The original DOE report doesn’t seem to be available, but a ‘last-updated 2002’ website appears to have the same information here (it’s on the DOE’s website; I presume it’s the same report that got reformatted during some administrative shifts).

    Note that I was incorrect, they DID publish “links” (citations, no URLs, natch) to WEFA’s details. However, read the backgrounder and see if they didn’t frame it to look like that doom-and-gloom figure was coming from the DOE. The “almost double” figure came from personal observation, notably on vehicle miles driven (for instance, see Climate Progress on the subject).

    I’ll stop there since the links likely will get caught up in a spam filter; here’s hoping you approve that.

    Comment by Brian D — 2009/04/20 @ 21:07 | Reply

  6. […] reasons — seems to be bent on using every rhetorical trick in the book. After outright promoting Rush Limbaugh’s ACORN conspiracy theories, and then later trying to look all serious and balanced and nonpartisan, has now decided to send […]

    Pingback by Heartland Institute’s coded messages « International Journal of Inactivism — 2009/05/22 @ 19:32 | Reply

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