cite as: F. Bi. 2009. Heartland Institute tries to save climate ‘skepticism’ from wingnuts… and fails?
Intl. J. Inact., 2:71–72
This is interesting. The self-styled ‘academic think-tank’ known as the Heartland Institute, after spreading Rush Limbaugh’s ACORN conspiracy theories, suddenly remembers that it’s supposed to be a serious and bipartisan policy research institute, and publishes an essay titled How Skeptics Hurt Their Own Cause, by Milwaukee ex-Mayor John Norquist — who isn’t exactly your usual wingnut. Norquist says, among other things:
To conservatives, this news bias [against global warming skepticism] must seem awfully unfair or even conspiratorial, especially with federal power now firmly in the hands of Democrats. Yet I argue that those of you that hold sincere doubts about global climate change have assisted in bringing the media criticism on yourselves. Your mistake was to assume energy conservation comes only at a cost to the economy when actually the history of economic growth is more the opposite. […]
[…] Ethanol producers such as Archers Daniels Midland claim to be saving the world, but we all know that they are using their political access to force consumers to buy their product.
[…] as a supporter of free-market capitalism I do know that if we can produce the same or more wealth with less energy, we should do it. And if that also helps the environment, what’s the problem?
Hmm. Problem is, whatever Norquist’s non-wingnut credentials may be, his particular argument here still doesn’t wash. He’s saying that
- any global warming mitigation measures which yield short-term savings in money are obviously genuinely good for the environment, while
- any global warming mitigation measures which cost money (in the short term) are obviously part of a nefarious plot.
With all due respect, Mr. Norquist, that’s not how fact-checking works.
More interestingly, in trying to dissociate themselves from the wingnut movement with Norquist’s essay, the Heartland Institute failed to see that Norquist was pretty much conflating “global warming skeptics” with “conservatives”. Fail.