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Alan Caruba, Climate-Change Bamboozler

CNS and Accuracy in Media regularly let Caruba peddle factually challenged attacks on the reality of global warming.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 7/2/2013

Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba runs something called the National Anxiety Center, which looks like a one-man operation and purports to serve as "a clearinghouse for information about 'scare campaigns' designed to influence public opinion and policies."

What Caruba really means, of course, is that he has an agenda, and it's to attack "scare campaigns" that conflict with it.

Chief among his targets is climate change. He's armed with a passel of denialist claims that he hurls at every opportunity -- which is where the ConWeb comes in. Caruba has published columns at both and Accuracy in Media over the years.

"There is NO global warming"

Caruba misleads about the simplest of assertions. For instance, Caruba desperately wants you to believe that there is no global warming:

  • In a September 2008 CNS column, Caruba wrote: "The Earth is not warming. It has been cooling for a decade."
  • Caruba asserted in an October 2008 CNS column that "there is NO global warming. Nada, zip, nunca, niete! None! The Earth has been in a cooling cycle now for a decade."
  • Caruba said it again in a December 2008 CNS column: "the world is now into a cycle of global cooling that has been in effect since around 1998."
  • Caruba once again asserted in a March 2009 column that "the Earth, based on weather satellite data, is now ten years into a distinct cooling cycle."
  • He declared in another March 2009 CNS column: "The Earth is not currently warming. It has been cooling for a decade and likely to continue for at least another twenty years or longer."

In fact, as Caruba was making this claim, British meteorological experts and researchers were reporting that "[t]emperatures are continuing to rise" and states that "[a] simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1° C per decade." Further, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies reports that "[t]he eight warmest years in the [global] GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990."

Nevertheless, Caruba was still making this claim in a September 2010 column:

Here are some truths to keep in mind: (1) Carbon dioxide (CO2) along with other “greenhouse gas emissions” does not cause global warming. (2) There is no global warming. (3) The Earth has gone through known warming and cooling cycles for millions of years. (4) The Earth is in a cooling cycle.

Needless to say, Caruba didn't mention that even longtime climate "skeptic"-friendly critic Bjorn Lomborg -- whom Caruba defended after Obama science adviser John Holdren once criticized him -- has called for the funding of efforts to battle climate change.

Caruba was still making the claim in an Jan. 15 AIM column:

As the planet enters its seventeenth year in which temperatures have been steadily falling in response to a natural cooling cycle, the result of reduced solar radiation, the global warming hoax is finally being revealed as an instrument of the United Nations and individual governments, including our own, to impose “carbon taxes” that would raise billions of dollars for everyone involved.

But he undid all of this in his March 13 column, in which he conceded that "Climatologists measure changes in centuries, not decades." That seems to undo his obsession over the earth's alleged decade-and-a-half "cooling cycle."

"Friend" of the Heartland Institute

Four days later, Caruba ranted about the release of documents from the conservative Heartland Institute, which revealed its strategies to promote global warming denialism:

This week, a major smear campaign against the Institute erupted as the result of an act of deception and thievery that may well result in criminal charges against its as yet unknown perpetrator.

The President of the Institute, Joe Bast, immediately informed its supporters, directors, donors and friends that someone pretending to be a board member had sent Heartland an email claiming to be a director and asking that documents regarding a January board meeting be re-sent.

A clever ruse, but the result was that elements of the confidential documents were then posted on a number of so-called climate blogs and from there to various members of the media who, with the exception of The Guardian, took no steps whatever to verify the authenticity of the documents, some of which Heartland says were either a concoction of lies or altered to convey inaccurate information.

By contrast, Caruba described the release of stolen emails from climate researchers connected to East Anglia University as nothing but a "leak." Caruba obviously has no moral qualms over that deception and thievery -- after all, those documents "revealed the extent of their efforts to spread the hoax and to suppress any expression of doubt regarding it." (Except that they didn't.) To our knowledge, Caruba has never demanded that "criminal charges" be filed against the "as yet unknown perpetrator" who stole the East Anglia emails.

Further, contrary to Caruba's claim that the Heartland documents were "either a concoction of lies or altered," the Heartland Institute itself effectively confirmed the authenticity of the documents by complaining that they were "stolen." Caruba offers no evidence that he or anyone else attempted to verify the authenticity of the stolen East Anglia emails before writing about them.

In an April 2012 column, Caruba again railed against the release of the Heartland documents, describing them as being "fraudulently obtained," while describing stolen emails in the so-called "Climategate" non-scandal as merely a "massive data leak."

Then, after declaring that Heartland "needs your support" because it "has already paid a big price for its efforts and needs donors to replace General Motors’ support," Caruba concluded with an editor's note: "To forestall the likely warmist response to this commentary, Mr. Caruba is not in the employ, nor receiving any funding from The Heartland Institute."

That, quite simply, is a lie. In February, Caruba himself wrote: "Full disclosure: Years ago I received a small stipend from The Heartland Institute to help cover the costs of writing articles regarding the global warming hoax." Caruba seems to be taking refuge in the word "receiving" to push a very narrow claim that he is not currently receiving Heartland money, but the way he worded his statement makes it clear he was trying to falsely imply that he never received Heartland money.

In addition to the money, Caruba is clearly affiliated with the institute in other ways:

  • Caruba has his own bio on the Heartland website, where he is listed as an "expert."
  • Heartland has published numerous Caruba commentaries.
  • Heartland itself describes Caruba as a "Heartland friend."

If Caruba cannot be straightforward and honest about his links to the organization he's defending, why trust anything he has to say about global warming?

Miscellaneous bamboozlement

in a December 2008 CNS column, Caruba touted the alleged climate-change expertise of "Viscount Monckton of Brenchly [sic], a noted British scientist." In fact, Monckton (aka Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount of Brenchley) has no scientific credentials, holding degrees only in classics and journalism.

In a Feb. 12, 2012, AIM column, Caruba blamed "the global warming hoax" for an alleged insufficiency of electricity in Europe as it deals with unusually cold temperatures because, he claims, countries have been "spending billions for wind power when they should have been building coal-fired and other sources of energy to heat their homes and businesses." Caruba goes on to note how "Serbia has started implementing power cuts in a desperate bid to stave off the collapse of its national grid as the country suffers the effects of days of freezing temperatures."

In fact, the UK Telegraph article from which Caruba pulled the Serbia story makes no mention of "wind power" -- in fact, it states that "Temperatures as low as -30C have sent demand soaring but also interrupted coal production, restricting supplies to Serbia's coal-fired power stations." Indeed, nowhere in Caruba's article does he provide any evidence that power sources that aren't coal- or oil-based have any culpability whatsoever in deaths from extreme cold.

A bamboozlement compendium

Caruba rehashed numerous global warming myths in his June 24 AIM column, in which he rants (boldface his):

There is nothing that humans can or should do regarding the Earth’s climate. It is a force that is so vast and powerful that calls for renewable energy, energy conservation, and a “carbon tax” on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are utterly false, a danger to human life, a threat to global economic development, and the work of scoundrels and charlatans.

At present, there has been no warming for almost seventeen years. The Earth is in a natural cooling cycle as the result of another natural cycle, the reduction of the Sun’s radiation that warms the Earth.

Putting his claim about "no warming for almost seventeen years" doesn't make it any less false. In addition, it relies on cherry-picked data and an arbitrary starting point for examining the data; the long-term trend demonstrates continued global warming, no matter what Caruba says.

Caruba also declares of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide levels: "Carbon dioxide is not 'pollution'; it is, along with oxygen, the other gas most vital to all life on Earth." As Caruba certainly knows, nobody's attacking the mere existence of carbon dioxide as a pollutant -- the question is whether increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere is contributing to global warming (which appears to be true) and other effects on life on earth. It's simply dishonest and ignorant of Caruba to say such a thing.

Caruba also ranted:

Obama continues to conjure up global warming despite overwhelming evidence that it does not exist. Dubbed “climategate”, revelations in 2009 made clear that a small group within the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were deliberately falsifying their climate models.

As noted above, the stolen emails that were the basis for "climategate" uncovered no evidence that climate models were falsified or manipulated.

Such failed logic and attempts to deceive are all Caruba has to offer on the climate-change front. Maybe his National Anxiety Center should be a little more anxious about the deterioration of Caruba's credibility as a result of such bamboozlement.

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