Climate Change Alarmist Resorts to Slander

Climate Change Alarmist Resorts to Slander
October 30, 2007

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

In the October 25 Independent, University of Montana forestry professor Steve Running says the global warming issue should be purely about science and without political overtones. Instead of practicing what he preaches, he then launched a slanderous and mean-spirited diatribe against those who disagree with his opinions.

Still stinging from a sound beating he received in a September global warming debate in front of the Montana Environmental Quality Council, Running chose to crawl into the gutter to make a series of false, slanderous assertions. He said in the October 25 article that I told “lie after lie” in our debate and that the public policy organization I represent – The Heartland Institute – “doesn’t even agree that smoking causes cancer.”

Running presented no evidence to support any of these slanderous statements. But then again, the truth means very little to people like Steve Running.

Indeed, Running asserted in the September debate that Antarctica is growing rapidly warmer, and presented a chart seeming to support his argument. However, Antarctica is in a prolonged cold spell, and has been getting colder for decades. An examination of the fine print of Running’s chart showed that it applied only to a tiny portion of Antarctica, known as the Antarctic Peninsula, that defies the overall Antarctic trend. Running failed to mention this to the Council. In lying to the Council and then presenting a grossly misleading chart, Running was either shamefully ignorant of the basic science (quite possible) or shamelessly willing to lie and engage in gross ethical violations (more likely) to advance his propaganda.

Running made many other such false and misleading assertions during the debate, several of which I pointed out to the Council. In stating my own arguments, and pointing out how frequently Running was playing fast and loose with the truth, I frequently cited and read verbatim from the refereed scientific literature. During the debate, Running had no counter to the many scientific studies I cited and quoted in support of my points. Still unable to present such countervailing evidence, and apparently unwilling to move on with his life after getting so thoroughly trounced in our debate, he has decided to engage in a campaign of slander and smear in the media against those who defeat him in debate.

I suggest Running either learn more about environmental science, stick to forestry, or stop engaging in mean-spirited, unethical behavior on behalf of his propaganda campaign.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)