An Inconvenient Poof

There is a snotty little man in England who’s busily patting himself on the back (and blushing with false humility) over coining and pushing the “Climategate” meme.

(and this is the “good” official picture)

Now, I’ve warned you about this bogus Climategate kerfuffle. And I’ve told you that what I warned you came to pass. So, when I tell you that he’s started ANOTHER rightie blog swarm, please pay attention.

Because bitch-slapping clever con-men is a sort of specialty hereabout. This new “Russian” revelation is a Libertarian con. The founder and head of the Russian “Think Tank” that released this report is a Cato Institute fellow who was paid $150,000 in 2007, according to Cato’s IRS 990 filing.

i. the setup

But, back to our English “journalist” … er blogger. The fellow’s name is “James Delingpole,” and he sort of kicked off the “Climategate” (a/k/a “WhiteWarmer”) disinformation campaign in November. At least, that’s his story, as he brags on his blog (then blushes … then brays):

Watching the Climategate scandal explode makes me feel like a proud parent

December 17th, 2009 It has been a weird, weird thing having a ringside seat at the messy unravelling of the greatest scientific scandal in the history of the world. The only experience in my life even vaguely similar was queuing outside the Wag club in the spring of 1988 watching all the straight people staring at us freaks, and thinking to myself: ‘God, just imagine how totally awesome it would be if this Acid House craze ever caught on.’

From a tiny germ of a story on a few specialist blogs, Climategate has gone über-viral in a way few of us sceptics could ever have dared hope. As I write, the name has clocked well over 30 million Google hits, which for me has been a bit like being a proud parent watching his singing, dancing little girl suddenly grow up to become Madonna — for ‘Climategate’ was sorta, kinda, partly my baby….

Uh, yeah. And I believe him, too. I believe that this WASN’T a psy-ops styled disinformation campaign probably paid for by private parties, using ex spooks, or moonlighting ones. And, of course, it isn’t at ALL tied to the Russian government. It WAS confirmed that it first appeared on a Russian server. But of course, that doesn’t mean anything. Right?

Here’s his Mr. Gumby (cf. M. Python) triumphal screech of last week:

Climategate: how the MSM reported the greatest scandal in modern science Telegraph (UK)

… But in the case of “Climate Change”, the MSM has been caught with its trousers down. The reason it has been so ill-equipped to report on this scandal is because almost all of its Environmental Correspondents and Environmental Editors are parti pris members of the Climate-Fear Promotion lobby. Most of their contacts (and information sources) work for biased lobby groups like Greenpeace and the WWF, or conspicuously pro-AGW government departments and Quangos such as the Carbon Trust. How can they bring themselves to report on skullduggery at Hadley Centre when the scientists involved are the very ones whose work they have done most to champion and whose pro-AGW views they share?

As Upton Sinclair once said:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”

So don’t expect this scandal to be written up in the MSM any time soon. But why would you want to anyway? It’s all here, where the free spirits and independent thinkers are, on the Blogosphere….

Sadly, Delingpole isn’t exactly a journalist. He’s one of over forty “news bloggers” at the Telegraph – a British newspaper that’s trying very hard to have a USA impact, including locating a server in the US.

Delingpole’s journalistic peers at The Guardian (UK), have characterized him thusly:

“a rent-a-quote climate change sceptic and good all-round right-wing contrarian.”

And, of course, TODAY, Delingpole has a NEW ‘scoop.’

Climategate goes SERIAL: now the Russians confirm that UK climate scientists manipulated data to exaggerate global warming

By James Delingpole

Telegraph (UK) Blogs

Politics Last updated: December 16th, 2009

Climategate just got much, much bigger. And all thanks to the Russians who, with perfect timing, dropped this bombshell just as the world’s leaders are gathering in Copenhagen to discuss ways of carbon-taxing us all back to the dark ages.

Feast your eyes on this news release from Rionovosta, via the Ria Novosti agency, posted on Icecap. (Hat Tip: Richard North)

[…]

Not, of course, dear readers that I’m in any way tempted to crow about these latest revelations. After all, so many of my colleagues, junior and senior, have been backing me on this one to the hilt….

Oh, if anyone speaks Russian, here’s the full report.

Now, I’m not going into the ocean of pseudo-scientific argument on the assertions. I want to tell you WHERE those assertions came from.

Uh, yeah. I checked out the “Russian papers” (Not-So-Breitbart’s Big Government blog MeeToos with “The Russian media first posted the story..”) and the usual suspects pile on this morning.

But the “Russian papers” or the “Russian media” involved has this disclaimer at the bottom of the page, under a story that they essentially admit comes straight from a “think tank’s” press release:

RIA Novosti is not responsible for the content of outside sources.

Here’s the beginning of their article:

Russia affected by Climategate

A discussion of the November 2009 Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, referred to by some sources as “Climategate,” continues against the backdrop of the abortive UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) discussing alternative agreements to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that aimed to combat global warming.

The incident involved an e-mail server used by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, East England. Unknown persons stole and anonymously disseminated thousands of e-mails and other documents dealing with the global-warming issue made over the course of 13 years.

Controversy arose after various allegations were made including that climate scientists colluded to withhold scientific evidence and manipulated data to make the case for global warming appear stronger than it is.

Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory…

The oldest trick in the propaganda book: send out a press release, and when some slacker newspaper or reporter writes it up, more or less intact, then QUOTE that paper, AS IF it were a legitimate news story and not a plant.

So that disclaimer’s probably a wise move on their part. When you go to the “Institute of Economic Analysis” (Moscow) website, it’s all in Cyrillic, of course, but you can’t fail to see all the English banners on the left side:

Cato Institute

In Liberty. ru

The Hayek Institute

The Von Mises Institute (Lew Rockwell’s org)

ICCF Global (which is blocked by my anti-virus software:

Page Blocked

URL address: http://www.iccfglobal.org/
Rating:
Dangerous
Threat details:
Verified fraud page or threat source.

Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

The Frasier Institute (Canada)

InLiberty.RU (Russian Libertarian site)

And several others, all in the same soup, they’re all hard-core libertarian organizations. If you doubt this, click on the banner for something called the CSCCC, or, as their “about” page notes:

About

The Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change seeks to educate the public about the science and economics of climate change in an impartial manner. The Coalition comprises 59 independent civil society organisations from 40 countries who share a commitment to improving public understanding about a range of public policy issues. All are non-profit organizations that are independent of political parties and government.

Yeah. That sure sounds authentic and such. Except, when you start looking at the “impartial” players, something stinks to high heaven in this attack on the Meeting in Denmark.

Click on over to the “member” page, and the roll call will amaze you. Let’s start with this one:

Tennessee Center for Policy Research, USA

Now, if you click on that banner, this is what you’ll get (evidently they haven’t been maintaining the webpage in a timely manner:

October 18, 2009

Time: 7:00 PM

Belmont University

Beaman Student Life Center, Room A

2002 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research invites you to a world premiere screening of the film “Not Evil Just Wrong”. The feature-length documentary reveals the true cost of Global Warming hysteria. This is the film that Al Gore and Hollywood don’t want you to see. Join the movement against extreme environmentalism that threatens the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people in the developed and developing world. RSVP here.

Gee. How’s that for “an impartial manner”?

But some of us happen to remember that these are the wackos who rooted through Al Gore’s trash to try and torpedo his movie in this infamous blog posting:

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”

TCPR Staff – Sunday, February 25, 2007

Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

[…]

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

To view a PDF of Gore’s electric bill click HERE

An “impartial” global warming organization? Don’t make me laugh.

Here’s a listing of the USA organizations that are members of the CSCCC:

Alabama Policy Institute, USA

Americans for Tax Reform, USA

Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy, USA

Commonwealth Foundation, USA

CORE, USA

John Locke Foundation, USA

Tennessee Center for Policy Research, USA

Washington Policy Center, USA

With the exception of CORE, all are known hard-core libertarian groups. And PLEASE dammit, get this through your heads: “conservatives” are NOT “libertarians.” There is some crossover, but the hard-core libertarians are the ones in evidence here.

And they’ve been busy. Consider these “international” members of CSCCC, which just happen to have received grant money from the Cato Institute in 2006 and 2007 (2008 unavailable):

CSCCC Member Organizations + Cato 2007 grants (in red):

IMANI CENTRE FOR HUMANE EDUCATION $10,000

Imani: The Centre for Humane Education, Ghana

http://www.imanighana.com/

MALAYSIA THINK TANK GRANT $10,000

Malaysia Think Tank, Malaysia

http://www.malaysiathinktank.org/

INITITATIVE FOR PUBLIC POLICY ANALY $10,000

Initiative of Public Policy Analysis, Nigeria

http://ippanigeria.org/

NEW ECONOMIC SCHOOL GEORGIA $5,000

New Economic School, Georgia

http://www.nesgeorgia.org/

(+ 2006 = NEW ECONOMIC SCHOOL GEORGIA – $10,720 )

And, just for sh**s and giggles, the releasers of the report that’s got Brit libertarian contrarian blogger Delingpole all excited:

Institute of Economic Analysis, Russia

http://www.iea.ru/

They’re CSCCC members, too.

I’ll tell you what their financial connection to CATO is in a minute.

And, lest we forget that David H. Koch founded and funded and sits on the board of the Cato Institute:

AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY FOUNDATION $2,500

AFP is NOT a member of the CSCCC, but is one of the twin Koch-funded mainstays of the Tea Party Movement, and on whose board David H. Koch sits. As Chairman.*

[* Koch Fun Fact: David and Charles’ father, Fred Koch, was one of the founders of the John Birch Society.]

No, AFP isn’t a member of CSCCC, but Americans for Tax Reform IS a member. As noted on ATR’s website:

ATR was founded in 1985 by Grover Norquist at the request of President Reagan.

And ATR is definitely on board vis a vis “Climategate.” And, as I reported in 2006, ATR had a very interesting way of “partnering” in Howie Rich petition schemes. Did I mention that Howard S. Rich sits on the board of the Cato Institute, as well?

But we’re talking about the “article” that “rent-a-quote climate change sceptic” and unabashedly libertarian James Delingpole quotes with such glee. Right?

ii. the payoff

OK: who is this “Institute of Economic Analysis, Russia” that released this damning report destroying all global warming science?

Funny you should ask.

Googling it, I came up with this very interesting website, for something they’re running in Europe called “Liberty Seminars.” Take a look at their sponsors: [emphasis added]

Among other sponsors who helped us financially or in kind are: Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), Center for Post-Communist Economies (CRCE), Cato Institute, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), International Policy Network (IPN), Katalaksija, Pejovic Family, and The Fund for American Studies (TFAS).

Gee, that’s interesting company they’re keeping ain’t it?

But it gets better when we go to the lecturers:

Dr. Andrei Illarionov (Cato Institute, USA)

Andrei Illarionov is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. From 2000 to December 2005 he was the chief economic adviser of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illarionov also served as the president’s personal representative (sherpa) in the G-8. From 1993 to 1994 Illarionov served as chief economic adviser to the prime minister of the Russian Federation, Viktor Chernomyrdin. He resigned in February 1994 to protest changes in the government’s economic policy. In July 1994 Illarionov founded the Institute of Economic Analysis and became its director. Illarionov has coauthored several economic programs for Russian governments and has written three books and more than 300 articles on Russian economic and social policies. He is one of Russia’s most forceful and articulate advocates of an open society and democratic capitalism. Illarionov received his Ph.D. from St. Petersburg University in 1987.

And, all things considered, he seems to STILL be its director. Either way, he’s working for CATO now, and, according to the IRS 990, was compensated to the tune of $150,000 in 2007:

Click on image for .pdf of CATO’s actual 990 tax return

Nice work if you can get it.

Let’s add this from ExxonSecrets: [emphasis added]

FACTSHEET: Andrei Illarionov

DETAILS

Senior Fellow, Cato Institute

Former Senior Economic Advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin 2000-2005

Founding member, Economic Freedom Network, set up by the Canadian-based Fraser Institute Director,

Institute of Economic Analysis, Moscow. 1994-2000

As a senior advisor to Russian President Putin, Illarionov was outspoken against Russia’s ratification of Kyoto. Despite Illarionov’s vocal opposition, Putin ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2004.

He has been a long-time promotor of the free market. Illarionov received his Ph.D. from St. Petersburg University in 1987. From 1993 to 1994 Illarionov served as chief economic adviser to the prime minister of the Russian Federation, Viktor Chernomyrdin. He resigned in February 1994 to protest changes in the government’s economic policy. In July 1994 Illarionov founded the Institute of Economic Analysis and became its director. (Cato bio: http://www.cato.org/people/illarionov.html )

Whatever Illarionov’s current connection to the Institute of Economic Analysis, it seems clear that we’re dealing with a very close partnership with CATO, and, thus, Koch.

What we have here, kids, is a whole attempt by the US “libertarians” — the tea partiers who are trying to effect a hostile takeover of the GOP — to creat an international network, seeding their “think tank” franchises around the world, just as they’ve created them in nearly every state, from the Cascade Policy Institute in Oregon to the Maine Policy Institute, et al. (Sometime, if you’re actually interested, I’ll lay out just how the process was planned, designed and implemented, but that’s for another day.)

So, a Russian affiliate of our Koch tea party gang releases a “report” in Russia, which is picked up by a “libertarian” climate change contrarian, and it’s quoted by the US rightie blogswarm.

Got it? The not-quite UK “journalist” quotes a Russian news aggregator that has a story (with disclaimer) that comes from a press release by a Russian libertarian think-tank with strong ties to the Cato Institute and to the whole Global Warming Denial cadre of teabaggers. It was founded by a CATO fellow who was once Vladimir Putin’s right hand man, who desperately tried to get Putin NOT to ratify the Kyoto accord.

It stinks to high heaven, kids. Something smells rotten, and it’s aimed at Denmark.

And, once again, our bluebelly bloggers are nowhere to be found.

I’m not disputing the report: I haven’t read it. But I am saying that this sure looks, smells, walks and talks like astroturf, and it’s the first coordinated international astroturf I’ve seen. But, not surprising. The same rabidity that’s been applied to health care is being applied to “global warming” an, while this seems an international operation, it’s “libertarian” through and through.

And, it looks like we can definitely see what CATO’s been up to in creating an international network of astroturf “think tanks” or “policy shops” or whatever you want to call their propaganda mills. They see their opportunity and have ruthlessly seized it in this year’s Brown-Shirtish teabaggery.

I’ll leave you with a final quote, from SourceWatch:

Cato and Climate Change

Recently, Koch Industries has become an aggressive opponent of climate legislation and a major funder of climate skeptics, including the Cato institute….

As this whole notion that some new and credible scientific refutation of global warming has appeared in Delingpole’s column goes up in an inconvenient poof of smoke.

(But, past experience suggests that they’ll just go out and grab some more mirrors. Which is all it’s ever been.)

Courage.

==============

UPDATE 4:48 PM PST: Turns out that the “analysis” doesn’t mean much of anything, even if you accept it at face value. From scienceblogs.com:

Russian analysis confirms 20th century CRU temperatures

Posted on: December 17, 2009 9:14 AM, by Tim Lambert

The latest story exciting the denialosphere is being put about by novelist James Delingpole and is based on an analysis (translated here) by a right-wing Russian think tank. Delingpole quotes from a news story:

On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

Delingpole adds:

What the Russians are suggesting here, in other words, is that the entire global temperature record used by the IPCC to inform world government policy is a crock.

The problem here is the IEA report does not support the claims made in the news story. I’ve reproduced the final graph from the report below. The red curve is the … [CONTINUE READING]

This “war by propaganda” is, when you consider its implications, precisely criminal. But then, coming from a party that resurrected “creationism,” I guess it’s to be expected.

And expectorated. On.

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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