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Thu, 2010-01-14 15:30Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

The Skeptic John Coleman: Charming, Grandfatherly - and not the least credible

The increasingly public “skepticism” of aging weatherman John Coleman raises an interesting question: Do you have to be corrupt to be wrong about climate change?

The answer, of course, is no. Notwithstanding the money that Coleman makes as a guest speaker for oily conferences organized by long-compromised groups like the Heartland Institute, he may be sincere, even well-intentioned about his personal campaign to dismiss climate change as “the greatest scam in history.”

But that doesn’t absolve him of responsibility, especially as he is leveraging a high profile to interfere in a debate about which he is clearly ill-informed. Because given his ability to command an audience, and given the public’s tendency to confuse weather with climate and to actually take someone like Coleman seriously as a scientific commentator, there is a real danger that people could believe what he says. And that would be a crime.

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