Regardless of the clear evidence that he had posted inaccurate information on his website (see next post), Junk Science purveyor Steven Milloy, has jumped straight over the “apology and correction” step, moving directly from inaccuracy to insult.
The facts of this case appear pretty clear: a newsletter of the American Physical Society announced that it would “kick off a debate” about global warming, and it included, as an opening gambit, an article from British journalist, entrepreneur and failed political candidate Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.
Milloy and his denier cronies chose to interpret this as a peer-reviewed science article and characterized the newsletter “debate” as a declaration that “there is no scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.”
When the APS, in language appropriately restrained, posted a clarification on its site, drawing reader attention to the consensus statement that still represents the collective view of American physicists, Milloy, rather than apologizing, accused APS President Arthur Bienenstock of cowardice in the face of political controversy, and suggested that the APS is on the verge of a Nazi purge of those who disagree with the majority view (“Nacht der langen Messer,” in M'Lie's words).
This entire debacle is a classic example of the desperate efforts that oily organizations like Junk Science and the Heartland Institute to sow doubt about the science of climate change. Monckton is no expert and everyone who has ever read his confused “scientific” screeds would recognize that fact, even without checking on his educational background. (He holds a diploma in Journalism.)
Yet Milloy, who has made it clear that he will spin the truth for any environmentally questionable corporation, lauds Monckton and derides the professional physicists - the top physicists in the country and, in all likelihood, the world. And yet, when Fox News wants to talk climate change, the call Steve M'Lie rather than, say, someone who knows something about the subject matter and has a record of saying things that are actually, and consistently, true.
No wonder the policy discussion on this issue is hysterical, ill-informed and woefully behind where it needs to be to sensibly address a global problem.