This post was intended to be a brief bit of snark. Once in a while, when I’m feeling particularly masochistic, I visit the National Review’s Planet Gore and see how much I can take before my brain oozes out of my ears. Today I noticed from Ian Murray a link to a “great blog devoted to gobal[sic] warming issues” called “The Chilling Effect: cooling heated rhetoric on global warming” and had a look. Under a tab titled: “Cold, Hard Facts” there were several bullet points, one of which is labeled “The Science Debate”. Intrigued, I decided to see what “science” was being touted as indicative of a debate.
[In case it changes in the future, you can click this thumbnail
for a snapshot.]
Great moments in unintentional honesty, right? I was basically going to leave the post as that but something about the “blog” didn’t seem quite right (yes, even for a denialist blog).
Way back in March of this year, the National Association of Manufacturers in conjunction with the free market think tank American Council for Capital Formation released a hatchet job economic “report” designed to make the proposed Lieberman-Warner act seem like nothing less than the ruin of our economy, using grossly distorted assumptions in their modeling (e.g. in some cases, lower numbers for future alternative energy percentages than are already in place, and completely ignoring any and all economic benefits).
In that same month, The Chilling Effect debuted. From its first post on, The Chilling Effect not only kept up a steady pattern of attack against Lieberman-Warner, the only “external” link (Gored Earth is apparently a sister site) permanently displayed on the site was their “What’s Cool Right Now” section on its left-hand side that clicks through directly to the March official NAM/ACCF press release teaser for their study, attacking Lieberman-Warner. Months after the bill died in the Senate, the “What’s Cool Right Now” section remains, linking to the NAM March teaser. This despite multiple updates to the site per day.
The National Association of Manufacturers was the prior home office of the now-defunct Global Climate Coalition- a front group for fossil energy and industry groups like Exxon, Shell, API, etc. that relied heavily on “experts” borrowed from other fossil energy and industry front groups like CEI and the Heritage Foundation. The only two direct interviews I could find on The Chilling Effect were with “experts” from CEI (our friend Ian Murray) and the Heritage Foundation.
The site relies on a handful of skeptic-friendly sources for the majority of its links- there are the usual suspects, like Investors Business Daily, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, etc.- and then there is the National Association of Manufacturers’ own pro-industry, anti-environmental blog, Shopfloor. Shopfloor is hardly a well-known source, and would be a bizarre choice for a random denialist blog to use over and over and over and over and over again.
The coincidences. They do add up, don’t they?
[UPDATE: Apparently TheChillingEffect.org used the same domain registration by proxy as CO2Science.org, although that doesn't really tell us anything definitively- the American Petroleum Institute uses a different proxy registrant, the same as Globalwarming.org, and the latter is backed by CEI, but registered to the NCC, whose Consumer Alert front group uses the same registration by proxy as both TheChillingEffect and CO2Science. Obviously the fossil fuel/market fundamentalist ties get quite incestuous. I'll keep digging.]