Ecology and Political Strategy, was Re: Forwarded from Hans Ehrbar

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Mon Jun 12 11:27:43 MDT 2000

Am I wrong or is Louis descending to a cheap amalgam?

I noted that the article Louis posted on the Greenhouse effect from Rachel's
Weakly was based on such truly encyclopedic ignorance that it stated the
opposite of a well-known, uncontroversial scientific fact which is that
water vapor is the main greenhouse gas responsible for somewhere around 95%
of the greenhouse effect which allows life as we know it to exist on the

Louis quotes some right wing think tank saying the same thing, that water
vapor is the main greenhouse gas. And then some article about how this
outfit is on a big-oil financed propaganda campaign.

The conclusion Louis is pushing, it seems to me, is, How scandalous! There
goes José getting into bed with the paid hirelings of the oil companies, and
so on.

To which my reply is: "Eppur si muove"

What is really surprising is that such a basic bit of climatological trivia
could catch Louis off-guard. It should lead us to wonder why it is that
Louis, who is usually so hard headed, evinces a mind of mush when it comes
to environmental science.

Or does Louis dispute that most of the greenhouse effect is due to water
vapor?  If he accepts this, why is he reposting here articles from
environmentalists with howlers like the main greenhouse gas being CO2?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at>
To: <marxism at>
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2000 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: Ecology and Political Strategy, was Re: Forwarded from Hans

>Shortly after you brought us the musings of the scientific virgins of
>Rachel's weekly, who have not discovered that the MAIN greenhouse gas in
>earth's atmosphere is water.

>From the George Marshall Institute website FAQ:

"Therefore, most of the greenhouse effect is natural and caused by the
different forms of water in the atmosphere."

>From the publications page at the George Marshall Institute web site:

1. Missile Defense and Strategic Deterrence, Robert Bell (1995)
2. Mars Direct: the Red Planet Within Ten Years, Robert M. Zubrin (1995)
3. Forging Consensus: Climate Change and the UN, Patrick J. Michaels (1996)

Frederick Seitz is the Director of the George Marshall Institute. Members
of the Board of Directors include:

--Willis M. Hawkins, Senior Advisor to the Lockheed Corporation, and former
Senior Vice President of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.

--Chauncey Starr, President Emeritus of the Electric Power Research

The Guardian (London) May 7, 1998

Experts with a price on their heads: Greenhouse science and the Spice Girls

Many of the people involved in the latest propaganda offensive against
climate science have a long track record of attempting to influence the
public debate on climate change. One key participant is Frederick Seitz, a
physicist and president of the National Academy of Sciences back in the
1960s. Today he chairs the George C Marshall Institute. Set up in 1984, its
prime work in recent years has been in opposing the greenhouse consensus.

Seitz also runs Access to Energy, a 'pro-science, pro-technology, pro-free
enterprise' group based in Oregon. In this capacity, he hit the news last
month when he was a participant in a petition that went to the US Congress
and enraged his former employers at the National Academy of Sciences.

The petition denouncing the scientific consensus on climate change and
opposing the Kyoto Protocol was apparently signed by 15,000 scientists. It
was cited during a debate in the House of Senate as evidence that 'the vast
majority' of scientists considered global warming an 'exaggerated threat'.

Yet the petition carried the signatures of very few climate scientists and
was littered with names unlikely to be genuine signatories let alone
scientists, including Perry Mason, John Grisham and a 'biologist' in Boston
who signed the name of a Spice Girl.

This is hardly surprising since, as well as being mailed to scientists, the
petition has been open for signature on Seitz's Access to Energy Web site.

Moreover the petition form was accompanied, both on the Web site and in
mailings, by an article from Seitz attacking climate scientists. This was
set up in a format and typeface virtually identical to papers in the
prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, though it had
never been submitted or published by the academy. The NAS last month put
out a formal disavowal of any involvement with the petition.

Other scientists who admit to receiving six-figure sums in consultancy fees
from industry lobbyists include Patrick Michaels, who combines a
professorship in environmental sciences at the University of Virginia with
running a consultancy devoted to helping out industrial clients. He
publishes a newsletter, World Climate Report, largely financed by the US
coal industry.

Louis Proyect

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