Climate Change Scientist Michael Mann Appears on Russia Today...Finally!
Why are these little rascals laughing?
Last week, the great and much maligned climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann appeared on the Kremlin-financed Russia Today (3-17-12) English-language satellite TV. This channel is part of the Russian government’s RIA Novosti news agency. In the past, Russia Today has hosted climate change denialists and has trashed real climate scientists. Perhaps the party line has changed.
I didn’t have any problems with what the renowned Dr. Michael Mann said about climate change, and I thought that it was great that he was able to appear on Russia Today (RT); but I thought some facts should have been acknowledged by Russia Today. I have a problem with pointing the finger only at Americans, Western denialist politicians such as Senator Inhofe, and the denialist Heartland Institute, as the program's host did.
The RT host Mr. Hartman told the truth, but it was only a half-truth: he failed to mention that his employer Russia Today has often provided a platform for climate change denialists such as Lord Monckton, John O’Sullivan, Piers Corbyn, and Pat Michaels. Some really old Russian scientists have been trotted out on Russia Today, but not young Russian climate scientists–as far as I can tell.
Russian scientists such as Sergei Kirpotin do study climate change, but they do not always have access to the media. In addition, Russian climate scientists have reason to be circumspect. After all, the Russian climate scientist Vladimir Alexandrov vanished in 1985. Some say he defected, but others say he was kidnapped by the KGB. The KGB reportedly claims the CIA kidnapped him. I guess we will never know what that was all about.
Mr. Hartman rightly criticized those contemptible paid liars, the Heartland Institute; but he failed to mention that the Heartland Institute has spread denialist propaganda that first appeared on the pages of RIA Novosti, the owner of Russia Today.
The Heartland claims they were quoting Alisher Usmanov's business daily Kommersant, but this is not entirely accurate. Heartland was actually citing an an edited version of Kommersant that appeared in the English version of RIA Novosti. I have written about the infamous RIA Novosti and Kommersant articles here.
When Virginia's Attorney General Cuccinelli cited this same RIA Novosti article in his petition to the EPA, his brief didn't even quote what the Russians said correctly. It may be that others who petitioned the EPA made the identical mistake. I need to look this up again to be sure, but my recollection is that some petitions to the EPA looked like everyone was copying the same mistake from someone else's homework.
I am glad that the Russians are allowing great scientists like Dr. Michael Mann on Russia Today instead of denialists, but this Russian government channel seems to have amnesia: they have spread the same disinformation that they are now blaming exclusively on American denialists and the Heartland–which quotes RT’s owners, RIA Novosti. The Russian government media did not admit that they were wrong or deceptive. It’s pretty hypocritical to criticize Heartland when their own government propaganda against Western climate scientists is quoted by Heartland. Instead, the leaders of the Russian government and United Party should apologize to the climate scientists for the smears that appeared in their government media; they shouldn't just scapegoat the admitedly despicable American denialists such as the Heartland Institute and Senator Inhofe.
It’s nice that the Russian propaganda agencies have thrown the Heartland Institute and denialists who previously appeared on their channel----Lord Monckton, John O’Sullivan, Piers Corbyn, and Pat Michaels---under the bus. I thought this would happen sooner or later because the Russians often denounce their own anti-science conspiracy theories: Khrushchev denounced Stalin's "Doctor's Plot," and KGB Chief Primakov admitted that the KGB had spread the lie that Pentagon scientists made the AIDS virus.
Evidently the Russian government cares about its scientific reputation and doesn't want to look as stupid and mendacious as Virginia's Grand Inquisitor Ken Cuccinelli, who hypocritically quotes Russia's official press agency instead of real scientists who work for the "big government" he denounces---America. Still, I think the Russian government should take some responsibility and admit that it has broadcast and printed the very propaganda they now piously denounce.
American government agencies support climate science, with the possible exception of the FBI, which has posted a ridiculous smear of climate scientists called a "white paper." It turns out that the FBI gets its climate science from a journalist's book about the KGB defector Sergei Tretykov, who was a spy, not a climate scientist. Why is the FBI spreading disinformation about climate scientists? The FBI is a member of the National Intelligence Council, which studies climate change, so how did this "white paper" come to be published? Who is behind this white paper? It sounds as dumb as the nonsense cooked up by Cuccinelli. The FBI, like Cuccinelli, can't even cite their Russian source accurately in their so-called white paper.