A donor in the US felt The Skeptics Handbook was so worthwhile that they have paid to print and post 150,000 copies of the booklet through Heartland. Just soak in that number. A “bestseller” only has to notch up 5,000 copies…
As always, Joseph Bast and his team are efficient and ambitious. For starters, the Handbook was provided to everyone who came to the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change in New York, but the big plan extends far and wide. It includes some 850 journalists, 26,000 schools, 19,000 leaders and politicians, just to mention a few (see the list at the bottom for details).
My aim, as always, is to lift standards of science communication to help people make up their own minds. Scientists need to stand up and defend the discipline that gave us penicillin, cures for cataracts, and machines that fly round the world in a day. Science has become the victim of politics and economics and like everything valuable in life it needs to be defended against the ever present entropy of unreason. There are infinite ways to confuse, confound and be incorrect.
For those who are wondering, I will not, and have not received any payment for my work or costs. I did not ask for any, nor was any offered. Heartland approached me with a request for permission to print the Handbook, which I was happy to give. That I should have to even mention payments (or lack of) shows how weak the AGW case is. After all, if the alarmists had the evidence they claim, they could discuss the science instead of the funding. (DeSmog and Deltoid tried and failed pathetically to find any faults in the science. See my reply to DeSmog here.) Thanks to the special online supporters who’ve bought me boxes of chocolate and to everyone for all the enthusiastic feedback. It keeps me going.
Real science is not afraid of debate.
Like predictable performing poodles, no doubt some who pretend to be concerned about the environment will find the time to question my motivations (as if that changes Earth’s climate somehow). Apparently some ‘idealists’ can’t imagine anyone working for free for a cause they believe in passionately. It’s hard to believe I’m just as dedicated and sincere as all those greenie bloggers eh? Ironically, I’m just like them, except—I can reason.
Even if I had been paid, it makes no difference to the graphs from NASA. The hypocrisy is rich.
No one expects NGO office bearers to work for free, and when funded-Greenpeace-activists publish reports, no one shrilly dismisses the science because it’s produced by an organization that benefits from inflating crises.
I will be arranging an Australian print run in the next week, which will be distributed by Max Rheese at The Australian Climate Science Coalition, and in NZ by Terry Dunleavy at the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. Heartland have offered to give me some copies from the Australian print run, which I will make available for a small fee to help recoup some costs. Many people have emailed me asking for a hard copy and I will be in touch when the handbook is ready. I will also offer bulk class sets for schools. But there won’t be many extra copies, so email me now if you want some and I’ll make sure the print run is big enough to include you. (Use joanne AT joannenova.com.au).
Each time you read a sentence about skeptics ‘muddying’ the debate—recognize it for what it is—an arrogant claim that the public are too dumb to follow the science.
Thanks to Heartland, and thanks especially to that generous, anonymous donor who is doing what the government and the would-be journalists ought to be doing—providing some balance in the public debate on an issue which is supposedly “The Greatest Threat Humanity Faces”. If we face such a potential catastrophe, how can it be unhelpful to describe the basic science? The 800 year lag, the log absorption, the satellite temperatures are all non-controversial. And if the missing hot spot had been found it wouldn’t be controversial either, it’d be in school text books.
I say, if the evidence is so well established then convince us. Real science is not afraid of debate. The global warming hot-heads hate the light of day, and call basic facts ‘misinformation’, because it makes their job of producing propaganda much more difficult if the public know the real inconvenient truths (as opposed to the inaccurate, irrelevant ones).
Notice the skeptics are not the ones trying to silence the other side? We object to censorship, even of those who have different views. We know that if we get open discussion, we win. Let the government patsies speak.
Each time you read that skeptics are ‘muddying’ the debate—recognize it for what it is—it’s an arrogant claim that the public are too dumb and too easily confused to understand the science. If people providing scientific information are ‘dangerous’, then ipso facto—the public need protection from what—the facts? All hail our great saviors, the IPCC, the false prophets who’ve come to save us from the need to think for ourselves.
We realists have news for the lap-dogs and yap-hounds of bureaucracy and bankers. The people are too smart to be fooled by bluster and confusion.
Political correctness is NOT scientific correctness.
Long live independent thought and free speech.
Heartlands Distribution Plan for The Skeptic’s Handbook
Audience Total Academics (Heartland policy advisors) 137 Black Churches 25,962 Business and civic leaders (H4) 448 Corporate leaders 500 Donors and potential donors 3,316 ECN subscribers 2,640 Elected officials - state and local 16,000 Elected officials - Federal 791 Environment Journalists 850 K-12 private school principals 22,700 K-12 charter school principals 3,482 North Carolina opinion leaders 2,538 Petition signers 30,000 Public school board presidents 13,900 James Taylor 1,000 Jay Lehr 1,000 Think tank leaders - conservative 257 Think tank leaders - liberal 1,507 Trustees of colleges and universities 20,253 NY Conference 1,000 Inventory 2,000 ---------------------------------------------------------- Total 150,281
Heartland takes a lot of flack for a non-profit group. Note that 84% of their funding come from individuals and foundations and that no donor gives more than 5% of their total budget. For years they published their donor list, but other NGO’s did not follow suit. For the most part, people who attack Heartland are advertising the fact they can’t fault the science. Ironically, even if people can’t reason or think for themselves, Heartland and I both fight for their right to speak freely and avoid strangulation-by-taxation.