Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/1/2010 (4284 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WHEN you get caught with your pants down around your knees, there is not much point in falling back on the old "deny, deny, deny" strategy. It is pretty obvious to everyone what the situation is.
The best trick to try is deflect, deflect, deflect. Draw the attention away from your embarrassment and focus it on someone else. That might explain an email that came into the office this week from the National Wildlife Federation.
There is no doubt what the email is about or what its purpose is. Like most of the global warming extremists, such as the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace, the NWF is in a bit of a panic over bits of information that have come out recently and don't reflect very well on the science behind global warming theories -- or at least on the use to which that science is sometimes put.
Deeply embarrassed by, first, the stolen emails that claim to reveal the suppression of research questioning global warming, and now by the revelation that the "scientific study" that "proved" that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away in 25 years was bunk -- "Glaciergate" -- the eco-movement is furiously deflecting.
Attached to the NWF email is a paper called The Wonk Room by Lee Fang of the Centre for American Progress Action Fund. Right off the get-go, instead of explaining or defending what happened, Fang launches a blistering attack on the late William Safire, the former New York Times language columnist aide to president Richard Nixon of Watergate infamy.
Safire's sin, it seems, was that he initiated the now ubiquitous practice of adding "-gate" as a suffix to every scandal, no matter how trivial, thus eroding the value of the word's coin and so the seriousness of what Nixon did.
Fang also takes a bite out of the media, particularly the left-leaning, liberal eastern giants such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, which opened their front pages to Glaciergate. In the past, they could be counted on to publish almost anything put out by the environmentalists, no matter how unsubstantiated -- and now this. Fang's sense of outrage is palpably personal.
The melting-glaciers theory entered the scientific literature after it was mentioned in a World Wildlife Fund publication. The eco-movement now could usefully pull up its pants and address that issue; instead, it chooses to deflect the focus and blame dear, dead William Safire and its faithless friends in the media.