Double standards

This excerpt of a comment by climatehawk1 gets to an important point that usually doesn’t get enough attention and deserves to be promoted:

If Gleick’s reputation is “in ruins,” what about Heartland’s, inasmuch as they have engaged in very elaborate, systematic, long-running misrepresentation?

Scientists are held to an impossibly high standard, while Heartland and others are able to get away with murder (figuratively speaking of course). If Heartland were judged the way Peter Gleick is being judged their reputation would be so tarnished it would be less that worthless.

A double standard if I ever saw one.

UPDATE:Naomi Klein summed it up perfectly in a tweet:

And what about the fact the Heartland Institute impersonates a scientific organization every day?

6 thoughts on “Double standards

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  1. Scientists are held to high standards because they have to be trustworthy. Think tanks aren’t held to high standards because they’re political institutions. We tend to discount what think tanks say. It’s a given that they bend the facts.

    1. Sure many people discount info from overtly political think tanks, but their influence is usually from behind the scenes. How many parents, for instance, seeing their kids come home from school questioning AGW, would realize that the information presented in class originated with Heartland? When voters hear their congressperson (or presidential candidate) say that climate science is “political science,” how many know that the info is coming from a think-tank executive summary, rather than from the primary scientific literature? The problem here isn’t so much that think tanks bend the facts, but that they do it out of view, and launder their influence through more trusted sources.

    2. Yes, but while you or I might discount what Think Tanks say many people (including many journalists) don’t (or at least they don’t make it explicit).

  2. The Competitive Enterprise Institute is also regularly quoted in climate science/weather stories.

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