It’s been two years now since we said hello to scienceblogs, and had our introductory posts on Conspiracy, Unified theory of the Crank, and the denialist deck of cards.
Lately reading a recent profile of a crank, Marc Morano in the NYT, which was sent to me by the crank himself. I can’t help but be amazed how our initial description has held up.
For one, throughout the article, it’s wonderful how wihtout realizing it, Morano exposes the the fact he’s living in a bizarre fantasy world. Starting with the questionable reality of his confrontation with Al Gore:
For example, Mr. Morano said he once spotted former Vice President Al Gore on an airplane returning from a climate conference in Bali. Mr. Gore was posing for photos with well-wishers, and Mr. Morano said he had asked if he, too, could have his picture taken with Mr. Gore.
He refused, Mr. Morano said.
“You attack me all the time,” Mr. Gore said, according to Mr. Morano.
“Yes, we do,” Mr. Morano said he had replied.
Mr. Gore’s office said Mr. Gore had no memory of the encounter. Mr. Morano does not care. He tells the story anyway.
Then his pride over being a swift-boater:
He then jumped to Cybercast News Service, where he was the first to publish accusations from Vietnam Swift-boat veterans that Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, then the Democratic presidential nominee, had glorified his war record. Many of the accusations later proved unfounded.
Mr. Morano is proud of his work, which he says is not advocacy but truth seeking.
Or the bizarre way he justifies including scientists who completely disagree with his position on his BS AGW dissenter list:
Kevin Grandia, who manages Desmogblog.com, which describes itself as dedicated to combating misinformation on climate change, says the report is filled with so-called experts who are really weather broadcasters and others without advanced degrees.
Chris Allen, for example, the weather director for WBKO-TV in Kentucky, is listed as a meteorologist on the report, even though he has no degree in meteorology. On his Web site, Mr. Allen has written that his major objection to the idea of human-influenced climate change is that “it completely takes God out of the picture.” Mr. Allen did not respond to phone calls.
Mr. Grandia also said Mr. Morano’s report misrepresented the work of legitimate scientists. Mr. Grandia pointed to Steve Rayner, a professor at Oxford, who was mentioned for articles criticizing the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 international treaty on curbing carbon dioxide emissions.
Dr. Rayner, however, in no way disputes the existence of global warming or that human activity contributes to it, as the report implies. In e-mail messages, he said that he had asked to be removed from the Morano report and that a staff member in Mr. Inhofe’s office had promised that he would be. He called his inclusion on the list “quite outrageous.”
Asked about Dr. Rayner, Mr. Morano was unmoved. He said that he had no record of Dr. Rayner’s asking to be removed from the list and that the doctor must be “not to be remembering this clearly.”
Yes, clearly, Dr. Rayner must not be remembering how he never said anything in support of the denialist position on warming. Only Marc Morano is ever correct.
It’s amazing to me how people who are so clearly cranks can remain so influential, especially on a topic as important as global warming. We clearly have more work to do.