I put off procrastinating on my thesis on 21st Century Political Nuttitude to do some research. Then I remembered why I’ve been procrastinating.
Conspiracy theories are a common theme in 21st Century Political Nuttitude. The conspiracy to conceal President Obama’s foreign birth apparently began with a faked birth announcement in a Honolulu newspaper in 1961. Or maybe the announcement was faked years later. Regardless, it’s a fake. So was the certificate of live birth originally published by the State of Hawaii. So was the long form released this spring by the White House. As I noted last week, Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is will not investigate the case. I’m sure he’ll get to the pink-panty-wearing bottom of it.
Of course, none of that would have mattered except for the massive ACORN conspiracy that stole the 2008 election. Apparently this was so President Obama could build reeducation camps, a conspiracy famously but not exclusively argued by Minnesota Congresswoman and GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann. At least President Obama finally got Osama Bin Laden. Or did he? The raid in Pakistan happened on the first day of Zombie Awareness Month, after all. That can’t be mere coincidence, can it?
So when the National Science Foundation issued a report yesterday clearing meteorologist Michael Mann in the so-called ClimateGate scandal – echoing the findings of the Department of Commerce Inspector General and an investigation by the British Parliament – that did not disprove a conspiracy of scientists to fabricate the climate change hoax.
Yes, the Shift Lock School of Epistemology says a claim becomes true if you capitalize every letter, but here’s what the NSF actually concluded:
[T]he research in question was originally completed over 10 years ago. Although the subject’s data is still available and still the focus of significant critical examination, no direct evidence has been presented that indicates the subject fabricated the raw data he used for his research or falsified his results. […] Lacking any direct evidence of research misconduct, as defined under the NSF Research Misconduct Regulation, we are closing this investigation with no further action.
No mention of the investigation’s scope being limited to the use of NSF funding. Still, the NSF investigating climate scientists is “like the white aryan nation investigating Nazi’s for crimes against Jews.” Or maybe this “WHITEWASH” – again, the Shift Lock School of Epistemology – is like the LAPD investigating the Rodney King beatings.
Of course, denying official investigations that disprove a conspiracy is a common element of conspiracy theories. Of course They would disprove the conspiracy. The whole point of a conspiracy theory is that you can’t trust Them: government investigations, scientific research, etc. Unless one of Them says something you agree with. In other words, only climate change deniers – or any other conspiracy theorists – know the truth, and anyone who disagrees is, ipso facto, either deluded or part of the Big Global Conspiracy.
No matter how many times ClimateGate is disproved by investigations, a George Mason University study found it has already had an effect:
We conclude that, at least temporarily, Climategate has likely impeded efforts to encourage some weathercasters to embrace the role of climate change educator. These results also suggest that many TV weathercasters responded to Climategate more through the lens of political ideology than through the lens of meteorology.
ClimateGate seeded doubt, just as its sponsors wanted. Among those sponsors is the Global Warming Policy Foundation, who demand scientists reveal every detail about their research and funding … while the GWPF keep their own donors anonymous. Maybe there is a conspiracy after all….
Good day and good nuts.