New Day co-anchor Chris Cuomo compared ‘climate change deniers’ to people who believed the earth was flat and opposed bi-racial marriages.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about “fake news,” most of which comes from the left side of the political spectrum. Consider this exchange between Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota:
Cuomo: Either you accept the science or you don’t.
Camerota: No. That’s not what he’s saying. [Trump] sees nuance where you see black and white, that it’s either settled or not settled.
Cuomo: Ninety nine percent of the scientific community says that global warming is impacted by man.
Let’s begin with the fake fact regarding the claim that “ninety-nine percent of the scientific community says that global warming is impacted by man.” The number is actually 97%, and as any search on Google will show, even that number is faked, but people like Cuomo keep repeating it hoping that in time enough people will believe it and cry out for more government control and wealth confiscation:
“The 97% ‘consensus’ study, Cook et al. (2013) has been thoroughly refuted in scholarly peer-reviewed journals, by major news media, public policy organizations and think tanks, highly credentialed scientists and extensively in the climate blogosphere. The shoddy methodology of Cook’s study has been shown to be so fatally flawed that well known climate scientists have publicly spoken out against it.”
Just a year ago, ClimateChangeDispatch published “97 Articles Refuting The ‘97% Consensus’” which shows there is no consensus among scientists concerning global warming that humans (anthropogenic/man-made) are the major source of a “roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius [increase] over the past century or so.” (Source)
Let’s not forget that global cooling was all the scientific rage in the 1970s, so much so that TIME1 (June 24, 1974) and Newsweek “Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend… But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.”)) (April 29, 1975) promoted the claim in multiple cover stories.
It’s not coincidental that “global warming” became “climate change” because the science and the facts kept changing. Who can deny climate change when the climate is always changing? “Bingo! We have a winner. Every time the climate changes, we can say that humans caused it and if humans caused it then humans (government) can stop it.”
When a blizzard struck the United States in December 2010, TIME ran the following story: “Holiday Blizzard: More Signs of Global Warming.” What? So even when cooling takes place, it caused by global warming. Climate change is confirmed again. More money, please.
If Cuomo is ignorant of the origin of the 97% number and what the original report actually claims or he knows the number is bogus, then he is being maliciously dishonest and has no business claiming to be a journalist. It’s not hard to find dozens of articles that track down the source of the manufactured 97% number. National Review has one of the best short explanations of why the 97% number is bogus.
Cuomo played the equivalent of the race card. When you’ve run out of arguments and refuse to offer an opposing opinion, play the 97% number. In fact, Cuomo played the 97% card and the race card with his interview with Alisyn Camerota when he claimed that climate change “deniers” are like “[p]eople [who] thought blacks and whites shouldn’t marry.” This is the same argument used against opponents of same-sex marriage. Being black is not a sexual behavior.
There’s also the money angle. Climate change hysteria is big business:
“New estimates published by the Climate Change Business Journal put the total size of the [climate change] industry at $1.5 trillion a year, or $4 billion a day, equivalent to the size of the global online retail market. The figure includes carbon markets, carbon consulting, biofuels, carbon sequestration, renewable technologies, eco buildings and hybrid cars.
“The climate change consultancy market alone is worth $1.9 billion worldwide; $670 million in the United States, thanks to businesses need to keep on top of climate policy. And these figures are expected to more than double by 2020.” (Breitbart)
Not only does Cuomo promote fake science and play the race card, he also engages in fake history by comparing respected scientists who question the argument that climate change is the result of human activity to people who believed the earth was flat. President Obama has done the same thing when he dismissed critics of the science behind anthropogenic climate change by playing the flat earth card: “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.”
The thing of it is, there was almost no one in the past 2500 years who believed the earth was flat. Washington Irving (1783-1859) started the fake flat-earth history story in his three-volume History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828). Samuel Eliot Morison, a noted Columbus biographer, describes the story by Irving as “misleading and mischievous nonsense.”2
Irving’s fictionalized account of Columbus describes him as being “assailed with citations from the Bible and the Testament: the book of Genesis, the psalms of David, the orations of the Prophets, the epistles of the apostles, and the gospels of the Evangelists. To these were added expositions of various saints and reverend Commentators. . . . Such are specimens of the errors and prejudices, the mingled ignorance and erudition, and the pedantic bigotry, with which Columbus had to contend.”3 These tales of opposition never happened. It was fake history at its lowest.
The dispute with Columbus in the 15th century was over how big around the earth was not whether the earth was round or flat. Columbus was wrong about the circumference of the earth; the map makers were right.
For decades, the flat-earth slam has become standard historical mythology that was written into our nation’s textbooks and is pulled out as an ideological hammer every time some liberal lie is questioned.
Even the Encyclopedia Britannica perpetuated the myth of a round-earth solution for Columbus’s voyages as late as 1961: “Before Columbus proved the world was round, people thought the horizon marked its edge. Today we know better.” The people knew better in Columbus’ day.
“As early as the sixth century B.C., Pythagoras — and later Aristotle and Euclid — wrote about the Earth as a sphere. Ptolemy wrote ‘Geography’ at the height of the Roman Empire, 1,300 years before Columbus sailed, and considered the idea of a round planet as fact ‘Geography’ became a standard reference, and Columbus himself owned a copy.” (Washington Post)
A 1983 textbook for fifth-graders reported that Columbus “felt he would eventually reach the Indies in the East. Many Europeans still believed that the world was flat. Columbus, they thought, would fall off the earth.” A 1982 text for eighth-graders said that Europeans “believed . . . that a ship could sail out to sea just so far before it fell off the edge of the sea. . . . The people of Europe a thousand years ago knew little about the world.”
Prominent scholars like John D. Bernal (1901-1971), in his four-volume Science in History(1954), and Daniel J. Boorstin (1914-2004), prize-winning author and Librarian of Congress from 1975 to 1987, propagated the myth without any historical substantiation. Boorstin spills a great deal of ink inventing a history of flat-earth beliefs that he traces to an obscure sixth-century monk, Cosmas Indicopleustes, who, according to medieval scholar Jeffrey Russell, “had no followers whatever: his works were ignored or dismissed with derision throughout the Middle Ages.”
Earlier attempts to present Columbus as a scientific iconoclast can be found in two standard nineteenth-century anti-Christian works pitting science against religion. John William Draper, the author of History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874), claimed that Christians had no concern for scientific discovery. Instead, “they originated in commercial rivalries, and the question of the shape of the earth was finally settled by three sailors, Columbus, De Gama, and, above all, by Ferdinand Magellan.” While Columbus and other informed sailors who regularly sailed beyond the horizon believed in “the globular figure of the earth,” Draper wrote, “such an idea was, “as might be expected . . . received with disfavor by theologians.” A similar argument appears in Andrew D. White’s The Warfare of Science with Theology published in 1896, a work that is still cited as an authority on the history of science.
“Historian of science David Lindberg summarizes the medieval understanding of the earth and cosmos in his book The Beginnings of Western Science: ‘At the center of everything is the sphere of the earth. Every Medieval scholar of the period agreed on its sphericity, and ancient estimates of its circumference (about 252,000 stades) were widely known and accepted’ (p. 253). . . . No Christian authority of any consequence ever taught that the earth was flat.” (Huffington Post)
Boorstin asserts that from A.D. 300 to at least 1300, Europe suffered under what he describes as “scholarly amnesia” due to the rise of “Christian faith and dogma [that] suppressed the useful image of the world that had been so slowly, so painfully, and so scrupulously drawn by ancient geographers.” Fake history at its worst.
Bede (673-735), monk of Jarow and “the Father of English history,” maintained “that the earth is a globe that can be called a perfect sphere because the surface irregularities of mountains and valleys are so small in comparison to its vast size.” He specifies that the “earth is ‘round’ not in the sense of ‘circular’ but in the sense of a ball.”4
Children have been propagandized by flat-earth fake history in children’s programming:
“The 1937 popular song They All Laughed contains the couplet ‘They all laughed at Christopher Columbus/When he said the world was round.’ In the Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, Hare We Go (1951), Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand the Catholic quarrel about the shape of the Earth; the king states the Earth is flat. In Walt Disney’s 1963 animation The Sword in the Stone, wizard Merlin (who has traveled into the future) explains to a young Arthur that ‘man will discover in centuries to come’ that the Earth is round, and rotates.” (Wikipedia)
Cuomo and other climate change apologists are not interested in the facts. Their goal is agenda-driven. More government. More control. More global governance. More wealth confiscation. The flat-earth mythology is similar to what we are seeing today among people like Cuomo. Matt J. Rossano’s comments on the fake flat-earth history has a modern-day application that helps explain the modus operandi of today’s intelligentsia who believe everyone but them is a rube:
“Facts only confuse a good story. The narrative was bold, simple, and eagerly embraced by the nineteenth-century intelligentsia, who asserted that today, as always, religion subverts knowledge and progress. It was a classic fight of good vs. evil, progress vs. regress, ignorance vs. enlightenment — just what the papers needed to sell copy.” (Huffington Post)
- “When meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe, they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.” [↩]
- Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co., 1942), 89. [↩]
- Quoted in Jeffrey Burton Russell, Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians (New York: Praeger, 1991), 53. [↩]
- Russell, Inventing the Flat Earth, 20. [↩]
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