It’s amazing what a little fact checking can accomplish, in this case with just one phone call.
In his otherwise intriguing book “The Weather Makers,” Tim Flannery took a shot at Prof. Fred Singer, a well known climatologist and global warming skeptic. In a previous blog I mentioned that Flannery dismisses Singer and his Science & Environment Policy Project as a follower of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, i.e., a member of the cult-like Unifiaction Church. What I thought was unfair was that Flannery says this without mentioning anything about Singer’s extensive credentials as a climatologist, which I thought was very suspect and quasi-slanderous, as I have spoken to Prof. Singer several times and always found him to be congenial, sane and informed.
So, I called up Prof. Singer today and asked him about this. Turns out he is NOT a follower of Rev. Moon or a member of the Unification Church at all. He has spoken at conferences sponsored by Rev. Moon, as have, by the way, Al Gore and Bill Clinton. So calling Prof. Singer a Moonie for that reason is the same as saying Gore or Clinton are Moonies, which is ridiculous.
This charge is often leveled against writers for the Washington Times, by the way, on the premise that because Rev. Moon owns the paper, all its writers are Moonies. (Equally silly.)
The way Flannery has misled readers about Prof. Singer makes me wonder about some other claims in the book, that I plan to follow up. Too bad that an otherwise erudite writer has harmed his own cause by playing partisan games of this sort. Again, and I’ll say this over and over until the cows come home, this global warming issue is too important for crap like this. Truly!