You know that weird sensation when you experience something and you immediately get the feeling you’ve seen that very same thing before?
No, I’m not talking about déjà vu.
I’m talking about watching a press conference from climate science denialists at United Nations climate talks.
Specifically, we’re talking about the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) whose delegation took up the option of a press conference a couple of weeks ago within the confines of the latest round of international talks in Lima, Peru.
In a flyer promoting its press conference, CFACT declared “UN Allows Debate on Global Warming!” – a declaration that sounded like some kind of breakthrough moment when the UN had finally granted a press conference to climate science misinformers.
Except 12 months earlier, CFACT had also been granted press conference time at the talks in Warsaw, Poland (CFACT has long been accommodated by the UN and has also held press conferences at talks in Bonn, Durban and Doha to name a few). CFACT even survived expulsion when one of its delegates – British hereditary peer Lord Christopher Monckton – was debadged in Doha in 2012 after impersonating an official delegate during talks.
In Warsaw the CFACT delegation press conference had communications director Marc Morano sitting on the left, executive director Craig Rucker in the centre and 1960s NASA astronaut Walter Cunningham on the right.
This year, CFACT had the same line up, sitting in the same formation and promoting near identical arguments (although at least two of the three were wearing different suits).
Climate scientists are wrong, global warming has stopped and – as both Morano and Cunningham argued – the UN talks are merely cover for sinister “international central planning” of energy systems.
CFACT’s message and line-up was all very repetitive and very 2013 – a year when the organisation’s revenue from donations fell to its lowest levels in recent years.
According to CFACT’s tax records, the organisation attracted $1.97 million in donations for the year 2013 – the organisation’s leanest year since 2008 when donations were at $1.5million.
The income is well below 2012 levels when CFACT was handed $5.5 million in donations, with almost $3.7 million coming via Donors Trust – the slush fund for wealthy US conservatives exposed as a major contributor to campaigns to spread doubt on climate change science and fight efforts to regulate damaging carbon dioxide emissions.
In Lima, Rucker said it was time the “debate” over climate change became “more civil and less abusive”.
Such a statement would have broken most irony meters given he was sitting next to his communications director who once said of climate campaigners and scientists: “I seriously believe we should kick them while they’re down. They deserve to be publicly flogged.”
Morano, often seen and heard as the rent-a-denier on conservative media outlets in the US, galloped through his usual array of climate myths in front of a sparse audience just as he had the year before.
Morano didn’t quite reach the comedic climax of Warsaw, where he bungled a now popular coal industry talking point on energy poverty in declaring people in poor countries were living in “dungs made of hut [sic]”.
In Lima, CFACT had declared the climate change “debate” was getting “wackier and wackier”.
To illustrate the point graphically – perhaps even pornographically – Morano claimed: “We have the German environment minister coming out and producing videos urging people to have s*x… or make love… in the dark in order to save the planet.”
Unfortunately time was called on the CFACT press conference before DeSmogBlog could ask why Morano thought having s*x in the dark was a whacky idea.
A momentous climax surely denied?