Thursday, June 29, 2006

Revisiting Skepticism


Via The Note (scroll down), comes an exchange with Frank Luntz, of the famous 'luntz speak' lingo. In a communications strategy document written for the Bush campaign in 2000 Luntz advised that one of the administrations key talking points ought to be that "the scientific debate remains open". He argued that as long as voters "believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.”

Having spent a good number of years making these same arguments myself, I'm relatively familiar with these experts. Guys like Fred Singer and Pat Michaels. Even some less bought and sold and more reasonable types. Regardless though, comes this from Luntz:

LUNTZ: "It's now 2006. Now I think most people would conclude that there is global warming taking place, and that the behavior of humans are affecting the climate."

QUESTION: "But the Administration has continued to follow your advice. They're still questioning the science."

LUNTZ: "That's up to the Administration. I'm not the administration. What they want to do is their business. And it's nothing to do with what I write. And it's nothing to do with what I believe."

So, the talking points are based on...what now?

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