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Hot Air Confuses the Climate Debate
Reporter Dave Maza looks at Arthur B. Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, a man long "in the vanguard of a small but vocal and persistent collection of scientists, industry advocates and commentators who dismiss human culpability for climate change. ... Robinson's critics say his analysis is simplistic, but it remains persuasive a decade later with powerful policymakers like U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a visible and effective player in blocking a bill to limit greenhouse-gas emissions last fall. 'The influence Robinson and the others have is to muddy the waters and delay action on global warming,' says Sheldon Rampton, research director for the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit organization that promotes media literacy. 'I thought he was thoroughly discredited years ago,' Rampton says. 'But the global-warming skeptics certainly haven't given up. And they seem willing to promote anyone who can be half-plausibly sold as an expert.' Robinson's views have been cited on Fox News, MSNBC and other national newscasts, such as Exposed: The Climate of Fear, an hourlong special report in 2007 by CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck. The report relied heavily on Robinson's findings to attack former Vice President Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth."