The denier: A Montana mechanic throws a wrench into the climate consensus
March 15, 2012
Poetry is perhaps the last thing you'd expect from a denier website, even more so when you learn the author is a mechanic turning wrenches in Helena, Mont.
But poetry is what you find on Bruce A. Kershaw's attack on established climate science, CO2u.info.
It's the denier canon, in verse.
A Climate Query for Bruce Kershaw
Interview conducted and condensed by Rae Tyson
Editor's note: Climate Query is a semi-weekly feature offered by Daily Climate, presenting short Q&A's with players large and small in the climate arena. Read others in the series here.
Bruce A. Kershaw's march toward climate denial began in 2007, the year media coverage of climate change peaked in the United States. It began with a growing frustration over what he perceived to be a pro-climate change bias in television and newspaper coverage. The tipping point came when he opened his morning paper and saw carbon and oxygen described as pollution. He started a blog, CO2u.info, after his own research left him questioning the prevailing scientific theory about the causes of gradual warming.
Kershaw, who runs an auto repair shop in Helena, Mont., relishes his role as a climate denier. He's proud that the local paper called him an "environmental extremist."
His blog, written mostly in verse that blends his love for poetry with his ire at climate science. It's a wide-ranging site, containing thoughts on home foreclosures, Donald Trump, even a note to the editors of the Webster's New World Dictionary taking exception to their definition of "catalytic converter." Many of the climate entries are tangential to climate science and global warming; almost without exception, the science would be debunked by anyone working in earth or atmospheric science fields.
But then, to Kershaw, that's the problem.
Lots of people deny consensus science on climate change. What prompted you to blog about it?
All the lies on the television news, newspapers and media about science. The media has been, for the most part, one-sided. I want to educate about the truth in science and share what I know and can prove is real.
On your blog, you said, in part: "There are millions of people out there who are not a Scientist, who think they are." Why are you not in the same category?
Most people on this planet have no science background. I have worked in science professionally my entire life.
And what's your scientific background?
I was licensed by the state of California on (auto) emissions controls and I had to learn atmospheric science. I have been reading National Geographic since my grandfather got me started. A lot of my earth science information is from National Geographic.
You are pitting information gleaned from a magazine and California's emissions control program against the conclusions of a majority of trained scientists?
I would go a step further. Why are they only focusing on one thing when there are more than a dozen causes of climate change? That's the problem. It's incomplete and invalid. There are other factors that have been excluded. There's a lot of bad information out there.
More than 97 percent of climate scientists believe that climate change is real – and human activity is the cause. How can you dispute those conclusions?
I don't disagree with climate change. But there is no physical test to back up the science. We found out later that bloodletting was a bad idea but it was the scientific consensus at the time.
Your blog mentioned the conclusions of a German physicist who questioned the prevailing views on climate change. Aren't you selectively using science to promote your own viewpoint?
It simply means there is no consensus. Right now, the consensus is all political.
What kind of auto repair work do you do?
I specialize in diagnostics, trouble-shooting, on-board computers and electronic fuel injection. I try to use my brain, not my back.
Most interesting car you ever worked on?
A 1926 Lincoln Continental Yellowstone Park touring car. It was a beauty, and it took four hours just to grease all the fittings.
I was born in Long Beach, Calif. in the same room my mother was born in – and by the same doctor. In 1971, my folks came up here on vacation and decided to move.
You wrote the words to what you describe as a "country rap" song titled cLIMATEcHANGEmAN. Ever perform it in public?
No. I have not sat down and put the words to music. But I have the music in my head. It sounds like a bad rap song with a little steel guitar twang mixed in.
Rae Tyson pioneered the environmental beat at USA Today in the 1980s and today restores and races vintage motorcycles in central Pennsylvania.
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