Well, damn. Kevin Drum stole my thunder.
I wanted to draw special attention to a post by John Quiggin, which announces:
More significantly, perhaps, 2005 saw the final nail hammered into the arguments climate change contrarians have been pushing for years. The few remaining legitimate sceptics, along with some of the smarter ideological contrarians, have looked at the evidence and conceded the reality of human-caused global warming.
He also makes this crucial point:
… now that the scientific phase of the debate is over, attention will move to the question of the costs and benefits of mitigation options. There are legitimate issues to be debated here. But having seen the disregard for truth exhibited by anti-environmental think tanks in the first phase of the debate, we shouldn’t give them a free pass in the second. Any analysis on this issue coming out of a think tank that has engaged in global warming contrarianism must be regarded as valueless unless its results have been reproduced independently, after taking account of possible data mining and cherry picking. That disqualifies virtually all the major right-wing think tanks, both here and in the US. Their performance on this and other scientific issues has been a disgrace.
This is something that I would hope — against hope, basically — that the media would take to heart. There have been many snake-oil salesmen in past years, "experts" with no background in the relevant science, quoted alongside scientists in articles about global warming. For "balance," you know.
These folks have been demonstrated to be full of it, shilling industry-friendly propaganda.
Once we start talking about what to do next, is there any reason to think these same people are going to stop shilling industry-friendly propaganda?
Is the Competitive Enterprise Institute still going to show up in the last few paragraphs of every single story on climate change? I would think at this point even the most credulous environmental reporter would have learned their lesson.