With the season’s first pro and college kickoffs about to take place, please excuse the sports metaphor. OK, yet another one! To wit:

It seemed either a stroke of genius or the proverbial Hail Mary pass, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s plea that the Environmental Protection Agency put climate change science “on trial” in something – get this – along the lines of the famous Scopes monkey trial.

“It would be evolution versus creationism,” the Los Angeles Times‘ Jim Tankersley reported the chamber’s senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs, William Kovacs, as saying. “It would be the science of climate change on trial.”

And, no: It was not April First and not just another one of those occasional newspaper gag articles. You can read Tankersley’s scoop on the initiative here.

A next-day follow-up story by the Environment News Service generally treated the issue as a straight news story, adding the perspective of a Republicans for Environmental Protection officer that the effort was “a crass attempt to exploit religious beliefs in order to stall actions” on climate. Another representative of that group was quoted as saying “the chamber is transparently trying to sow doubt and polarize the public over climate change.”

To absolutely no one’s surprise, however, former Senate aide to Senator James Inhofe (R-Ok) Marc Morano saw things differently. He blogged that a “public trial” of climate change science would be the “biggest fear!” of “climate fear promoters.”

Chances of any such “trial” at this point – isn’t that what the IPCC has been doing all these years, reaching a strong decision clearly not shared by the Chamber or Morano – are slim. Far less than that proverbial Hail Mary pass.

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