TwitterFacebook

You’re Being Duped By the Climate Denial Industry

Environment • Views: 919

Since a whole lot of right-wingers gleefully trumpeted George Monbiot’s article in which he called for CRU head Phil Jones to resign, I wonder if they’ll be equally eager to promote his latest article — which documents the enormous amounts of money the climate denial industry is spending to trick people into believing there’s no threat from global warming: The climate denial industry is out to dupe the public. And it’s working.

I’m guessing … not.

Even if you were to exclude every line of evidence that could possibly be disputed – the proxy records, the computer models, the complex science of clouds and ocean currents – the evidence for man-made global warming would still be unequivocal. You can see it in the measured temperature record, which goes back to 1850; in the shrinkage of glaciers and the thinning of sea ice; in the responses of wild animals and plants and the rapidly changing crop zones.

No other explanation for these shifts makes sense. Solar cycles have been out of synch with the temperature record for 40 years. The Milankovic cycle, which describes variations in the Earth’s orbit, doesn’t explain it either. But the warming trend is closely correlated with the accumulation of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. The impact of these gases can be demonstrated in the laboratory. To assert that they do not have the same effect in the atmosphere, a novel and radical theory would be required. No such theory exists. The science is not fixed – no science ever is – but it is as firm as science can be. The evidence for man-made global warming remains as strong as the evidence linking smoking to lung cancer or HIV to Aids.

The third observation is the contrast between the global scandal these emails have provoked and the muted response to 20 years of revelations about the propaganda planted by fossil fuel companies. I have placed on the Guardian’s website four case studies; each of which provides a shocking example of how the denial industry works.

Two of them are drawn from Climate Cover-Up, the fascinating, funny and beautifully written new book by James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore. If every allegation it contained could not be traced back to leaked documents (I have checked all the sources), their findings would be unbelievable. Nothing exposed by the hacking of the Climatic Research Unit’s server is one tenth as bad as the least of these revelations.

When I use the term denial industry, I’m referring to those who are paid to say that man-made global warming isn’t happening. The great majority of people who believe this have not been paid: they have been duped. Reading Climate Cover-Up, you keep stumbling across familiar phrases and concepts which you can see every day on the comment threads. The book shows that these memes were planted by PR companies and hired experts.

The first case study I’ve posted reveals how a coalition of US coal companies sought to persuade people that the science is uncertain. It listed the two social groups it was trying to reach – “Target 1: Older, less educated males”; “Target 2: Younger, lower income women” – and the methods by which it would reach them. One of its findings was that “members of the public feel more confident expressing opinions on others’ motivations and tactics than they do expressing opinions on scientific issues”.

Remember this the next time you hear people claiming that climate scientists are only in it for the money, or that environmentalists are trying to create a communist world government: these ideas were devised and broadcast by energy companies. The people who inform me, apparently without irony, that “your article is an ad hominem attack, you four-eyed, big-nosed, commie sack of shit”, or “you scaremongers will destroy the entire world economy and take us back to the Stone Age”, are the unwitting recruits of campaigns they have never heard of.

The second case study reveals how Dr Patrick Michaels, one of a handful of climate change deniers with a qualification in climate science, has been lavishly paid by companies seeking to protect their profits from burning coal. As far as I can discover, none of the media outlets who use him as a commentator – including the Guardian – has disclosed this interest at the time of his appearance. Michaels is one of many people commenting on climate change who presents himself as an independent expert while being secretly paid for his services by fossil fuel companies.

The third example shows how a list published by the Heartland Institute (which has been sponsored by oil company Exxon) of 500 scientists “whose research contradicts man-made global warming scares” turns out to be nothing of the kind: as soon as these scientists found out what the institute was saying about them, many angrily demanded that their names be removed. Twenty months later, they are still on the list. The fourth example shows how, during the Bush presidency, White House officials worked with oil companies to remove regulators they didn’t like and to doctor official documents about climate change.

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
For about 33 cents a day (per month) or 22 cents a day (per year), our subscription option turns off all advertisements at LGF!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Last updated: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Pie-onist Overlord
NH Lawmaker: Women Deserve Less Pay Because They Don’t Work Hard Like Men
More: NH Lawmaker: Women Deserve Less Pay Because They Don't Work Hard Like Men A New Hampshire lawmaker found himself being heckled by his colleagues on Wednesday during a state House speech, which asserted that women lacked the work ...

1 hour, 28 minutes ago
Views: 60 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Randall Gross
Turkey Offers Condolences to Armenians Over Killings
For the first time, the Turkish government offered condolences on Wednesday to the descendants of Armenians who were killed by the Ottoman Army in 1915. But it stood by its official position that the events were not a genocide, ...

1 hour, 59 minutes ago
Views: 40 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
FLORIDA: Sex Trafficking Bill Clears House on Unanimous Vote
A bill aimed at responding to sex trafficking, with a laundry list of services and safety precautions to protect victims, passed the Florida House of Representatives on Tuesday with a unanimous 119-0 vote. The bill, if passed by the ...

19 hours, 12 minutes ago
Views: 111 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
cycroft
Russ Campbell’s Blog
Speak­ing at a town hall in Nanaimo, B.C. on April 13, the Green Party leader called the PMO "a $10-mil­lion-a-year par­ti­san op­er­a­tion filled with ruth­less, cut­throat psy­chopaths." Eliz­a­beth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Is­lands, later claimed she made the com­ments ...

20 hours, 7 minutes ago
Views: 50 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Skip Intro
Tea Party Candidate Curt Clawson Wins Republican Primary to Replace Former Rep. Trey Radel
Curt Clawson, a businessman who was little known months ago in Southwest Florida, won a contentious GOP primary Tuesday to fill the U.S. House seat left open by the scandalous downfall of Trey Radel. Clawson pitched himself as an ...

1 day, 12 hours ago
Views: 215 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 7 • Rating: 0
MichaelJ
2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP - Finals Day!
More: 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP The women's final is in the water now and the men's quarterfinals begin after a champion is crowned. Bells beach is delivering the goods today with clean conditions for the ...

1 day, 13 hours ago
Views: 82 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
Political Atheist
NYT Story-American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest
After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada -- substantially behind in 2000 -- now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. The income data were compiled by LIS, ...

1 day, 17 hours ago
Views: 181 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
palmerskiss
Debate Discrimination - Houston Chronicle
We're glad to see Mayor Annise Parker finally stand up and propose a human rights commission that will provide local due process for victims of public discrimination. Parker told the Chronicle editorial board that she plans to release a ...

4 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 237 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Idle Drifter
Calgary stabbings: How knife crime in Canada can cause ‘moral panic’
What Calgary police chief Rick Hanson called the "worst mass murder" in the city's history didn't end at the barrel of a gun. Instead, the 22-year-old suspect identified on Tuesday as Matthew de Grood is accused of entering the kitchen ...

1 week ago
Views: 402 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
aagcobb
New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate: New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Instead of pushing for a Constitutional amendment, which would have to be ratified in 38 states, advocates ask individual state legislatures to pass an agreement: that ...

1 week ago
Views: 385 • Comments: 8
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
 Frank says:

Bring the band on down behind me, boys.