TwitterFacebook

You’re Being Duped By the Climate Denial Industry

Environment • Views: 983

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.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

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

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Randall Gross
What Was Fake on the Internet This Week: Date-Rape Nail Polish, ‘Two Moons’ and the Return of ‘Breaking Bad’
Ready? Here's what was fake on the Internet this week: 1. Nail polish can't actually prevent date-rape. The media, social and otherwise, cheered the invention of an "anti-date rape" nail polish at North Carolina State University, where students claimed ...

3 hours, 48 minutes ago
Views: 134 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 0
Souliren
Natalie MacMaster
18 hours, 1 minute ago
Views: 80 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
The War TARDIS
Doctor Who “Into the Dalek” Open Thread
This episode will echo old Dalek episodes, both with a bit of a twist. Also, Clara will be finding someone, as she seems to be moving from her feelings of the 11th. But, this for talking.

1 day, 19 hours ago
Views: 232 • Comments: 37
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 4
FemNaziBitch
Roger Goodell: ‘I Didn’t Get It Right.’ -NFL TAKES A NEW STANCE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admits he was wrong on the Ray Rice decision, and Goodell took an important step Thursday towards showing the league is serious about cracking down on domestic violence as well as sexual assault. In a ...

3 days, 1 hour ago
Views: 215 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
sagehen
Doctor Who Spoiler Thread
For those who want to post immediately... live... without having to hide spoilers behind the button.

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 686 • Comments: 99
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 6
EiMitch
Escapist: Maniac Cop
escapistmagazine.com Link broken? The gist is that this is an impressively sarcastic review of an old slasher flick based on the "unrealistic" premise of a cop abusing his power to murder people.

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 501 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Hyped Up On Ganja
Hunt for German neo-Nazis was ‘complete disaster’
BERLIN (AP) -- Police and security services in Germany's eastern state of Thuringia bungled the hunt for three neo-Nazis, who years later turned out to be the main suspects in a far-right murder spree. Story

1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 720 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 4
Rightwingconspirator
A Lizard’s Regenerating Tail
Don't ya hate it when that happens? You feel so short for a month. Anoles are curious little lizards capable of ditching their tails when they feel threatened. This self-amputation, called autotomy, takes about 25 days for the tail to ...

1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 516 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 5
CriticalDragon1177
Io9 - Everything You Need To Know About Lemuria, The Lost Continent Of Lemurs
Esther Inglis-Arkell talks about the weirdest lost continent myth, I've ever heard. Its the only one I know of that ever included giant telepathic lemurs. No seriously! In 1858 a young zoologist, playing around with an idea, came up with ...

1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 696 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 7
Laughing Gas
Scumbag “HBD believer” claims Michael Brown charged officer
WARNING: LINK TO HATE SITE He links to some ijreview, a right wing site: This guy makes me sick.

1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 1,580 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
 Frank says:

You don't have the slightest understanding of the difference between government action and private action, and you have certainly destroyed any case you might otherwise have had with this Senator. -- Senator Gorton, to which Frank Zappa responds with "Is this private action?"