TwitterFacebook

You’re Being Duped By the Climate Denial Industry

Environment • Views: 1,018

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: 2014-12-15 2:06 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Lumberhead
This Is What Cuba Really Looks Like These Days
All too often, Cuba is visually portrayed as nothing more than a tropical time machine, a place where the people and their lives aren't nearly as interesting as the relics surrounding them. More: This Is What Cuba Really Looks ...

5 minutes ago
Views: 34 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Randall Gross
‘Worst Congress Ever,’ by the Numbers
234: The number of bills passed by the 113th Congress, the lowest recorded total in congressional history. The number is down 18 percent from the 112th Congress and about four times less than the 80th in 1947-1948, which President ...

1 hour, 1 minute ago
Views: 61 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
The Vicious Babushka
Springfield Official at Hanukkah Menorah Lighting: ‘Jesus Is the Reason for the Season’
Jaws dropped in Springfield's Court Square Tuesday afternoon when Springfield City Councilor Bud Williams offered his take on the annual city menorah lighting ceremony. "Jesus is the reason for the season," Williams said during remarks at the ceremony that ...

1 hour, 3 minutes ago
Views: 89 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
‘God Loves Women Who Have Abortions’: The Religious Abortion Advocates That History Forgot
The New York legislature had just failed to pass an incremental reform to the state's strict anti-abortion law, leaving the status quo in place. At that time, deaths resulting from illegal abortions accounted for 42 percent of New York ...

1 day ago
Views: 183 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Rightwingconspirator
Blackmores Night-Christmas Music Olde And New At The Same Time
Spotify Youtube

1 day, 19 hours ago
Views: 154 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Romantic Heretic
It’s Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas
As always, Fairytale of New York makes me realize what time of the year it is.

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 358 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Dark_Falcon
The College Rape Overcorrection
This is the article I promised to post this morning. The quoted passage is from the second section, "2. An Overcorrection". We are told that one of the most dangerous places for a young woman in America today is a ...

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 655 • Comments: 11
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
cinesimon
Charles Barkley and the Plague of ‘Unintelligent’ Blacks
theatlantic.com

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 687 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
teleskiguy
Nixon’s The One - “Secrets”
Episode three of Harry Shearer's "Nixon's the One" bares the man's horrible paranoia and prejudices, and his proclivity for sleeping pills. His conversations about J. Edgar Hoover are especially instructive. As Sir David Frost says at the beginning, "So there ...

1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 689 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 8 • Rating: 0
Click My Icon To Watch This Short French Film.
Shameless Plug For Anyone Interested In Supporting French Cinema
I have a friend who made a very short French comedy for the Nikon Film Festival.I realize it does not have English subtitles but the premise of the movie is about young new filmmakers trying to come up with an ...

1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 551 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 6
 Frank says:

You see, when I was a kid I used to save up for a month, so I could get an R&B album and, the same day, the completed works of Anton Webern. Maybe that means something. Maybe that tells you something about my music. -- Excerpt from the book "Rock and Other Four Letter Words", copyright 1968.