Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Greenpeace Report - Dealing in Doubt: A Chronicle of Climate Denial

The full title of this Greenpeace publication is Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Machine vs. Climate Science.  This report addresses the ways in which climate deniers propagate doubt to undermine credible scientific evidence linking human activity to global warming. It was released ahead of the Fifth Assessment report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This updated version of their March 2010 report details the ongoing attempts to attack the integrity of individual climate scientists and their work.

In addition to reiterating the strategic parallels between the tobacco industry and climate denial it addresses some new research revealing even deeper connections including funding, personnel and institutions. It also details how some scientists are now fighting back. In particular the report takes a hard look at the Heartland Institute to illustrate the range of tactics used to wage a campaign against climate science. The report reveals specific denier tricks ranging from pal review, to self-publishing books, and conspiracy allegations. Finally the report shows how digital technology has decentralized the denial campaign and the fact that it is disseminated in a viral fashion renders it largely immune to reason.

Front groups running campaigns against climate science receive considerable funding which can be traced back to fossil fuel interests. Subtle and pernicious financing mechanisms have been exposed including those belonging to the Koch Brothers and fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil, which runs a funding front-group called the Donors Trust – and its associate Donors Capital Fund. The level of funding such groups recieve is considerable and appears to be equal the urgency of the science.

Even if the average person is not able to follow the twisted tail of corporate power and influence, most people are influenced by extreme weather events. “Hurricane Sandy. Droughts. Flooding. Wildfires. People are feeling the effects of climate change. That makes it harder to deny,” said Cindy Baxter, who is a co-author of the Greenpeace’s new report. 

To read the report click here.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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