The climate change denial industry

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The climate change denial industry

Postby wintler2 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:38 am

Organized Climate Change Denial “Played a Crucial Role in Blocking Domestic Legislation,” Top Scholars Conclude


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Two leading scholars have written an excellent analysis of what I’ve been calling the Denier Industrial Complex.

Riley E. Dunlap, a sociology professor at Oklahoma State, and Aaron M. McCright of Michigan State call it the “climate change denial machine” in their book chapter, “Organized Climate Change Denial,” for the new Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society.

In a note, the authors explain:

The actions of those who consistently seek to deny the seriousness of climate change make the terms “denial” and “denier” more accurate than “skepticism” and “skeptic,” particularly since all scientists tend to be skeptics.

Some try to downplay the central role of the denial machine in U.S. politics, but the fact is that what the deniers have accomplished in this country is unique in the world, going far beyond the spread of disinformation. They have allowed fossil fuel interests to “capture” almost an entire political party — at least these in national office (see National Journal: “The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones”).

In this country, the power of the Denier Industrial Complex is magnified by the absurd extra-constitutional, super majority “requirement” for 60 votes in the Senate. As long as the machine operates and Republicans in office lack the guts to challenge it, the chances of serious climate action remain severely limited.

Here is the conclusion of this important article:

Many factors influence both national and international policy-making on environmental (and other) issues (Dryzek et al. 2002). We are definitely not suggesting that organized climate change denial has been the sole factor in undermining efforts to develop domestic climate policies in nations such as the U.S., Australia and Canada where it has been particularly prominent, nor at the international level where diverging national interests are obviously a major obstacle (Parks and Roberts 2010). Nonetheless, it is reasonable to conclude that climate change denial campaigns in the U.S. have played a crucial role in blocking domestic legislation and contributing to the U.S. becoming an impediment to international policy-making (McCright and Dunlap 2003; Pooley 2010). The financial and organizational resources and political and public relations expertise available to and embodied in the major components of this machine, and the various actors’ ability to coordinate efforts and reinforce one another’s impacts, have certainly had a profound effect on the way in which climate change is perceived, discussed and increasingly debated—particularly within the U.S.

We have argued that because of the perceived threat posed by climate change to their interests, actors in the denial machine have strived to undermine scientific evidence documenting its reality and seriousness. Over the past two decades they have engaged in an escalating assault on climate science and scientists, and in recent years on core scientific practices, institutions and knowledge. Their success in these efforts not only threatens our capacity to understand and monitor human-induced ecological disruptions from the local to global levels (Hanson 2010), but it also weakens an essential component of societal reflexivity when the need for the latter is greater than ever.

Precisely.

The only thing more undeniable than the “crucial role” of the climate change denial machine is the warming of the climate system itself.
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Allegro » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:45 am

.
You'll see mentioned in the article the words Manhattan Institute, which, as everyone already knows but not noted in the article, is in part funded by... ready... wait for it... the Koch family. See Mother Jones.
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From Bad Astronomy
— Wall Street Journal OpEd | neutrinos show climate change isn’t real

    OpEds — editorials expressing opinions in newspapers — are sometimes a source of wry amusement. Especially when they tackle subjects where politics impact science, like evolution, or the Big Bang.

    Or climate change.

    Enter the OpEd page of the Wall Street Journal, with one of the most head-asplodey antiscience climate change denial pieces I have seen in a while — and I’ve seen a few. The article, written by Robert Bryce of the far-right think tank Manhattan Institute, is almost a textbook case in logical fallacy. He outlays five "truths" about climate change in an attempt to smear the reality of it.

    I won’t even bother going into the first four points, where he doesn’t actually deal with science and makes points that aren’t all that salient to the issue, because it’s his last point that really needs to be seen to believe anyone could possibly make it:

      The science is not settled, not by a long shot. Last month, scientists at CERN, the prestigious high-energy physics lab in Switzerland, reported that neutrinos might—repeat, might—travel faster than the speed of light. If serious scientists can question Einstein’s theory of relativity, then there must be room for debate about the workings and complexities of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Seriously? I mean, seriously?

    It’s hard to know where to even start with a statement so ridiculous as this. For one, there is always room for questioning science. But that questioning must be done by science, using a scientific basis, and above all else be done above board and honestly. But that’s not how much of the climate science denial has been done. From witch hunts to the climategate manufactrovery, much of the attack on climate science has not been on the science itself, but on the people trying to study it. And when many of those attacks have at least a veneer of science, it’s found they are not showing us all the data, or are inconclusive but still getting spun as conclusive by climate change deniers. And if you point that out, the political attacks begin again (read the comments in that last link).

    Second, the neutrino story has nothing to do with climate change at all. It’s a total 100% non sequitur, a don’t-look-behind-the-curtain tactic. Just because one aspect of science can be questioned — and I’m not even saying that, which I’ll get to in a sec — doesn’t mean anything about another field of science. Bryce might as well question the idea that gravity is holding us to the Earth’s surface.

    After all, gravity is just a theory.

    [THERE'S MORE.]
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edit: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Last edited by Allegro on Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:45 am

Scientists Discover Largest Ever Ozone Hole Above the Arctic
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By IB Times Staff Reporter | October 4, 2011 1:53 AM EDT

The Arctic saw massive ozone losses in 2011 due to a prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere, according to a NASA-led study.

The amount of ozone depletion over the Arctic was comparable to those found in the Antarctic, where a hole has formed every spring since the mid-1980s. The hole over the Arctic is approximately 2 million sq km and is similar to the one over the Antarctic.

"The chemical ozone destruction over the Arctic in early 2011 was, for the first time in the observational record, comparable to that in the Antarctic ozone hole," lead scientist Gloria Manney of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told The Guardian.

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The findings of the study, conducted by a team of scientists across 19 institutions in nine countries, including Canada and the United States, were published Sunday in the journal Nature.

The study shows that the unprecedented hole was the largest ever recorded and caused residents in parts of northern Russia, Greenland and Norway to become exposed to high levels of UV radiation.

The scientists found that at some altitudes the cold period in the Arctic lasted more than 30 days longer than in any previously studied Arctic winter; a factor that could also explain the unprecedented ozone loss.

"Why [all this] occurred will take years of detailed study. It was continuously cold from December through April, and that has never happened before in the Arctic." said Michelle Santee, from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, part of the group that monitored the hole from space using satellites.

"The difference from previous winters is that temperatures were low enough to produce ozone-destroying forms of chlorine for a much longer time. This implies that if winter Arctic stratospheric temperatures drop just slightly in the future, for example as a result of climate change, then severe Arctic ozone loss may occur more frequently," she added.

Approximately 80 percent of the layer at a height of about 13 miles (20 kilometers) above the Arctic recorded the maximum depletion, according to reports.

The loss of ozone in the Arctic is, according to NASA, due to the same process as in the Antarctic - when extremely cold conditions trigger reactions that convert atmospheric chlorine, drawn from man-made chemicals, into forms that destroy ozone.

However, the generally warmer stratospheric conditions there limit the area affected, as well as the time frame during which the chemical reactions occur, resulting in far less ozone loss in most years in the Arctic than in the Antarctic.

As much as 90 percent of Earth's ozone is concentrated in the stratosphere. Stratospheric ozone shields Earth from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. Depletion of ozone can result in considerable increases in UV received, which affects human beings, animals and entire ecosystems. The ozone layer deters ultraviolet B rays that cause skin caner and other ailments.

The 2011 Arctic ozone loss occurred over an area considerably smaller than that of the Antarctic ozone holes because the Arctic polar vortex, a persistent large-scale cyclone within which the ozone loss takes place, was about 40 percent smaller than a typical Antarctic vortex.

The ability to measure polar ozone loss and associated processes will be reduced with NASA's Aura and CALIPSO spacecraft reaching the end of their operational lifetimes, NASA said, adding that it is imperative that this capability is maintained.

Meanwhile, chlorine-based compounds continue to circulate in the upper atmosphere; a fact that indicates the ozone layer has some way to go before it is restored to a healthy state.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Ben D » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:54 am

Map: The Climate Change Scare Machine — the perpetual self-feeding cycle of alarm

Two professors of sociology think they can explain why “Climate Deniers” are winning. But Riley E. Dunlap and Aaron M. McCright start from the wrong assumption and miss the bleeding obvious: the theory was wrong, the evidence has changed, and thousands of volunteers have exposed it.

The real question sociologists will be studying for years to come is: how was an exaggerated scare, based on so little evidence, poor reasoning and petty namecalling, kept alive for two whole decades?

Climate Change Scare Machine Cycle: see how your tax dollars are converted into alarming messages

See your tax dollars converted into their scare. Click for a larger image. Reference: Climate Money, Science and Public Policy Institute, 2009.
….
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The Full PDF version
The key points
1. The money and vested interests on the pro-scare side is vastly larger, more influential, and more powerful than that on the skeptical side. Fossil fuel and conservative-think-tanks are competing against most of the world financial houses, the nuclear and renewable energy industry, large well financed green activists (WWF revenue was $700m last year), not to mention whole government departments, major political parties, universities dependent on government funding, the BBC (there is no debate), the EU, and the entire UN.

2. Despite this highly asymmetrical arrangement, the skeptics are winning simply because they’re more convincing — they have the evidence. The other team avoid debate, try to shut down discussion (only their experts count), they imply the audience is too stupid to judge for themselves, and then call everyone who disagrees rude names. The dumb punters are figuring them out. Vale free speech.

The evidence changed, but who wanted to know?
When the evidence began rolling in showing how the assumptions were wrong, the graphs were flawed, the thermometers were biased, and the “expert” scientists were behaving badly — who exactly would benefit from risking their career, cutting off the cash cow, being exiled from friends and colleagues, and being called a “Denier” for speaking the truth?

The perpetual self-feeding cycle of alarmism has it’s own momentum — Create a scare and siphon up the taxes, fees, fines, charges and donations. As a bonus, activists feel like heroes, some collect awards and tributes while they trash the tenets of reason and logic, and hail false Gods of Science (as if any authority is above question). Others gratify base desires by pouring scorn on giants of science, dismissing 40 years of top service with one tenuous association (there’s a certain kind of appeal to a certain kind of person.)

How could such poor reasoning triumph for so long in the “modern” era?
The key is that so many benefit from the status-quo once the alarm is raised. There is no need for a global conspiracy, and most of the organizations and groups named here are doing honest work with respectable intentions. The problem is not conspiratorial, its systemic. Monopoly-science is not the way to seek the truth. Monopolies don’t deliver: not in markets, religion, or government either (think “EU”). We need competition.

Once an alarmist cycle is set up, with international bureaucracies, industries, taxes, associations, and activists in place, with careers riding on the perpetual alarm, what stops it? Volunteers?

Which university or government department do skeptical scientists apply to? What grant do they apply for?

The money, power, and influence is vastly larger on the side that benefits from the alarm
On the skeptical side, Exxon chipped in all of $23 million over ten years, but it’s chump-change. The fossil fuel industry doesn’t like carbon legislation, but it’s not life or death, unlike the situation for wind and solar, which would be virtually wiped out without the subsidies provided by the scare.

The US government has poured in $79 billion and then some. But the pro-scare funding is pervasive: for example — the Australian government spent $14 million on a single Ad campaign, and another $90 million every year on a Department of Climate Change. The UK government paid for lobbyists to lobby it, and the BBC “partners” with the lobby groups. The EU doesn’t just subsidize renewables, it also pays them to push for more subsidies. Even the dastardly Exxon paid more than 20 times as much for a single renewables research project than it did to skeptics.

Last year in carbon markets $142 billion dollars turned over, and $243 billion was invested in renewables. If the carbon market idea went global it was projected to reach $2 trillion a year. Every banker and his dog has a bone in this game. Why wouldn’t they?

Curiously, some just can’t see the vested interest of global financial houses and government bureaucrats in these policies. Andy Revkin suggests that the opposition to the alarmist juggernaut is “well coordinated” and “not contentious”. But how well coordinated are the IPCC? Which think-tank has two week long junkets for tens of thousands of people including media reps from all over the world? Not skeptics.

The money side of the equation is so lop-sided, and eggregiously dominated by pro-scare funding at every level, that skeptics can thank Dunlap-McCright for bringing it up. We’ll take your minor millions and vague allusions to “influence” and up the ante a magnitude, so to speak. Yes, let’s talk about the vested interests?

As I wrote in early 2010:

Somehow the tables have turned. For all the smears of big money funding the “deniers”, the numbers reveal that the sceptics are actually the true grassroots campaigners, while Greenpeace defends Wall St. How times have changed. Sceptics are fighting a billion dollar industry aligned with a trillion dollar trading scheme. Big Oil’s supposed evil influence has been vastly outdone by Big Government, and even those taxpayer billions are trumped by Big-Banking.

The namecalling has to stop
It’s absurd self-satire when mere sociologists and journalists casually call Nobel Physics Prize winners: Deniers? These “deniers” are guys who figured out things like tunneling electrons in superconductors. Just because they won a Nobel doesn’t make them right, but wouldn’t a true investigative reporter’s curiosity pique a little as skepticism rose and rose? Isn’t there a moment when it occurs to any open mind that it might be a good idea to actually phone up a NASA astronaut who walked on the moon and has spoken out as a skeptic and ask: Why?



*No a “consensus” is not evidence of how the climate works, and nor is a map of funding, they’re “evidence” of how human society works. They make good case studies of group-think-in-action. Sociologists and journalists who make the mistake of confusing one type of evidence for the other merely help to perpetuate the alarm. The answer to planetary climate sensitivity won’t be found by following dollars.

———————————————————————————-

Text within the The Climate Change Scare Machine
Industrials
Renewable energy, nuclear power, electric cars, batteries, hydroelectric, geothermal, desalination plants:
e.g. General Electric, Seimens, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Samsung, Panasonic, Phillips, Toshiba, Westinghouse, Toyota. “Solyndra”

Renewables: $243b invested in 2010.
Nuclear: valued at $217b in 2010
Solar PV market: $80b in 2010

Financial houses
GoldMan Sachs, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Citigroup, Barclays Investment Bank, Société Générale (SCGLY), Morgan Stanley, Fortis Bank Nederland, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Westpac, and many others… [more info]
Carbon Trading: $144b in 2010
Plus: Climate change exchanges, auditors, insurers, reinsurers… …Lloyds, American International Group (AIG)
Generation Investment Management

Green Foundations
Soros funded groups: Open Society Institute ($5b in assets), Energy Action Coalition, Green for all, Natural Resources Defence Council, Alliance for Green Protection, Friends of the Earth, Earth Island Institute, Tides Foundation.
Turner Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Joyce Foundation, Blue Moon Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation…

Government Funded Activists
IPCC & other UN groups (WMO, UNEP, UNFCCC), Government Departments (NOAA, EPA, BOM, NASA, Hadley Met Centre, -Dept Climate Change, CSIRO, Dept of Conservation …)

Universities & Scientists – $79 Billion to the scare, $0 to skeptics

Public Broadcasters — (e.g. BBC & ABC)

Green Groups
Greenpeace (US$300m), WWF ($710m), Sierra Club ($56m), Pew Charit. Trst. ($360m), Earth First, UCS, Conservation Foundation, Center for American Progress, Environmental Defenders Fund, MoveOn, GetUP…
NB: Most donors are anonymous.

Smear Sites
DeSmog, Exxon Secrets, Sourcewatch, 10:10, Climate Progress, etc

Media (aka rubber stamp)
…turns official press releases into “News items”
Thus a Government funded scientist’s opinion (or best guess) becomes an undebatable “fact” backed by a University or govt department. Independent scientists criticisms are ignored or called “fringe”, “extremist” and “in denial”.

Duped: the well intentioned public pay for it all.


This is one “natural” cycle where positive feedback dominates.



—————

Chart footer:

Produced by a self-taught, unfunded scientist (with help from a friend) determined not to let them get away with it. WARNING: This sociological chart has no information about the planetary climate. Use only empirical evidence to try to predict the weather.



UPDATE:
ClimateMadness did a fast “ parody of the same “Denier” chart and another cartoon parody today.

The Science and Public Policy Institute reports that the New American responded to the Time Magazine article that sprang from the under-researched, name-calling “Denier Chart”.

Paul A.T. Higgins of the American Meteorological Society, who is incidentally a proponent of the AGW hypothesis, wrote in his analysis of the proposed U.S. fiscal year 2011 budget that federal dollars spent on climate change research and development totaled $15.6 billion in 2009 and $17 billion in 2010. The 2011 budget proposed a 10 percent increase over the previous year. The total annual operating revenue of groups such as Cato ($20.4 million) and AEI ($28.8 million) are paltry in comparison. Yet these are the greedy muckrakers Walsh finds so offensive, though they receive no government funding whatsoever.

Perhaps the question Walsh should ask is, “Who’s bankrolling the climate change fanatics?”

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/map-the-climate-change-scare-machine-the-perpetual-self-feeding-cycle-of-alarm/
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby gnosticheresy_2 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:09 am

What a load of shit, sorry. "Soros funded groups", Goldman investing in "green foundations" Sourcewatch as a "smear site"! fucking clownshoes :rofl:
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Postby wintler2 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:40 am

BenD wrote:
joanna nova wrote:..usual pro-polluter schlock..




This years headliner: Fred Singer, who as late as 2006 made money denying a link between smoking and cancer. But i guess defending Big Carbon polluters pays even better than Big Tobacco.
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Searcher08 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:32 pm

I thought the idea THIS week was that we are going to have a Global Ice Age???

Whenever I hear "Denier!" attached to any contentious belief, it associates in my mind with an group of people who are characterised by:

classic neo-liberal
who buy "Government" pronouncements on things such as 9/11 and the War on Terror
whose idea of a rebuttal is actually just sneering, mocking or self-righteous indignation
who see themselves as proponents of so-called skepticism and 'critical' thinking
who are actually as elitist as fuck (epitomised by people like the Windbag of Bullytown - David Aaronovitch in the UK)

I have no horse in this race - each of us have to focus on where we will spend our resources of time and attention for most "bang for the buck" for the good of all beings... and climate change is not mine.
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Elihu » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:41 pm

i think "denier" means you have lost the argument.
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Sounder » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:52 pm

Handy linguistic trick there, eh
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Simulist » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:26 pm

Elihu wrote:i think "denier" means you have lost the argument.

Like "Holocaust deniers"?

Yeah. They've lost the argument alright.
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Elihu » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:43 pm

Like "Holocaust deniers"?


are those two the same thing?
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Elihu » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:19 pm

whatever happened with acid rain?
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Simulist » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:04 pm

Elihu wrote:
Like "Holocaust deniers"?


are those two the same thing?

Do you think they're the same thing? I don't either — so I was a little surprised to read what you posted, sounding like a rather blanket statement. You wrote, "I think 'denier' means you have lost the argument."

Really?
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Elihu » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:56 pm

You wrote, "I think 'denier' means you have lost the argument."

Really?

"denier" is a label. it's not an argument. the application of a label means the applying party thinks the argument is over. if the argument is in fact in a state of "factual" un-settlement, then the applicatee wins the "argument" by default. it will be his moral victory in the gulag....
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Re: The climate change denial industry

Postby Simulist » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:03 pm

"Denier" is a label, you're right.

And yes, such a label does seem particularly apt when it's applied to people — and industries — who keep on denying climate change, despite the voluminous evidence of it.
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