Denialist Agenda (Part 4): Manufacturing a scientific scandal

12 thoughts on “Denialist Agenda (Part 4): Manufacturing a scientific scandal”

  1. “Yet the science remains rock solid”

    That may be true. But what counts is perception. Perception is reality, and when the public preceves that he science is bad, that’s all that matters. The public will determine policy based on preception so kiss AGW good bye baby! The skeptics have won. It’s over, go home.

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    1. And this is the reason why we must continue to fight for the truth. As for your statement – “The skeptics have won” – I think you are a little like George W Bush standing under the banner ” Mission accomplished” in May 1, 2003. I think the scientific community has been in shock at the deceit and dirty deeds of the denialist movement. But they are far from finished.

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  2. “The skeptics have won. It’s over, go home.” and then what Klem? This isn’t a game of football, or some meaningless political skirmish, this is the future of the planet. The deniers have certainly succeeded in their aim of delaying action for the foreseeable future. But their “winning” doesn’t change the facts on the ground, and eventually the dire straits we are in will become obvious to even the most rusted on Andrew Bolt ideologues. And then what Klem? A day late and a dollar short is the saying I think.

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  3. That may be true. But what counts is perception

    So you admit the science of AGW is correct & all you are doing is trying to perpetuate smear & propaganda in the name of lying to the public to aid your ideology? At least you are open about what we suspected all along.

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  4. Dear Ove,

    I think a number of contributors, not only on this blog but on coral-list as well, are frustrated by what they are seeing around them. Many do not understand the retreat of support from the science, citing the climate skeptic’s succeeding in a well orchestrated campaign.

    While Hamilton’s work reflects the far-right, it cannot explain the larger majority of ordinary people who have moved away from the idea of addressing climate change.

    Apart from the effects of the GFC and recent weather events; where people fail to make the distinction between weather and climate, there is quite possibly a more fundamental reason for this change.

    I think what scientists have failed to recognize is that the vast majority of people live within an urban landscape. These are already heavily altered ecosystems which are tightly controlled, exacerbating the desensitization for these people to changes occurring within the natural environment.

    Remember that the closest some people get to nature is a documentary.

    When climate change is discussed in any context within the media it appears to be the only environmental issue, rather than framed as an additional stressor on ecosystems which are already under pressure from existing conditions. (Trust me when I say I am not trying to dilute the importance of the issue)

    The observations communicated through the science are saying that change is already occurring – as we know it is. But for the lay person, living within an urban environment, these findings are continuously conflict with their own experiences of what they are seeing around them. Perhaps this is the point where seeds of doubt already exist that are then fed by the skeptics leading to the situation we see right now.

    Maybe I am not saying anything new here. But it really does seem that this point has been missed.

    Regards

    Craig Reid
    Author – Coral reefs and climate change.

    Craig Reid

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  5. Dear Ove,

    I think a number of contributors, not only on this blog but on coral-list as well, are frustrated by what they are seeing around them. Many do not understand the retreat of support from the science, citing the climate skeptic’s succeeding in a well orchestrated campaign.

    While Hamilton’s work reflects the far-right, it cannot explain the larger majority of ordinary people who have moved away from supporting the need to address climate change.

    Apart from the effects of the GFC and recent weather events, where people have failed to make the distinction between weather and climate, there is quite possibly a more fundamental reason for this change.

    I think what scientists have been unable to recognize is that the vast majority of people live within an urban landscape. These are already heavily altered ecosystems which are tightly controlled, exacerbating the desensitization for these people to changes occurring within the natural environment.

    Remember, that the closest some people get to nature, is a documentary.

    When climate change is discussed in any context within the media it appears to be the only environmental issue, rather than framed as an additional stressor on ecosystems which are already under pressure from existing conditions.

    The observations communicated through the science are saying that change is already occurring – as we know it is. But for the lay person, living within an urban environment, these findings continuously conflict within their own experiences of what they are seeing around them.

    Perhaps this is the point where seeds of doubt already exist that are then fed by the skeptics leading to the situation we see right now.

    Maybe I am not saying anything new here. But it really does seem that this point has been missed.

    Regards

    Craig Reid

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  6. Dear Craig,

    I think you make some important points. I also feel that the general public is vacillating on the issue – and like you, I feel that it doesn’t takes much of an orchestrated push to influence public opinion one way or the other.

    In my opinion, this represents the opportunity as well as the problem – and emphasizes why we have to be out and about as scientists, responding to be challenges that these orchestrated and hired hacks present. We must present the facts and truth of the matter unemotionally and without spin.

    I know many scientists who are shy and who do not want to get embroiled in the public discussion – but I personally think it is very much part of their civic duty and that more scientists need to be out there defending the science and helping as citizens understand the facts behind one of the greatest problems they and their children will have to face.

    Regards,

    Ove

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  7. We see our friends at the Australian’s manipulation and misreporting of fact and opinion in more areas than just the climate debate.

    Check out the following analyses of the insulation debacle:

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/02/24/risk-and-incompetence-in-an-insulated-media/

    and

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/02/24/did-the-insulation-program-actually-reduce-fire-risk/

    Could it be possible that the Australian and allies are baying for the Minister’s blood simply because he is the most effective Environment Minister Australia has ever had (a dubious honour to be sure, but nevertheless)?

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  8. Deb, I haven’t yet read the Crikey pieces, but I agree with you. Ben Eltham at New Matilda was also very quick to put the boot in to Garrett (although he also blamed the Dept) http://newmatilda.com/2010/02/12/and-thats-strike-three-garrett.

    After watching the baying media for a week I responded to Ben as follows: “it seems to me having watched the drama unfold culminating in at least a partial abandoning of the idea of helping people insulate roofs as one small step towards reducing greenhouse gas production in Australia, that this might well have been the point of Abbott’s attack. That is, to discredit not just Garrett but the whole idea of responsible environmental action. And note Joyce’s sneering at the very idea of insulating houses (http://www.blognow.com.au/mrpickwick/247076/Joyce_for_Canberra.html). I think this whole beat up was intended to run in parallel with the Murdoch Press/shock jock attack on climate science. Destroy the science, destroy the responses.”

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  9. David, I think the press has beat up this issue. But that doesn’t mean its not a serious issue of program mal-administration. As I argued in my article, Garrett and his department should have been aware of the likely consequences of dumping huge sums of money into a relatively small industry. This doesn’t make Garrett responsible, but it does suggest ther could have been smarter ways to implement this particular measure.

    Poorly installed roof insulation is not only dangerous, it also has little energy efficiency benefit.

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  10. Hi Ben. Far be it from me to emerge as the champion of Mr Garrett, ready to do battle with the black knight. I have been harshly critical of him, for example – “Peter Garrett seems rather to have become the type of Environment minister invented by the Howard government, one whose role is not to defend the environment but to facilitate its exploitation, fighting not against but alongside resource ministers (for example) to overcome public objections.” (http://www.blognow.com.au/mrpickwick/128902/King_Peter.html).

    And I certainly think that it ill behooves a Labor government to put its complete trust in private enterprise and shovel money to contractors. Conservative governments, yes, of course (which is why the Abbott criticism is so hypocritical). I just think that there is a sub text here which is for stopping expenditure on the environment. If the scheme had been aimed, for example, at building new shop fronts for small businesses, or improving facilities for markets for farmers, would the criticism have been anywhere near as harsh?

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