The year is 1954, and the “science” that has been exposed as a “sham” by conservatives is the link between smoking and lung cancer. Welcome to Tobaccogate, as Fox News would call it. The conservatives are championing professor Clarence Cook Little, who says he has discovered insurmountable flaws in the use of statistics and clinical data by “anti-tobacco” (and quasi-commie) scientists. The press reports the “controversy,” usually without mentioning that Cook Little is being paid by the tobacco industry. A relieved nation lights up–and so, over the next few decades, millions of them die.
It is happening again. The tide of global warming denial is now rising as fast as global sea levels–and with as much credibility as Cook Little. Look at the deniers’ greatest moment, Climategate, hailed by them as “the final nail in the coffin” of “the theory of global warming.” A patient study by the British House of Commons has pored over every e-mail from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and interviewed everyone involved. Its findings? The “evidence patently fails to support” the idea of a fraud; the scientists have “no case to answer”; and all their findings “have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified” by other scientists. That’s British for “it was a crock.”
Head over to The Examiner to read the rest of the article. It’s hard not to ridicule the integrity of Monckton (who is not only a celebrity denier, but also claims that he can cure HIV).
Prof Judith Curry disagrees with you Ove! It was a “crock” but not in the you suggest. Is she a denier also now?
…”So what am I up to? I am trying to provoke people to have open minds and think critically about climate research. The charges of “groupthink,” “cargo cult science,” and “tribalism” have some validity in my opinion.”…
Comments posted by Prof Judith Curry at Real Climate-follow link for complete post and reply from Gavin Schmidt
See also Judith’s interesting post on CRU investigation at Roger Pielke Jnr’s blog. http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/04/judy-curry-on-oxburgh-report-and-ipcc.html
There is a major difference between 1954 and 2009/10 – the internet.
The increasing skeptism of the default IPCC global warming stance is being led not by an industry funded fightback but by an army of like minded but totally independent thinkers who broadly share the same views. Blog sites are an incredibly easy and cheap method of propagating your opinion across the internet and it was only a matter of time before some of the better blogs became a central source of exchanging opinions and ideas. Popular blogs that are very lightly moderated are also very efficient at discarding daft ideas, the comment section soon fills up with ridicule.
Emails and as Climategate has shown FTP servers allow the quick transfer of large amounts of data around the world at no cost.
You wish for a “Tobaccogate”, if only the “denier” movement had to have massive backing of the someone like the oil industry to get their views across then it would be a relatively easy task to suppress their views by targeting the leaders of these organizations.
Donna Laframboise on her blog when comparing Climate skeptics with the corporate cost base that a large organization such as Greenpeace has makes the same point more colorfully.
Greenpeace has… “access to half a billion dollars annually.
When you’re that big – and that loaded – suddenly everything costs a small fortune. Want to start a new blog? That’ll require a series of meetings. You’ll need to invite web design folks, IT folks, a contingent of in-house PR people, an ad agency person or two, a corporate strategy person, and probably someone from legal. You’ll meet in shiny offices in a fashionable part of town and order-in sandwiches from the pricey, organic, fair-trade café at the end of the street.”
“Compare and contrast to how independent individuals of utterly modest means from all over the world currently behave. They sign up to a service like Blogger.com (which is owned by Google) and, within a few hours at most, for no cost whatsoever, have launched themselves as a blogger. Alternatively, for well under $10 in hosting fees a month, they can publish their own website.
For no money, therefore, climate skeptics in the early 21st century are in a position to theoretically communicate online with as many people as is Greenpeace. From their basements and their attics, in often non-trendy geographical locations, it isn’t their funding that matters – it’s their skill sets.”
Thats right – no oil money, no Tobaccogate style scam.
“It’s hard not to ridicule the integrity of Monckton (who is not only a celebrity denier, but also claims that he can cure HIV).”
The propensity of denialists to support multiple incarnations of denialism has been named crank magnetism ( http://contusio-cordis.blogspot.com/2009/11/crank-magnetism.html ).
And here in lies the problem. Following your logic:
Evolution debunked! I read it on the blogosphere. Who knew all these independent individuals of utterly modest means from all over the world posted all these blogs! Before all this I actually believed in A CONSENSUS of evolution from the scientists and world’s academies. However:
For no money, therefore, anti-evolution crusaders in the early 21st century are in a position to theoretically communicate online with as many people as is American Association for the Advancement of Science. From their basements and their attics, in often non-trendy geographical locations, it isn’t their funding that matters – it’s their skill sets.
When peer reviewed journals stop publishing papers (eg by Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, John Christie, The Pielke’s) that provide facts contrary to the IPCC “consensus” you may have a case. Until then sceptical views actually remain part of the scientific mainstream and J Roff’s analogies between climate science and evolution simply don’t hold true.
Marc H: Wasn’t it Pielke Sr who renounced that he was a skeptic, and said “The evidence of a human fingerprint on the global and regional climate is incontrovertible as clearly illustrated in the National Research Council report and in our research papers”? Interesting to note that you don’t include Bob Carter and John McClean in that list, considering peer reviewed journals did actually stop publishing their paper(s).
Wow, gobsmacking, you dont see the irony of this statement Frank?
So what DO you think fosil fuel, energy companies, motoring industries & the tobacco sector do in regards to opinions on climate change? Do they all just have a board meeting a say “oh well its all too hard, we will just tell the share holders that they are going to lose bucket loads of cash, they will be ok with that”……Whats the weather like on planet delusion Frank?
The internet has provided a medium in which these companies can employ the services of hundreds of PR groups, lobby groups & think tanks to do the dirty work.When you say :
“fightback but by an army of like minded but totally independent thinkers”
Dont you mean think tankers? Like:
1) Heartland Institute – who still backs tobacco http://www.heartland.org/suites/tobacco/ & has organized dozens of “climate change conferences”
2)The Cato institute – Who regularly appears on Fox news & other right wing media deny AGW – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHi4f0iTdsY
Who also campaigns for tobacco – http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5472
3) The Hudson Institute
4) The Fraser Institute
5) The competitive Enterprise Institute
6) American Enterprise Institute
7) Marshall Institute
8) Institute of Public Affairs
9) Science & Public Policy Institute
10) Climate Science Coalition
11) Lavoisier Group
12) Frontiers of Freedom
13) Freedom Works
14) The Heritage Foundation
15) APCO Worldwide
16) Tech Central Station
17) Commitee for a constructive tomorrow
18) Independent Institute
19) American Council On Science & Health
20) Consumer Alert
Thats just a few here in Australia & the USA, oh & Lord Moncktons SPINstitute.
All doing the work that industries used to have to do themselves, in the time of the tobacco debates. Now with the access of the internet, they can get their propaganda out there much faster, to more people, especially any right wing media or blogs, such as WUWT, Bolt, CA,Right side news, Climate depot,Marohasy, Nova, Fox News, News ltd, Sunday Mail etc. Plus virtually every major commercial talkback AM station in the world ,90% of which are conservative. The conservative parties have even more incentive to tow the industry line as these industries are some of their biggest political donors. You dont want to piss such donors off when they are offering money like this for your political campaigns:
You think a whole bunch of just like minded people thought to themselves, “hey, this AGW is a scam! Even though I’m not a scientist & dont know crap about science, I somehow know this is crap!!!” without any outside stimulus?
Leaked EXXON documents showed what they were up to:
The Frank Lutz memo to the Republicans to tech them how to pretend to sound environmentally friendly & green. Its also rumored to be where the term “climate change” came from.
So Frank, where exactly does this logic of your stem from? That somehow none of these institutes are involved, no industry is involved on the denial side & its all just being run & defended by like minded bloggers? Is this a joke?
“hey, this AGW is a scam! Even though I’m not a scientist & dont know crap about science, I somehow know this is crap!!!”
Best comment of the week.
Yes, Sebastien – good to see that the denialist camp so much deadly fodder to counter thousands of peer-reviewed papers!
J.Roff. I think you are missing out on a big part of the debate. As Pielke Snr would contend, land use change is having a greater impact on the planet than increasing CO2. In my experience there is little contention that human’s are having a major impact on the planet. One that will continue to grow with population. Whether this impact can be considered wholly “negative” however remains a value judgement.
If you know your Popper you would recognise two main competing paradigms at present, one involving high CO2 sensitivity, and one low. Both are legitimate and backed by peer reviewed studies. The first has been in the ascendancy since the 1980s. It has the attention of politicians and funding agencies, and the backing of an increasingly powerful group of well funded NGOs. It also appears to be severely affected by confirmation bias. The second paradigm(lead perhaps by Lindzen) appears to be gaining ground as climate model projections falter, missing heat can’t be located (see recent Trenberth paper) and ice caps recover. It will be interesting to see how the science develops over the next 10 years time, at which point we may be able to pick a winner.
Great to see we agree Sebastien…….that Andrew Bolt And Anthony Watts fall into this category.
…the same Andrew Bolt who said to Ove: “I am not a scientist, and cannot have an informed opinion on your research”
I find that strange, after all if anyone should know anything about climate change its Andrew Bolt…as he “studies it”. He gets it direct on the hotline from the University of East Bumcrack.
obama, collecting his nobel peace prize, said that gw *will fuel more conflicts for decades*. which means that lack of food and earthquakes and hurricanes will provocate waves of agression and violence all over the world. what is funny -he took analysis not from enviromental scaremongers but from a group of american generals. previous experience of human beings shows us that climat change does not provocate war. and everything is like this about gw prob. people take just part of the problem, we still have no enough researches or provments to say if the threat is real and is it provocated by producing co2 or methan or whatever.