Why are there still climate-change deniers?

 

Reading the newspapers lately, you might get the impression that the once strident climate-change deniers, doubters and skeptics are slowly becoming extinct. The New York Times recently called Sen. James Inhofe, the most strident of Al Gore's critics, "a dinosaur," and few in the House or Senate even tried to counter Gore's recent testimony on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, the scientific consensus, as reflected in the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, appears to be bulletproof.

Yet, far from fading away, climate-change skeptics seem to be coming in the windows, as prevalent as flu virus in winter. I know I'm accosted by doubters on a daily basis, from the parents of friends at a cocktail party, to the counter patron at a local BBQ joint, to an acquaintance in the ice cream aisle at the supermarket. Last week the “Vox Populi” column in a regional paper asked, "Is global warming a problem?" And more than one response was, "You'd have to believe in it first."

All this begs the question: Why? At some point, doesn't a scientific consensus become accepted fact, like the roundness of the earth, the germ theory of disease, gravity, or Americans landing on the moon? If it doesn't, why not?

One of my favorite explanations comes from a psychologist who was interviewed about the Heaven's Gate Cult. In response to the Hale-Bopp comet, members of this group dressed in black sweat suits and overdosed on phenobarbitol and vodka, each carrying five dollars in quarters for the vending machines on the spaceship that would take them away. The psychologist said: "There are 6 billion people on the planet. At any given time, a lot of people are going to be doing some weird stuff." Which means, I guess, that a lot of people will believe whatever they want to believe, regardless of science, fact or reality.

As with the Heaven's Gate cult, there's a familiar human element to climate-change deniers. Some people just seem hard-wired that way. One of the most famous skeptics about global climate change is Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT, who has also questioned the link between smoking and cancer. He's a contrarian by personality and probably reminds us all of a lovably irascible friend. But why are some people wired like Lindzen? Is it a vagary of personality, or might there be a broader purpose that skeptics play in the world?

One answer comes, ironically, from another still-debated "theory" --evolution. Anthony Westerling, an engineering professor at the University of California, Merced, recently mused that there might be a Darwinian advantage to having skeptics -- even irrational skeptics -- in society. Skeptics could confer some level of check and balance and thereby increase group survival over time. This argument might have made more sense in the past when our grasp of science was weak. It was useful, for example, for society to question the idea that malaria came from bad air in swamps.

Today, though, doubters of global warming aren't serving an evolutionary role; they're threatening group survival. We can think of the skeptic role as an evolutionary vestige that was useful once but harmful now, in the same way that Attention Deficit Disorder might have kept cavemen primed for sneak attacks, but now only makes for distracted cubicle-dwellers.

The problem with the prevalence of climate-change doubters is that we don't have time to humor them. Scientists say we need to substantially clean up the planet's dirty energy infrastructure within 10 years to prevent catastrophic consequences. Yet the persistence of the deniers suggests there is a fatal obstacle to attacking this problem in a timely way.

It must be that reversing climate change really requires a social, not a scientific, evolution. Even though the science behind the earth orbiting the sun has been solid for some time now, Galileo wasn't formally exonerated by the church until 1992, some 350 years after his conviction for daring to say that the sun was the center of our solar system. Similarly, the battle for civil rights, which started over 200 years ago, required the bloodiest war in American history, the heroics of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, and it still isn't over.

The terrifying slowness of social evolution tells us that our challenge is even greater than we thought.

Auden Schendler is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News in Paonia, Colorado (hcn.org). He directs environmental affairs for the Aspen Ski Co. in Colorado.
Anonymous
May 03, 2007 02:04 PM

Mr. Schendler,

 To quote you, "At some point, doesn't a scientific consensus become accepted fact....?".  The simple asnwer is no. And, you essentially provided that answer yourself but didn't recognize it.

 Wasn't the scientific consensus in place for hundreds of years that the earth was flat?  Or, how about the earth being the center of the solar system?  Because people continued to look for fact and not just accepting the "consensus" did we finally learn to accept as fact the world was round and that the sun was the center of the solar system.

Global warming as it is explained by Al Gore is not fact.  That is not to say that each and every one of us should not do our very best to conserve resources and be a good steward of our planet.  We clearly should.

The problem with this debate, as I see it, is that anyone that doesn't accept this supposed consensus as fact is demonized.  Demonization of healthy debate will kill this country much quicker than global warming.

One other issue, Mr. Gore and Mr. Inhofe's "debate" points out the real issue with Mr. Gore.   Mr. Inhofe tried to get Mr. Gore to commit to living a lifestyle based on conservation of resources.  Mr. Gore refused to do so.  Mr. Gore's lifestyle is at odds with his sermon.  In fact, perhaps the biggest sham every foisted on the public is the concept of "buying" carbon offsets.  Individual and  corporate conservation is the answer, not carbon offsets.

Finally, comparing  those who question concensus should not be compared to the  Heaven's Gate cult.   I am a free thinking social liberal whose formative years were the 1970's.  Back then it was the government  and Big Brother that were trying to stop freedom of expression and ideas by demonizing those who disagreed.  Sadly, in today's society, it is the so called "liberal" that demonizes any and all that may disagree.  Who would have ever believed it?  

Anonymous
May 09, 2007 12:13 PM

People as a species,have never particularly been fond of the truth.That is a "truism" itself.Human beings even react with anger and hostility when faced with the truth,in situations. It is one of the reasons that "diplomacy" is valued above honesty in society,and social interactions.

Human beings would rather hear a comforting lie,than an upsetting truth that is necessary for them to face, just to survive. Denial is so ingrained in the human being that it is completely interwoven in civilization. "Society functions thru lies." 

Those of us who study mankind,know this.It is not a pleasant reality,but it's necessary to be aware of.  

Anonymous
May 09, 2007 12:14 PM

  No one ever proved that Liberals were really smarter than right wing conservatives,or Moderates and Independents

.I used to be a Liberal,for years,in Liberal organizations,and such,and I quit,because I found the Liberal Mentality was that of "If you do not completely agree with ALL of the Liberal Party Line,we will not let you have ANY opposite, or different opinons at all.You cannot have or express ANY different opinions, at all,from the Party Line."

 In other words, very Facist philosophy. I quit.It was so phony,I could not take it. Liberals often lie,and say they are "Liberal" but their behavior is not "Liberal" at all.They ACT like Conservative RightWingers, who do not want you to have any opposite opinions at all.

  No "I respect your right to have an opposite idea."

 The current "PC" "politically correct" thing is a big example of Liberal politics. If you do not particularly LOVE gay politics,you are a "BAD PERSON."

 I read newspapers in California, where people who did not want to see the movie "Brokeback Mountain" were criticized as being very anti-Gay and Bigoted. (haha.)Like, you are not ALLOWED to have an opposite PRIVATE opinion of Gays, AT ALL.

"You WILL like and go see the movie Brokeback Mountain,and you WILL like and approve of Gay Politics and all gays. "--otherwise, we will come down on you.That attitude and manner of speech was last used in Nazi Germany,and it is not any less Facist now, than it was then. 

   When I lived in northern California, with my sister,and her roomate, and we went to a restaurant, they were AFRAID to talk about any subject that was not "PC" "politically correct." They were afraid that other diners in the place would overhear, get angry,and make a fuss.--or even start a fight. "Don;t talk about anything about gays, or Black people. AT all.It is too dangerous.Don't talk about controversial things."     

 It seems that everyone was so thin-skinned,and over-sensitive,that no Gays or African-Americans can stand to hear any discussion,citicism,or anything about them.No one can SAY anything that can be overhead in public.

 The rediculous state of "PC" "Politically Correct" affairs is such that it dictates to it's citizens WHAT they are "allowed" to think,say,believe,and hold in their own private,personal opinions.

 Try living in California,and see exactly what I mean. Try living in Eugene,Oregon, which is Liberal,and does not allow any differing opinion from the "Liberal Party Line." It's disgusting. Everyone in the college town of Eugene,Oregon, knows that the PC attitude of the Liberals there, is biased and discriminatory against anyone who does NOT want to be "politcally correct."

    In short,Liberals, and "Politcally Correct" standards do NOT allow freedom of opinion.(Can you say the word "Facist"?)

 

Anonymous
May 14, 2007 11:18 AM

re: "Climate Change 'Deniers'" 

The global warming hoax perpetrators seem to be losing their overblown, hyperbolic arguments on the merits, with more and more data and analysis now showing that most of the claims of Gore and his ilk (including the author of this article) are not only misleading and based upon cherry-picked data, but in most instances are flat out wrong.  For example, the complete ice core data record shows that prehistoric atmospheric CO2 concentrations lag repeated global warming episodes by an average of 800 years - completely and thoroughly debunking once and for all the hoax that trace amounts of CO2 "cause" warming, when it's precisely the other way around: a warming atmosphere causes the oceans to release more of their stored CO2 mass to the atmosphere.  The hoaxers point to glaciers shrinking in Greenland, and of course always fail to mention that the overall mass of ice in Greenland is actually increasing.  The hoaxers ply the airwaves and internet with forlorn pictures of polar bears scrambling to survive on one tiny piece of melting arctic ice, but of course fail to mention that polar bears don't "live" on ice floes, they live on the land at its margins and enter the sea to hunt seals, and that polar bear population levels are at an all time high in arctic Canada.  Years ago, the hoaxers tried to fool us with the infamous hockey stick graph, which the UN climate panel finally retired in this their latest version of its political summary of warming "science"; yet of course the hoaxers also conveniently forget to mention that the earth cooled from 1940s to the 1970s while CO2 emissions increased exponentially during and well after World War II - completely shredding any connection between modern CO2 emissions and global temperatures.

And as to the effects of warming, regardless of its cause, the world's leading experts on tropical weather phenomena (including Dr. Wm. Gray - is he one of those "Heavens Gate" wackos you're referring to, Mr. Schendler?) deny claims of worsening hurricanes due to global warming.  Indeed, the latest studies indicate that a warming atmosphere induces greater high level wind shear, which in turn greatly reduces the damaging high speed winds of hurricanes.   Such high level wind shear is precisely the principal reason why last year (2006) we had so few major Atlantic hurricanes develop and hit our shores.  Sea level rises?  The dire predictions of Gore & Co. (of 20 to 30 feet rise in the next century) are completely ridiculous, with even the UN panel modifying its own exaggerated predictions of sea level rise (based upon extrapolations from its discredited climate models) to a matter of inches, not tens of feet.

The global warming hoaxers are intent on scaring us with "ohmygod" scenarios, while at the same time they ignore any research that shows the beneficial effects of a warming climate.  Why do they not point out, for instance, that history shows us that human populations have benefited tremendously from prior warming episodes (there are many good reasons why the last major warming period is called the "Medieval Climate Optimum" - during which it was significantly warmer than it is today), and conversely have suffered far more disease, starvation, and deprivation during earth's periodic cooling episodes (such as during the infamous Dark Age)?  Why would Greenland and Canada and Siberia not do better with a more temperate climate (as they have enjoyed during prior warming episodes) than with a brutally cold climate?

Of course, the climate will change regardless of what mankind does - it always has and it always will.  Our challenge as a species is to adapt, and it is clear that humans adapt better to warmer climates than to cooler climates.

And so on and so on.

But, since the global warming hoaxers have begun to realize that they cannot win their arguments on the merits, they instead resort to fantastical media hyperbole, Hollywood production values, and rhetorical trickery such as practiced by the author of this story - by referring to their critics as "deniers", supposedly putting us on the same moral plane as Holocaust deniers.  That is a loser's tactic, and only shows that the gig is finally up.

By the way, the global warming hoax critics do not "deny" or reject the concept of climate change.  Indeed, the critics well know and understand that the earth's climate has never "not changed" - it changes all the time, for a variety of reasons, all natural and having nothing to do with mankind, and for reasons that are somewhat better understood now than in the past ... but nevertheless the science of climate change and all the various physical, chemical, biological, and nuclear processes underlying such change still remain beyond the full understanding of our scientists.  Indeed, the earth and the universe are far too complex to neatly fit into any computer modeler's digital code - despite what the hoaxers tell us.  The fact is, the climate modelers can't even get their various models to agree either with each other, let alone with the actual performance of the earth's climate for the last 150 years ... if the models cannot predict what we know has already occurred, on what logical basis are we to trust their predictions of future dire anthropomorphic warming?

Oh yeah, according to the hoaxers we are supposed to suspend the scientific method, and substitute instead what the greenies and their media friends call "scientific consensus" ... an oxymoron if there ever was one.  Science is not about political belief (which is the essence of human "consensus").  Science is about the apolitical, unemotional collecting of data, analyzing it, coming up with hypotheses, and challenging and criticising those hypotheses.  Real science (as opposed to the ever prevalent "junk science" that dominates the popular media) is never about calling a "time out" on criticism and challenge.  We will never fully know all, because we will never reach the end of our ability to collect more and better data, make more and more precise measurements, and use our ever-expanding imagination and technological abilities to create new and better hypotheses and models of the natural world.  The entire mantra of "consensus" therefore is the very antithesis of the scientific method.  The consensus meme (and the accompanying collateral charge against "deniers", i.e., that it is they who existentially threaten us all - by standing in the way of consensus, and keeping the consensus from doing its moral work) has no purpose other than rhetorical.  That is, "consensus" is used merely in an attempt to shut off further scientific examination and debate - tasks that are the essence of real scientific inquiry.  The "consensus" mongers are trying to do today to real scientists what the Roman Catholic Church did to Gallileo centuries ago.  Except that, unlike the middle of the last millenium, there is simply too much communication of information in society today to allow such self-styled moral arbiters to suppress the human intellect in any similar appreciable manner.

The global warming hoaxers, therefore, serve as today's stand-in for the religionists of the past who attempted (unsuccessfully, ultimately) to suppress science and intellectual dissent. 

 

Anonymous
May 14, 2007 11:25 AM

Every year I go through all of the books I have listed at www.greenhomebuilding.com to update and cull through the listings. This is a time-consuming process, but one that I feel is warranted by wanting to keep abreast of any new developments or pertinent media. Recently I went through the listings of books available at Amazon.com on the topic of "global warming," assuming that with the current public awareness of this critical issue, there would be scores of newly published books detailing the science, consequences and public action related to this.

Indeed there are many new books written by people who are well-positioned to know how real the threat is and what sort of action we should all be taking to counter this trend. I have been under the impression that the balance has definitely shifted toward popular acceptance of the reality of what scientists have been warning us against for at least the last decade, and that the nay-sayers were finally having to withdraw from the folly of their assertions.

So when I reviewed the top listings at Amazon of books on this topic, I was astonished when I noticed that fully half of the books listed on the first page were intended to dissuade the reader that global warming was really caused by human activities...or even if it were, the consequences should not be particularly alarming! Their titles are particularly revealing:

  • Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media
  • Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years
  • Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming
  • Global Warming and Other Eco Myths: How the Environmental Movement Uses False Science to Scare Us to Death
  • Global Warming in a Politically Correct Climate: How Truth Became Controversial
  • Global Warming - Myth or Reality?: The Erring Ways of Climatology

So who is writing and publishing all of this disinformation, and why are they so intent on doing so? Here are the publishers (in the same order as the books listed above):

  • The Cato Institute, a conservative think tank supported primarily by big business, including oil.
  • Dennis T. Avery (has written many publications for the Hudson Institute, another conservative think tank) and S. Fred Singer (a research Fellow with the Independent Institute, also funded by big business, especially oil)
  • Patrick J. Michaels is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and The George C. Marshall Institute (also funded by ExxonMobile, among others)
  • The Competitive Enterprise Institute, another "neoliberal" think tank funded by large corporations.
  • Mihkel M. Mathiesen both wrote and published this as an on-demand book.
  • Marcel Leroux is a French climatologist, and director of the Laboratory of Climatology, Risk, and Environment.

So it is obvious to me that, by and large, the motivation to publish this material comes from the concern of big business that their "business as usual" is threatened by actions that might take place to mitigate the onset of global warming. Indeed, this is likely true...as it is for virtually all human activity!

Anonymous
May 17, 2007 10:59 AM

I've always wondered - do all of the folks who reject Global Warming science also reject other "controversial" scientific theories such as evolution, the big bang, the harmful effects of smoking and the benefits of stem cell research?

 

Global Warming Theory is that the atmosphere retains more heat as it loads up on CO2. This is a physics problem that is known. It is the scoffers who have dug into their primevile (sp?) brain, and concocted the idea that the warming is a chemical reaction. See the difference? If it's chemical (wrong, I hope you understand), and CO2 is natural, then there's no problem. AND, IF it's chemical, or even if their dim brain has decided that it is the heat of exhaust us concerned folk are all atwitter about, then the other planets being heated also takes the heat off our exhaust. An outside guilty party!Does this mean that they acknowledge the warming, but blame someone else? ... The sun?Well, even if it is the sun, our CO2 is causing us to retain that sun gain. And Mars has a 1% atmosphere, but it's ALL CO2! As much as our atmosphere. Of course it's heating.

Maybe it’s because we grew up familiar with smog, and we can only think of pollution as a noxious chemical stew or a hot exhaust spew. The ignorant wing reads this into the Global Warming reports, and reduces it to their simple notions and words. Then, like organ grinder monkeys, they scream it back and forth.Please! Wise up!The theory of Global Warming says that the increased CO2 retains heat (physics), not makes heat (chemistry). The heat can be man-made, or extraterrestrial sunspot activity, it doesn’t matter - we can’t get rid of it! The fact that there is natural CO2 doesn’t lessen the fact that we are flooding our atmosphere. The fact that CO2 alone is non-toxic is meaningless. The idea that there were other ice ages and warming periods is actually a confirmation of the correlation of CO2 and temperature.The physics can be demonstrated : park a black car, windows up, in the sun. The paint will be too hot too touch, yet the interior will be hotter than the blackly enclosed  trunk. The glass retains the thermal heat energy wavelengths, trapping them inside. This is known and demons ratable physics.

Anonymous
May 21, 2007 12:17 PM

The question is not IF it is WHY.

We have had global warming, and cooling, going on for thousands of years. There was nothing humans did to cause it or to stop it. The weather is too big for humans to control or effect, let alone the climate.

I just read that a U of AZ Prof found evidence of a 60 year dry speel in the Colorado basin that ended in 1490. I wounder where the Indians got their SUVs to cause it back then?

Wasn't the idea of passing a law to stop something natural tried by a legendary king when he tried to stop the tide? Maybe someday A.G. will be a footnote to that story.

Anonymous
May 21, 2007 06:09 PM


The language in some of the emails above about "liberal fascism" and the tyranny of the politically correct is really missing the mark here, (as is the mention of Gore's house--this isn't about Gore's house, I hope!) but it points to a problem people have with the use of the term "scientific consensus." There's a great discussion of the visceral, negative reaction to this phrase on a blog by a writer at Scientific American, here: http://blog.sciam.com/index.php?title=please_stop_talking_about_the_global_war&display=print&more=1.



Ultimately, we're not talking about pressure to believe in a certain way,  or freedom of speech for that matter, we're talking about science. And it is telling that of all the speculation above on natural cycles, the great hoax, or the idea that the sun is causing all this warming, nobody is citing peer reviewed science. It's all "I heard a professor say" or "there is a study."  There is a good reason for this: there IS no peer reviewed science that supports the claims above. Bill Gray, who a blogger brings up, above, has been thoroughly debunked at http://www.realclimate.org/,  a site on climate science for climate scientists. Bottom line: you can pretend climate change is caused by natural cycles,  you can speculate on how wonderful Siberia will be, you can say the predicted sea level rises are bogus, and you can say whatever you want (ain't blogs great?) but until you can back it up with peer reviewed science, you're just taking advantage of your right to talk, and wasting our time. Bloggers: read the science (not the editorial page of the WSJ) and get back to us!


Anonymous
May 23, 2007 11:27 AM

I find Schendler's attitude to be arrogant.  Apparently if you don't believe in all his theories (which he believes are fact) you are just some backwards rube.  From the data I have seen, the vast majority of CO2 and other GHG in the atmposhere is there by non-human causes.  The additional amount we contribute is a small part of the overall figure.  Furthermore, we are only "releasing" CO2 that was already in the atmosphere once, long ago.

I pose this hypothetical question to Schendler?  IF man found a mass energy souce that is clean and renewable and in everyway acceptable to Schendler, except that it releases CO2 into the atmopshere would he support using it for man ?

We all need to be focusing on reduce, reuse, recycle, and think about how are actions impact the earth... I feel that C02 (and other natural GHGs) is low on my list of environmental problems caused by man

Anonymous
May 25, 2007 11:07 AM

It is amazing how folks just keep talking about a false premise/issue of CO2 causing climate change.  They are both poorly educated and misled by a party line or economic criminals. Current incompetent stories regarding CO2 Causing Climate Change are a fraud. 

When you base anything on a false premise everything else that follows is false.  CO2 causing climate change IS a false premise.

 

Consensus is NOT science.  Educate, inform yourself, take a 9th grade science class.

 Additional information http://www.InteliOrg.com/co2_climate_change.html 

Stop listening to folks that have a financial interest in the subject. Unfortunately, many have learned to spin information, thusly have become intellectually and academically dishonest.

 
Information Vetting: I have no financial interest in this subject.
Anonymous
May 25, 2007 11:08 AM


The Real Climate blog comes at the issue from the point of view of defence: originally for the Mann et al Hockey Stick work. One characteristic is that they live and breathe climate models and they believe in their models: the world has to "add up" through these models.



There are scientists with a far richer perspectives (albeit having working positions they defend as well) who take observation to be more critical and climate models to be of some interest, but with serious limitations. One such is Roger A. Pielke, Sr of the Climate Science blog.



The IPCC, which, via the world media and governments and aided by efforts of those such as Al Gore, has browbeaten popular opinion into accepting its version of events, is written from the Real Climate mentality -- with non-believers treated as "sceptic", "denialist", something akin to scum of the earth -- and is in fact an anti-scientific exercise in obsessing about consensus and dismissing dissent. Just 21 scientists led the writing of the Summary for Policymakers that really counted, the Working Group I one published in February: they do not represent the full range of views or specialties within climate science.



Until the IPCC is seen more in the light of the Oil-for-Food scandal, in other words at its heart an abnegation of a scientific approach -- more the piggybacking of a project of advocacy on top of some solid analysis of parts of the recently peer-reviewed climate science literature -- this whole debate is distorted.



Actually it is worse than just the IPCC: the Royal Society, Nature, Science etc., have all played a part. Not to worry too much though, climate science will one day get its Einstein: just remember that Einstein was a maverick to start with...; and he got stuff wrong too...  !



"Dissent is the native activity of the scientist..." - Jacob Bronowski

















 










Anonymous
May 25, 2007 01:59 PM

This debate is over.  Skeptics and deniers who continue to raise "talking points" that have already been refuted or who make claims that have no basis in scientific fact are just spinning their wheels.  This is not an argument or debate to be "won" by popular vote.  The scientific consensus comes from research, hard data and peer-reviewed scientfic literature that is rigorous and definitive.  Understand the scientific method and appreciate the difference between scientific proof versus popular or political debate before discarding the evidence before our eyes--the earth is warming, and yes, the rise in CO2 is now leading the rise in global temperature, unlike that in prehistory based on glacial ice cores.  CO2 and temperature are coupled via "postive feedback," a rise in either one will trigger a rise in the other.  CO2 traps heat near the earth's surface - no one, not even Exxon Mobile denies that!

 

Anonymous
May 25, 2007 05:11 PM

The "consensus" on catastrophic global warming only exists in the minds of the 50 or so signers of the IPCC's (the UN committee looking at global warming)last report and the many politicians and activists that drafted the report. Less than a few hundred politicians and activists do not make a consensus.

The real consensus is that global warming is increasing a mere .6 degrees celsius every one hundred years since the Little Ice Age. The IPCC would have us believe that global warming is accelerating based on very tenuous computer models that have been shown to be extremely variable based on the inputs.

The only people who appear to support the catastrophic global warming predictions, are the gullible media and those with vested interest in spending billions of dollars on their area of study.

Over 17,000 real scientists signed a petition stating their divergence from the IPCC's alarmists predictions.

http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p37.htm

That is the consensus among real scientists.

Alarmists global warming predictions are a complete and utter fraud. Pretty darned impressive in the ballsiness of pushing such easily disproved nonsense as science.

Here is an interesting documentary that fleshes out the details of the matter:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4499562022478442170&q=global+warming+swindle

Anonymous
May 29, 2007 11:27 AM

Quoting from the post above...

"The only people who appear to support the catastrophic global warming predictions, are the gullible media and those with vested interest in spending billions of dollars on their area of study."

OH PLEASE, like you skeptics and deniers aren't so gullible falling for the spin and half-truths promoted by the oil industry who is in fact, making billions and striving to protect their investments.

A group of British scientists has challenged that documentary film first aired in Britain in March (The Great Global Warming Swindle.) The film purports to present a "balanced" view on the causes of global warming by minimizing the contribution of greenhouse gas emissions and suggesting that the sun is primarily responsible. (Never mind that there is no hard evidence in recent decades that solar variations are a factor.)  This film has circulated the Internet and has been discredited by various climate scientists, starting with one who actually appeared in the film, Carl Wunsch. After seeing the film, Wunsch wrote a letter to the producers claiming that he was "swindled" because the film completely misrepresented his statements.  The film  has an interesting  title for one that pretends to take a balanced view, doesn't it?  See  "New Film on Global Warming Is Challenged" at http://www.livescience.com/environment/070425_globalwarm_film.html

Anonymous
May 30, 2007 11:27 AM

It is a bit depressing how all the "antis" -- anti-global warming, anti-evolution, anti-stem cell research, etc., etc., etc. -- have gotten as much attention as they have. The trend since 9/11, or since Bush took office, is to relegate real science to the back closets just to advance a belief system -- aka, the next right-wing cause. For gosh sakes, get real here: How can anyone take James Inhofe seriously? That guy walked right out of the caveman age. As some of the more progressive posters have noted above, there are a good number of Americans who deny anything that makes them uncomfortable. It is mind-boggling that there are people -- a lot of them -- who still think the planet is, what, 10,000 years old? How can you communicate with thinkers like that? The U.S. has taken a major step backward in scientific research since the Bush II regime took hold. We no longer allow a lot of scientific thinkers from abroad into our country for fear that they'll blow up every state capital. It's called ethnic profiling. In time, the U.S. will get back on the reality track. You can see it happening now -- the mainstream of America is getting fed up with all the baloney from the right wing and the "antis." Our long nightmare thru the Dark Ages is, thankfully, nearing an end. Except maybe for Kansas.

Anonymous
Jun 01, 2007 07:01 PM

I love the comments from the first poster, "Wasn't the scientific consensus in place for hundreds of years that the earth was flat?  Or, how about the earth being the center of the solar system?"   Yeah, there was consensus.  The scientific method may not have been discovered, but there was consensus. Consensus among the religious elite.  And the current religious ...fundamentalist.....elite want to keep real scientists from informing the public about anything that doesn't conform with their belief systems.  Apparently, one of those belief systems is that man can't possibly change the earth's climate.  Alternatively, the "deniers" want to destroy the earth, and so they resort to lies.  Maybe they believe that once the earth is destroyed, their messiah will appear. 

 And then, to top it off, accusing liberals of being fascist.  That's really the best.  You have to give credit for keeping a straight face while writing such an extreme level of hypocritical garbage, while the current conservative, fundamentalist occupant of the white house pushes the idea of the unitary executive.  A unilateral, unchecked power for the executive that is starting to scare even some conservatives.  GW and Cheney want to be dictators.  Karl Rove wants the republan party to rule forever.  Who's the fascist?  Who wants an oligarchy?  It ain't the liberals doing all that illegal wire tapping, outing CIA agents and stuffing the justice department with political hacks.  Not to mention invading another county because it might have WMD's.

 That the supporters of big business and big oil would oppose global warming is utterly no surprise.  Imagine what these same people would do with the idea of cigarette smoke causing cancer if that was just coming to light.  We would be hearing all about the few, Einstein-like big thinkers in the medical community who had "discovered" that smoking is not only not harmful, but actually good for your health.  The more you smoke the longer you live.  It's just a communist plot that left wing pinko liberals have hatched to kill the American icon, the Marlboro man.  To all those who think that global warming is just a big hoax, I want you to know that us liberals are also pushing the idea that smoking is bad.....so light-up to your heart's content.  You don't want to fall for our communist plot, do you? You don't want to have your friend’s think you've gone over to the dark side or have given in to the PC crowd.  You can live forever, if only you start smoking more and more, each and every day.

I also love the petition on global warming run by OISM.  I wonder how many signers are real scientists, and not just in any field, but in one relevant to the topic, and for the ones that are, how many know their name is on this petition.  I wonder where the tiny faculty at OISM gets their funding support?  They have one "peer" reviewed report on their web site.  It's their report and, I imagine, the "peers" that reviewed it went to the same church the authors attend. 

Obfuscation and lies.  That is the cornerstone of the Bush administration and their supporters.  1984 has arrived, just as Orwell predicted.  All of this is exacerbated by the fact that so many people have decided that their opinion is just as good as anyone else's......and, as a result, now believe more in wikiality, than reality.  The upshot.....tell any lie you want, get enough people to believe you and, you win......at least, temporarily.  In the end, the truth wins.....any society that can't or won't accept the truth will go extinct.  Unless the average American wakes up and sees the true nature of the fascist elite in the white house, this experiment in democracy will fail.  The real problem is that, this time, we may take the whole planet down with us.

Anonymous
Jun 25, 2007 12:35 PM

Ball Bails on Johnson Lawsuit
14 Jun 07

The self-styled Canadian climate change expert, Dr. Tim Ball, has abandoned his libel suit against University of Lethbridge Professor of Environmental Science Dan Johnson. Ball dropped the suit without conditions, but also without acknowledging that Johnson’s original comments were accurate and were reported in good faith.

http://www.desmogblog.com/ball-bails-on-johnson-lawsuit