Monday, June 09, 2008

90% of RW think tanks push climate change denial

Ever wondered where AGW sceptics get their arguments from?

A research team at Environmental Politics concludes that 9 out of 10 books published since 1972 that dispute the seriousness of environmental problems and mainstream science can be traced back to a conservative think tank (CTT).

The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism
Peter J. Jacques; Riley E. Dunlap; Mark Freeman
Department of Political Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA.
Department of Sociology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA

Abstract:
Environmental scepticism denies the seriousness of environmental problems, and self-professed 'sceptics' claim to be unbiased analysts combating 'junk science'. This study quantitatively analyses 141 English-language environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005. We find that over 92 per cent of these books, most published in the US since 1992, are linked to conservative think tanks (CTTs). Further, we analyse CTTs involved with environmental issues and find that 90 per cent of them espouse environmental scepticism. We conclude that scepticism is a tactic of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism, and that the successful use of this tactic has contributed to the weakening of US commitment to environmental protection.


Environmental scepticism is:

In summary, environmental scepticism consists of four key themes. First, environmental scepticism is defined by its denial of the seriousness of environmental problems and dismissal of scientific evidence documenting these problems. This primary theme sets environmental scepticism apart from earlier environmental opposition movements like the US 'wise use movement' and 'sage brush rebellion' (Switzer 1997). Second, environmental scepticism draws upon the first theme to question the importance of environmentally protective policies. Third, environmental scepticism endorses an anti-regulatory/anti-corporate liability position that flows from the first two claims. Lastly, environmental sceptics often cast environmental protection as threatening Western progress.

The conclusion:

Our analyses of the sceptical literature and CTTs indicate an unambiguous linkage between the two. Over 92 per cent of environmentally sceptical books are linked to conservative think tanks, and 90 per cent of conservative think tanks interested in environmental issues espouse scepticism. Environmental scepticism began in the US, is strongest in the US, and exploded after the end of the Cold War and the emergence of global environmental concern stimulated by the 1992 Earth Summit. Environmental scepticism is an elite-driven reaction to global environmentalism, organised by core actors within the conservative movement. Promoting scepticism is a key tactic of the anti-environmental counter-movement coordinated by CTTs, designed specifically to undermine the environmental movement's efforts to legitimise its claims via science. Thus, the notion that environmental sceptics are unbiased analysts exposing the myths and scare tactics employed by those they label as practitioners of 'junk science' lacks credibility. Similarly, the self-portrayal of sceptics as marginalised 'Davids' battling the powerful 'Goliath' of environmentalists and environmental scientists is a charade, as sceptics are supported by politically powerful CTTs funded by wealthy foundations and corporations.

Why should these deceptive sceptics get away with it? Expose them for the science-less frauds they are, at every turn.

H/t Not a Hedgehog

12 comments:

Iain Hall said...

You certainly seem to be an AGW true believer, but I don't see one iota of original thought here, just an endless recycling of the conspiracy theories so beloved by followers of the green religion.
You even use the same tactics as Born again Christians do to answer their critics...

Damian said...

I think this is an important bit:

"Lastly, environmental sceptics often cast environmental protection as threatening Western progress."

That's certainly the approach underlying the "greenies want us to live in caves" line of argument favoured by many commentators in Australian media.

If you can access this article I'd like to read it in full. I'll see if I can locate it, too.

Iain, good to see you, old son!

Wadard said...

Thanks Damian, that 'ud be good.

Ian Hall. I am not sure exactly what you are accusing me of, as you have not supported your assertion with any facts.

I know of science. I know nothing of Born again Christians, or even why the 'B' in 'Born' is capitalised, yet 'again' isn't. If you could assist me that would be great.

Iain Hall said...

Wadard
I "accuse" you of nothing but I do notice that you are entirely one eyed on the AGW issue and apparently from your posts you exhibit no doubt at all that it is "all the fault of humanity". This is a faith position, not a scientific one.

You say you "know of science" but it seems that the fundamentals of the scientific method elude you when you write about AGW.

Wadard said...

AGW (as a body of scientific literature) is a science. You can only be one-eyed about it.

It's not a history, where multiple perspectives can give us balance.

It is not journalism, where you need both sides of the story.

It is a body of science. It is a number of overlapping fields.

And again you make

You know it is a science, because if it were a religion you wouldn't bother. You believe in religious tolerance, right?

You say you "know of science" but it seems that the fundamentals of the scientific method elude you when you write about AGW.

Can I train you to give me specifics when you make these accusations, please? I'm not going to bother defending against a grossly generalised ambit claim.

Come back when you've got something from the peer-reviewed lit. I'll be all ears.

Iain Hall said...

AGW (as a body of scientific literature) is a science. You can only be one-eyed about it.
Err No AGW (anthropogenic Global warming ) is a theory which is claimed to be scientific even though it cannot be tested by the scientific method
It's not a history, where multiple perspectives can give us balance.

I never said that it was so this is a strawman argument
It is not journalism, where you need both sides of the story.
another strawman to keep the first one company...

It is a body of science. It is a number of overlapping fields.


As I pointed out before AGW is not in itself a science no matter how many paddocks you want to spread it over.

You know it is a science, because if it were a religion you wouldn't bother. You believe in religious tolerance, right?
My tolerance of religious dogma ends when that religious faith is presented as science, or when it is used to justify acts of terror.


Can I train you to give me specifics when you make these accusations, please? I'm not going to bother defending against a grossly generalised ambit claim.

I am not your dog so you will have no joy trying to "train" me to do anything, and for the record I am not making specific accusations I am making more general observations about the posts that I find in your blog.

Come back when you've got something from the peer-reviewed lit. I'll be all ears.

Oh I get it you are one of those people who only want to sycophantically draw on the thoughts of others and reiterate their arguments.
Go to first principles:
Firstly is the global temperature actually rising?
Do you have enough accurate data to know what the climate was in the past?
Can you establish a causal link between the raise in atmospheric CO2 and changes in the global temperature?

Finally even if we are facing a significant rise in global temperatures (which is contradicted by the last ten years of a cooler climate than expected by AGW gurus) it makes no sense to me to stand Chanute like before the rising tide of change imploring the sea to recede.

It is eminently more sensible to go with the flow and learn to live with the world as we find it, just as humanity has from the time we got down out of the trees. Because I do not think that any amount of self flagellation here or in the rest of the western world is going to influence the leaders of China ,India or any of the other emerging industrial nations to change their ways. So all of the efforts by the adherents of the green faith will come to nothing at a global level especially when the leaders of the faith are hypocrites like AL Gore.

Wadard said...

Hi Ian,

Training is not just for dogs. You can train your mind, too.

Firstly is the global temperature actually rising?

.2 degrees C per decade

Do you have enough accurate data to know what the climate was in the past?

Sure. Heaps. Proxies like tree-rings, ice-core samples, past sea level rises. You would have seen this stuff in Gore's movie.

Can you establish a causal link between the raise in atmospheric CO2 and changes in the global temperature?

No worries. Arrhenius did so in 1896, my friend.

This stuff isn't hard to find out, you know.

It is eminently more sensible to go with the flow and learn to live with the world as we find it, just as humanity has from the time we got down out of the trees.

Some further down than others, I see. That might account for our different perspectives.

Because I do not think that any amount of self flagellation here or in the rest of the western world is going to influence the leaders of China ,India or any of the other emerging industrial nations to change their ways.

What's the use of wasting your thinking, if you have no facts? Hu has addressed the nation and ordered the Chinese to prepare for a green future. You can google it if you like.

India is a democracy, and almost a majority of Indians want to address climate change. The gov't will follow the peoples wishes like they have around the world, except in the US.

...in India, nonetheless nearly half (49%) favor taking action while just 24 percent oppose it (26% do not answer)

A couple of observations about you now:

* You offer not a single original thought yourself. Just pass on the same old patter of anti-AGW think-tank propaganda like a dumb relay. Even squeezed in a hoary reference to King Chanute (sic), though if you want to appear erudite, try spelling him "Canute" next time.
* You waffle. Next time just get to the point, using specifics.
* From your questions, you knowledge about this stuff is rudimentary, at best. Educate yourself.

Jibber said...

Do you Support or Oppose the position that man is significantly responsible for Global Warming or believe it is a natural planetary cycle? Toss your brick to your elected offical at bricktoss.com.

Iain Hall said...

Hi Ian,

Training is not just for dogs. You can train your mind, too.

Firstly my name is spelt IAIN not Ian secondly don't be so patronising it is very rude and no way to conduct debate.

Firstly is the global temperature actually rising?

.2 degrees C per decade

Besides the fact that my questions were rhetorical you picking a number out of the air is a pretty poor response for some one who chides me about backing up my argument.

Do you have enough accurate data to know what the climate was in the past?

Sure. Heaps. Proxies like tree-rings, ice-core samples, past sea level rises. You would have seen this stuff in Gore's movie.

Crikey this response gives me a big belly laugh, none of the proxies give us an accurate measure of global climate they are at best guesstimates and citing Al Gore as a source does you no favours when it come to credibility either.



Can you establish a causal link between the raise in atmospheric CO2 and changes in the global temperature?

No worries. Arrhenius did so in 1896, my friend.


Your link goes back to this comment thread, i have heard of being self referential but this is ridiculous, If you are going to provide a link please get it right.

Because I do not think that any amount of self flagellation here or in the rest of the western world is going to influence the leaders of China ,India or any of the other emerging industrial nations to change their ways.

What's the use of wasting your thinking, if you have no facts? Hu has addressed the nation and ordered the Chinese to prepare for a green future. You can google it if you like.

India is a democracy, and almost a majority of Indians want to address climate change. The gov't will follow the peoples wishes like they have around the world, except in the US.

...in India, nonetheless nearly half (49%) favor taking action while just 24 percent oppose it (26% do not answer)

You make the fundamental mistake when citing an opinion survey of not considering the sample size, for instance the survey of China was 1964 people and India was 2458 both so small as to be of no consequence when claiming them as a measure of opinion of a population of hundreds of millions of people .

A couple of observations about you now:

* You offer not a single original thought yourself. Just pass on the same old patter of anti-AGW think-tank propaganda like a dumb relay. Even squeezed in a hoary reference to King Chanute (sic), though if you want to appear erudite, try spelling him "Canute" next time.

Chanute was NOT spelt wrong, you are in error I have seen it spelt in several ways as one would expect for a word that is derived from old English. The fact of the matter is that I have seen the same spelling shtick tried far too often and it is usually a sign of arrogance and hubris.
* You waffle. Next time just get to the point, using specifics.

Pot meet the kettle,


* From your questions, you knowledge about this stuff is rudimentary, at best. Educate yourself.

Mate, my questions in the last comment were meant to be rhetorical, that you took them literally and sought to provide "put down" answers says a lot about how closed your mind is. The amusing thing is that you stuffed up on every point you offered in response. Firstly you offer a number with out a citation of it's source, secondly you claim a level of accuracy for proxy data that it's creators would never claim and you suggest that Al Gore actually knows what he is talking about in a citation which links back to this thread, and finally you link to a survey with a ridiculously small sample size only to suggest it shows that both China and India are "getting with the program". That you think this wins the argument is the really sad thing about your discourse so far.

Wadard said...

You are the one who chose to think you were being treated like a dog, with no cause to.

I pointed out that other things get trained too, like minds, and now you are accusing me of being patronising.

I am sorry, I don't think you have a healthy enough self-image for me to conduct a constructive debate with you.

I am going to have to stop it here. Thanks anyway.

Iain Hall said...

LOL !!!!

What does the way that I see myself have to do with anything? In any case I actually have a very healthy self image and I am not fazed by your insults and ad hominem arguments.

Having got the better of you here I will consider your arguments in other threads and see if you can do better there.
Cheers
Iain

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