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Thu, 2013-06-06 05:00Graham Readfearn
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The Campaigns That Tried To Break The Climate Science Consensus

So just in case anyone wasn’t sure, a major study of almost 12,000 scientific papers on global warming between 1991 and 2011 finds less than one per cent disagree that humans are the main cause.

Published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study led by John Cook, the Australia-based founder of Skeptical Science, confirms the debate about the causes of global warming had all but vanished in the scientific literature by the early 1990s. Almost all the research says it’s mostly caused by humans.

For any followers of climate science in journals (the place where it actually matters) the finding wasn’t really news at all.

Yet survey after survey finds the public still thinks scientists are arguing over the causes of global warming and the media continues to attempt to resuscitate long-dead ideas.

Does it matter that people have a clear understanding of the main thrust of the science? A 2012 study in the journal Nature Climate Change found that people were more likely to accept human-caused global warming if they were informed that scientists were in broad agreement (which we know they are).

For decades, fossil fuel-funded groups, free market think tanks (some of which also qualify as fossil fuel funded groups) and the fossil fuel industry itself have known the importance of the public’s understanding of the state of climate science. A public that understands the state of the science is more likely to want something done about climate change. Doing something, means using a lot less fossil fuel.

But who wanted to tell the public that a consensus didn’t exist? Here are just some of the campaigns run over the years showing how breaking the consensus in the eyes of the public was a key strategy.

Tue, 2010-04-27 10:49Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Unnamed Physicist Sponsors Global Warming Denial Video Targeting High Schoolers

Cassiopeia Project's hardcore global warming denial

Providing high quality educational resources to science classrooms is a noble task, but when those resources include deeply flawed global warming denial material, produced with funding from an anonymous source, red flags ought to go up.  That is the scenario with The Cassiopeia Project’s video suggesting that climate change is bunk.

Cassiopeia was previously known for producing excellent videos exploring complex scientific concepts, but now all of its good work is being compromised by an unscientific and dishonest attack on global warming research.

That has fans of Cassiopeia’s more well-regarded videos flummoxed

Incredibly, three of the twelve sources cited in the global warming video credits are the exact same press release posted in diferent locations and written by Marc Morano while he still worked for Senator James Inhofe (R-OK).  Other sources of information used in the video include the widely-discredited Oregon Petition Project and the Heartland Institute.

Who is behind the Cassiopeia Project? 

Cassiopeia’s website says the individual is “a retired physicist who has considerable means.”  We know Mudbrick Media, based near Mobile, Alabama, produced the videos. The anonymous funder is described in another story about Mudbrick’s productions as “an entrepreneur who wants to keep a low personal profile” and, beyond his interest in climate denial, “wants to explore a new business model for the music industry.” 

Beyond that, the stunning misrepresentations in the global warming video must, for now, speak for themselves.

The video’s tone is argumentative from the start.  The very first line of the video says: “The opinion count stands at 31,000 to 52 but that’s just among scientists in the public eye.” This is confusing; is there a whole army of secret scientists out there who are less in the public eye than the 31,000 mentioned? 

The narrator continues with leading rhetorical questions, baseless jabs at science and many graphs and images with no citations.  It is as if they are trying to present a pursuasive case to a jury of illiterate and bored captives. 

Is that how Cassiopeia now thinks of high school students? 

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