Modern anti-science was created by the tobacco industry in the 1950s and then used against climate science, often by the same well-experienced think tanks and individuals. Tobacco anti-science is strangely entangled with climate anti-science, as the attached report shows in detail involving Fred Singer's SEPP, Joseph Bast's Heartland, and more.
Calling environmentalists doom-mongering “communists” intent on scaring the public into accepting full-throated government control, Milloy warned his audience that the “greens” are “burning with an impatient zeal to begin dictating by force of law your mobility, diet, home energy usage, the size of your house, how far you can travel and even how many children you can have.”
UPDATE 1: We're at 128 signatures and growing, not bad for the 1st day. I know a lot of DeSmog's friends are going to post stories, so the numbers should keep rising. Remember to email it to your friends!
Yesterday we reported that News Corp. CEO and Fox News owner, Rupert Murdoch announced that his company would join the battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Murdoch stated: “Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats. We may not agree on the extent but we certainly can't afford the risk of inaction…”
The first thing Murdoch and News Corp. can do to show that they are truly committed to fighting global warming is ending its reporting of misinformation about the science behind global warming on the Fox News Channel.
And the best thing you can do to help make this happen is by signing DeSmogBlog's online petition (click link) and then send it to all of your friends and have them sign it as well. Ask them to forward it on to their friends.
With the announcement today by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch that the media conglomerate is joining the battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the big question here at DeSmogBlog is whether this means Fox News will end its peddling in global warming junk science.
Steve Milloy (aka. “The Junkman”) is a regular Fox News columnist and tireless campaigner in the war agianst climate science. A quick read of Milloy's website and you will find the usual laundry list of long-held global warming denier arguments.
The tactical link between ExxonMobil's funded denial of climate change and the tobacco industry's organized denial of the health risks of its product have been documented in these pages before.
But this new paper (pdf.) by the Union of Concerned Scientist brings such discipline and rigor to this argument that its conclusions are undeniable: Exxon is spending a fortune to prop up a convenient lie; and it's using the same tactics and many of the same people that the tobacco industry used.
This paper should be required reading for every policy maker.
A lot of public relations technique rests in language. It is built in the nuanced choice and combination of
words that are developed and tested through public opinion research - through polling and focus groups.
For example, Republican pollster Frank Luntz has made a career of massaging language to his clients advantage. In Luntz's now infamous enviro-speak memo (pdf) to the republican party, he advises the following:
Australian Labour Party MP, Tony Burke, pens a great piece today in the Daily Telegraph castigating “… a handful of sceptics willing to rail against the weight of scientfic opinion,” on issues ranging from climate change to tobacco to asbestos.
As MP Burke rightly states: “We should remember, when those with something to lose ignored the information about the dangers of smoking and asbestos, some very real victims emerged.”
Well said, and as regular DeSmog readers know full well, many of the same people who told us not to worry about tobacco smoke and asbestos are now telling us not to worry about climate change.
Here are a few examples:
Dr. S. Fred Singer On Asbestos “The US has spent billions of dollars removing asbestos from schools, and for no good health reason.” (link)
On Climate Change “So, the global climate doesn't seem to be warming, causing considerable embararassment to scientists.” (link)
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.