Among people in the climate change denial business, Amy Ridenour, president and founder of the National Centre for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), has always been one of my favourites. She seemed like a sincere and well-meaning idealogue, rather than someone who was on the take, and I was seduced by her folksy approach. I even liked the way she workd her three six-year-olds into every third post, suggesting that, for her, “family values” is more about family than about politics.
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.