Graham Readfearn's blog

Mining Director Ian Plimer Misrepresents Climate Consensus Studies in The Australian Newspaper

Read time: 7 mins
Ian Plimer

Because most of us aren’t trained as oncologists or meteorologists, we tend to do the sensible thing and rely on those folk for facts on cancer, or the weather.

It’s likely too that we’d act on their advice by seeking treatment after a diagnosis or packing an umbrella (or, if you’re in dangerously hot Australia right now, have a plan to stay cool).

The same goes for climate science. At least six studies have shown that climate scientists agree that burning fossil fuels causes climate change.

What should follow, of course, is that policy makers (and the rest of us) act on their advice. 

This is why climate science deniers and fossil fuel interests have tried so hard, and for so long, to convince the public that the consensus isn’t real.

When researchers a few years ago looked at more than 200 opinion articles by conservative columnists, they found that their most popular argument against climate action was that there was no consensus

The latest attempt to undermine the consensus came from the hand of mining industry figure and geologist Ian Plimer in the pages of the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Australian newspaper. The clear errors in the article should embarass any editor who printed it.

Climate Advocates Underestimate Power of Fossil Fueled Misinformation Campaigns, Say Top Researchers

Read time: 4 mins
Myron Ebell at a Heartland Institute conference

Climate action advocates have underestimated the strength and sophistication of decades-long fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns and need a coordinated set of strategies to fight back, say leading academics.

Among those strategies, say the three researchers from Yale and Brown University, are promoting financial transparency, suing misinformers and their funders, and researching the vast networks of think tanks and front groups.

Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, Yale University's Professor Justin Farrell and Kathryn McConnell, together with Brown University’s Professor Robert Brulle, say people working on responses to climate change “cannot afford to underestimate the economic influence, institutional complexity, strategic sophistication, financial motivation, and societal impact of the networks” behind climate misinformation campaigns.

Brulle, who is also an academic at Drexel University, told DeSmog that after conversations with leaders of environment groups and foundations, he had concluded “there is virtually no understanding of the nature or extent of misinformation efforts and organized efforts to stop climate action.”

Bitter Legal Fight Between Climate Deniers Ends With $630,000 Transfer to New Group Targeting Climate Scientists and Campaigners

Read time: 5 mins
Horner vs. Schnare

A bitter court battle between climate science deniers known for pursuing scientists with legal demands for their emails has ended with a former Trump EPA official releasing $630,000 to his former colleagues.

A dispute over the assets, legal status and ultimate control of the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC) began in late 2017, sparking two lawsuits against the clinic’s co-founder, David Schnare.

The Christian Vacation Camp Where Kids Are Taught by Notorious Climate Science Deniers

Read time: 4 mins
Lord Monckton

Each morning at Camp Constitution’s summer camp, the kids and parents go off to classes while staff members do a room inspection.

What we look for is not just cleanliness, but a patriotic and Godly theme,” says camp director Hal Shurtleff in a video of the 2016 camp.

We are looking for creativity — are they learning what we are teaching them?”

And what are they being taught? Conspiracy theories about the United Nations (UN) and how climate change is a hoax, and they've drafted in two of the world's most notorious climate science denialists to do the job.

'Vast Blind Spot': IPCC Accused of Ignoring 'Decades Long' Fossil Fuel Misinformation Campaign on Climate

Read time: 6 mins
Charles Koch

The United Nations (UN) climate science panel is being accused of ignoring research into fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns that have been key to holding back action on global warming.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — an assessment of more than 6,000 research papers — found global warming caused largely by fossil fuel burning would have severe impacts even if limited to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Described by the IPCC as “one of the most important climate change reports ever published,” the report is designed to inform policy makers and the public around the world.

But several researchers are angry the report did not take account of academic research into the “decades-long misinformation campaign” funded and promoted by fossil fuel interests and so-called “free market” conservative think tanks that has been a major brake on progress.

IPCC Report Says 1.5C Climate Target Is Reachable, But Only With Rapid Fossil Fuel Phase Out

Read time: 5 mins
wind turbines in front of coal power plant in UK

There is no scenario to keep global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) that allows coal to be burned for electricity by the middle of this century, a major United Nations (UN) climate report says.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concludes human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have already pushed global average temperatures up by 1°C since the second half of the 19th century.

Warming is higher than the 1°C average over land, with temperatures as much as three times higher in the Arctic, causing melting. Extreme temperatures, rainfall, and sea levels have been pushed higher.

Massive and rapid transformations across societies will be needed to keep to a 1.5°C target, with dramatic cuts to fossil fuel use across all sectors of society.

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