Graham Readfearn's blog

Can YouTube Solve Its Serious Climate Science Denial Problem?

Read time: 6 mins
Climate denier video clips on YouTube

What are we in for next?” asks the narrator on the YouTube video.

Will the temperature resume an upward trend? Will it remain flat for a lengthy period? Or will it begin to drop? No one knows, not even the biggest, fastest computers.”

The video — with the clickbait title “What They Haven’t Told You about Climate Change” — has been watched more than 2.5 million times on the Google-owned video platform.

Physicist William Happer, the 'Unmoored' Climate Science Denier Heading a White House Climate Probe

Read time: 4 mins
Will Happer

In 2016, retired Princeton physicist Professor Will Happer accepted an invitation from conspiracy theorist G. Edward Griffin to give a keynote at his conference to talk about the “positive effects of CO2.”

Griffin thinks the science behind global warming is a scam. He also thinks there is “no such thing” as the HIV virus and that some plane contrails are part of a political plot to spray the population with poisons.

In an interview at the conference, Happer repeated his well-oiled mantra that “CO2 will be good for the Earth” and how it was “pretty clear we are not going to see dangerous climate change.”

Under normal circumstances, you might think that Happer's association with a notorious anti-science conspiracy theorist might not look good on your résumè for a government science committee. However, these are not normal times.

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.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Graham Readfearn's blog