climate science denial

Exxon Changed its Tune on Climate Science, Depending on Audience, Study Shows

By Dave Levitan. Crossposted from Climate Liability News.

A peer-reviewed analysis of 37 years of communications from ExxonMobil concluded that the oil company has misled the public for decades about climate science and climate change. When their communications were aimed at the public and non-scientific audiences, they focused on doubt and uncertainty. At the same time, the company’s internal communications and peer-reviewed science broadly agreed with the scientific consensus that fossil fuel burning is warming the planet.

Available documents show a systematic discrepancy between what ExxonMobil’s scientists and executives discussed about climate change privately and in academic circles and what it presented to the general public,” the study concluded. It was researched and written by Harvard professor Naomi Oreskes and Geoffrey Supran, a postdoctoral fellow in Harvard’s Department of the History of Science.

Red Team-Blue Team? Debating Climate Science Should Not Be a Cage Match

Boxing match

By Richard B. Rood, University of Michigan

Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has called for a “red team-blue team” review to challenge the science behind climate change. “The American people deserve an honest, open, transparent discussion about this supposed threat to this country,” he said on a radio show, adding he hoped to hold the exercise in the fall.

Most commonly, red team-blue team reviews are used as a mechanism to improve security of information systems or military defenses. The blue team is associated with an institution, the owner of an asset or a plan. The red team is charged with attacking the blue team, with the goal of revealing vulnerabilities.

What to Do When You See Science Denial at the Science Museum

Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History

This is a guest post by Hui Liu of Greenpeace USA. It was originally published at www.greenpeace.org.

I went to D.C.’s Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History expecting to learn about the history of our planet. Instead, I stumbled upon a Koch-funded climate denial disaster.

With the planet in peril, arts groups can no longer afford the Koch brothers money.”

That’s what Washington Post art and culture critic Philip Kennicott wrote in a recent opinion piece about prolific climate denial funders Charles and David Koch. Having recently seen Koch money in action at one of the world’s most prestigious science museums, I couldn’t agree more.

Climate Change Compounds Louisiana Flooding Threat a Year After Historic Floods

Flooded homes in Louisiana in 2016

It was eerie to watch images of New Orleans’ flooding almost a year after the Baton Rouge flood,” Tam Williams, a videographer who lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told me. Every time it rains, she is a bit on edge, wondering if her city is going to flood again. 

A week before the anniversary of last summer’s 1,000-year flood in Baton Rouge, rain inundated New Orleans, with more than 9 inches falling in only three hours. 

A Response to 'Lunatic Farmer' Joel Salatin on His Climate Science Denial

Joel Salatin

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote a story for DeSmog reporting on self-described “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin’s views about climate change and how he thought it might not be caused by humans.

There’s been quite a reaction to the story, mainly through Facebook discussions sparked by Salatin himself and by others who are part of what you might broadly describe as the sustainable farming movement (this is an entirely imperfect term though, given the diversity of thought among the great many people looking for alternative ways to grow healthy food in a way that has less impact on the environment).

I’ve been accused by one Australian figure, Tammi Jonas, the interim president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, of writing an “unproductive and divisive” article that was “pure click bait ‘gotcha’ rubbish.” More on that in a bit.

Salatin penned a long response on his Polyface farms Facebook page that was liked almost 3,000 times and shared 1,000 times more.

So I thought I should go over some of the responses and clear a few things up.

When Politicians Cherry-pick Data and Disregard Facts, What Should Academics Do?

March for Science sign reading 'Science matters bigly'

By Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan

When politicians distort science, academics and scientists tend to watch in shock from the sidelines rather than speak out. But in an age of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” we need to step into the breach and inject scientific literacy into the political discourse.

Nowhere is this obligation more vivid than the debate over climate change. Contrary to the consensus of scientific agencies worldwide, the president has called climate change a “hoax” (though his position may be shifting), while his EPA administrator has denied even the most basic link to carbon dioxide as a cause.

It’s another sign that we, as a society, are drifting away from the use of scientific reasoning to inform public policy. And the outcome is clear: a misinformed voting public and the passage of policies to benefit special interests.

New York Times Defends Hiring of Climate Science Denier Bret Stephens, Claiming 'Intellectual Honesty'

New York Times office by night

The New York Times has been defending the paper’s hiring of a climate science denier, fighting off its critics with what it claims is a standard fashioned from hardened “intellectual honesty.”

The controversial hire in question is that of Bret Stephens, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, who has joined the NYT as a columnist and deputy editorial page editor.

While at the WSJ, Stephens consistently undermined and disparaged climate change, one time describing it as an “imaginary enemy” and another comparing it to religion with a “doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.”

Stephens' new boss, editorial page editor James Bennett, told the paper’s public editor Liz Spayd: “The crux of the question is whether his work belongs inside our boundaries for intelligent debate, and I have no doubt that it does. I have no doubt he crosses our bar for intellectual honesty and fairness.”

Breitbart’s James Delingpole Denies Danger of Great Barrier Reef Bleaching — Again

Scuba diver assessing coral bleaching underwater

The Great Barrier Reef is experiencing mass coral bleaching for the second consecutive year, ushering in another global round of headlines above images of ghostly white corals and dying habitats.

About a quarter of all the corals on the reef died from the 2016 event, mostly in the pristine north.

What were once dazzling multi-colored homes for myriad marine species are now graveyards of algae-swamped coral.

Now the reef is bleaching again, with corals in the reef's central area, popular with tourists, suffering the most. It’s too early to say how many of the corals will die from the bleaching.

But fear not. Breitbart’s resident climate science denier James Delingpole is on the case. 

One Nation's Malcolm Roberts Hits Australian Parliament and Prime Time With Climate Science Denial and Nazi Analogies

Senator Malcolm Roberts is an Australian climate science denier on a mission to convince the world that climate change science is a fraud.

In recent weeks in Parliament, on prime-time television and in forums, Roberts has been flaunting his rejection of scientific evidence like a dodgy second-hand car salesman with a sideline hawking homeopathy remedies to astrologists.

Roberts was elected to Australia’s upper house in 2016 thanks to the country’s unfathomably complicated preference voting system.

The former coal miner rode into the Senate on a wave of populist far-right rhetoric from Pauline Hanson and her One Nation Party. Only 77 voters actually ticked the box next to Roberts’ name.

In an investigative documentary into One Nation produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship Four Corners program, Roberts accused the aforementioned ABC of using “Nazi-style mind games”.

Trump Kingmakers Rebekah and Robert Mercer Attended Heartland Institute's Climate Science Denial Conference

Standing in front of a crowd of influential climate science deniers and conspiracy theorists, Myron Ebell was in a triumphant mood.

It’s the people who have worked persistently against global warming alarmism that made this election possible,” said Ebell, referring to the election of Donald J. Trump as president.

Ebell was handpicked by Trump to lead the “transition team” at the United States Environmental Protection Agency and was one of a parade of speakers at the Heartland Institute’s conference in Washington, D.C. last week that included Republican Congressman Lamar Smith, chair of the House science committee.

But arguably the most influential people hanging around the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Hotel were billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah.

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