True conspiracies and fact checking climatology

The Christian Science Monitor: Global warming skepticism is fueled by public relations, author says is an example of just how degraded an argument can become. In this case, it is a description of a book by James Hogan that asserts that climate change skepticism is the result of a public relations campaign funded by oil interests.

There are a number of claims and pronouncements that fit a pattern. Claims such as “astroturfing” and “swift boat” provide examples as does the implied conspiracy without being able to name the parties involved or illustrate evidence of their collusion (as can be done with the CRU leak).

There are a couple of other things to note. One is the absence of demonstrations skeptical of climate change that are the subject of astroturfing. Another is the absence of structured organizations with a mission to cast doubt on global warming to receive funding via the usual methods. In fact, the striking thing about climate change skepticism is that its primary sponsors are individuals with personal blogs whose primary income sources are entirely outside of climatology and publicity. That is at odds with Hogan’s thesis.

Hogan is rather typical in the pretense of objectivity, the invitation to ‘fact check,’ and recommendations to verify authority. Fact checking is, indeed, exactly what the climate skeptics are trying to do and being lambasted by people like Hogan for daring to to do it. That contradiction is worthy of note.

Comments are closed.