Behind the climate change skepticism curtain

Document leakage in the battle over public opinion on climate change isn’t limited to hacked email accounts of climate scientists. The Heartland Institute, a deep-pocketed promoter of climate change skepticism inadvertently sent confidential fundraising materials to someone just posing as a deep-pocketed climate change skeptic, and Desmog Blog has done the document dump.

Apparently some of the documents are fake, but most have been confirmed as genuine. Ezra Klein gives a run-down of what’s there. His main conclusions:

1) There’s still a lot of money in climate denial.
2) Big oil companies seem to be increasingly minor players in the skeptic arena.
3) Many firms don’t like being associated with climate denial.
4) Skeptic money doesn’t necessarily corrupt, but it can amplify marginal viewpoints.
5) The climate wars are moving to the classroom.

1) is not surprising – for some reason, there usually a lot of money to be had when one pushes back against scientists on any socially controversial issue with $$ implications.

2) was going to happen sooner or later – oil companies are supposed to be very good at taking the long view of things, and eventually the growing scientific consensus on global warming was bound to change somebody’s thinking at these companies.

On 5), this is why the National Center for Science Education, traditionally focused primarily on evolution, has now added the defense of good climate science in the classroom to their mission.

Author: Mike White

Genomes, Books, and Science Fiction

2 thoughts on “Behind the climate change skepticism curtain”

  1. It does not matter really, it’s been about two days now since these documents were leaked and the ‘scandal’ is not garnering any traction with the public. In a few days it will be forgotten. The media has already dropped it. It will have zero effect.

    OTOH, the Climategate scandal was two years ago and people still blog regualrly about it.


  2. Yeah, unfortunately that’s how this kind of thing tends to work out. Scientists supposedly being wrong, or simply acting human, seems to be a more popular storyline.

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