Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Guardian reports that discussions of climate policy are being displaced by “attacks” on climate science.
Naturally the Guardian, and the authors of the study, blame a conspiracy of climate skeptics, rather than considering other possibilities, such as legitimate doubts raised by the Climategate fiasco, and the utter inability of climate scientists to get any predictions right.
According to The Guardian;
Era of climate science denial is not over, study finds
Conservative thinktanks in the US engaging in climate change have increased their attacks on science in recent years, a study of 16,000 documents finds.
Is organised climate science denial finished?
After global heat records were continually broken over the last decade, and as sea levels rose and scientists reported the accelerated melting of polar ice sheets, you might be forgiven for thinking the debate over climate change had shifted.
No more arguing over the science? It’s more about the policy now, right?
Well, wrong. At least according to a new study that has looked at 15 years worth of output from 19 conservative “thinktanks” in the United States.
“We find little support for the claim that ‘the era of science denial is over’ – instead, discussion of climate science has generally increased over the sample period,” the study concludes.
The conservative thinktanks under the microscope are the main cog in the machinery of climate science denial across the globe, pushing a constant stream of material into the public domain.
Sadly the main study is paywalled, but the following is the abstract of the study;
Text-mining the signals of climate change doubt
- Think-tank contrarian information has increased exponentially over 1998–2013.
- Sceptical themes are diverse and range from scientific integrity to policy.
- Science-related discourse has grown relative to policy in key sceptic organisations.
- Think-tank discourse is highly influenced by external factors.
- We generate longitudinal data on think-tank contrarian themes over a 16 year period.
Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that the Earth is getting warmer and that the rise in average global temperature is predominantly due to human activity. Yet a significant proportion of the American public, as well as a considerable number of legislators in the U.S. Congress, continue to reject the “consensus view.” While the source of the disagreement is varied, one prominent explanation centres on the activities of a coordinated and well-funded countermovement of climate sceptics. This study contributes to the literature on organized climate scepticism by providing the first systematic overview of conservative think tank sceptical discourse in nearly 15 years. Specifically, we (1) compile the largest corpus of contrarian literature to date, collecting over 16,000 documents from 19 organizations over the period 1998–2013; (2) introduce a methodology to measure key themes in the corpus which scales to the substantial increase in content generated by conservative think tanks over the past decade; and (3) leverage this new methodology to shed light on the relative prevalence of science- and policy-related discussion among conservative think tanks. We find little support for the claim that “the era of science denial is over”—instead, discussion of climate science has generally increased over the sample period.
Climate alarmists frequently accuse skeptics of believing in baseless conspiracy theories, but when you read something like this, it is pretty plain which side of the climate debate is living in fantasy land.