Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless.
Critical thinking 101 - when you see remarks like these, all coming from the same source, know that the people making these claims do not have a real position based on evidence. They are arguing for a particular result, in this case to stop any action that reduces greenhouse gases. If they had a real position to defend, they use wouldn't change their argument on a monthly basis.
The good news is that the denial machine is slowly failing. Last year, polls found that 64 percent of Americans thought there was "a lot" of scientific disagreement on climate change. That figure has now fallen to 39%. However the real discrepancy lies between the opinions of Americans and the understanding of those living in other nations.
In Europe, Japan, Canada and Australia the public is fully aware of the scientific consensus on global warming. Despite the difference in understanding the polls reveal, the continued failure of US to join the world ranks says more about the workings of the country itself than it does about its people.
The fact is that the American people need to confront a very uncomfortable truth about their nation, one that goes far beyond the reality of global warming and touches the core of their culture and society. That is, that while laying claim to the title of the world's leader of democracy and freedom, the United States of America represents the modern world's most sophisticated machine for brainwashing their own populace and ensuring their continued ignorance - to the impacts of their lifestyles, to the loss of their own freedoms, and to the failings of their own democratic state.
Ultimately, the American people need to confront the real hoax being perpetrated by their elected officials, educational institutions, and media conglomerates on a daily basis - that they live in the world's freest country, despite all evidence to the contrary.
To read the scientific information behind the Newsweek article visit Grist.
To learn what you can do about deniers click here.