Thursday, August 09, 2007

US Faces the Real Global Warming Hoax

This week's cover story in Newsweek is leveled squarely at global warming deniers, outlining the concerted and well funded plan by certain industries to mislead the public and derail efforts to fight global warming.

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.


12 comments:

Lauren said...

I am a regular reader of your article. And I am very impress with your blog upon Global Warming. Now I am also write a blog upon effects and causes of Global Warming. This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

E. R. Dunhill said...

Odiyya,
Regrettably, sitting back and being fed saccharine half-truths and lies is easier than standing up and educating oneself about the problem. Moreover, the answers to the questions one must ask, and the implications of those answers are unpalatable and contrary to the messages people constantly hear from advertisers and politicians. I think many Americans are getting to the point of understanding the causes and implications of global warming, but want someone else to fix the problem. The situation reminds me of Tolstoy: "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
People need to become more aware that those who are trying to sell them things or secure their votes may have a vested interest in public ignorance. Likewise, people must become more aware of their own ability to effect change.
On an unrelated note, the Newsweek cover is a great piece of design. It reminds me of the November 2004 National Geographic Mag, whose cover read, "Was Darwin Wrong?" The first page of the cover article was a giant "No."

CityUnslicker said...

So Global Warming is happening. The reason people want to deny it is the logical solutions; ban cars and aeroplanes and factories are bonkers.

People need some optimisim in the debate. technology will probably save us; running out of oil might save us.

Just hating deniers is not going to work. Proving them wrong statistically is not going to work. hearts and minds need to be won.

Odiyya said...

ERD - as usual a savvy commentary. if you have a pic of that national geographic cover flip it my way, i don't think i saw it in the day.

Odiyya said...

I agree whole heartedly unslickster. this is the tack of a great deal of the articles here, as providing solutions is always key. At the same time, there is also a time when a spade needs to be called a spade. We have to recognize an illusion before we're prepared to see truth.

Tom Schueneman said...

Excellent post. Writing and editing my blog at www.globalwarmingisreal.com/blog has allowed me to experience first hand the level of delusion and denial in this (and other)issues here in the US. We can and should do better.

one and only hypnos said...

@Tom Schueneman: I could not agree with you more. Some many people are being deluded. So many facts twisted and turned. It's just crazy if you think about it. I have even written an article about it on my blog.

You can go over the facts as much as you want, the same arguments will just be thrown at you over and over again.

Jim Campbell said...

How has the MSM Missed this Story?

How has the MSM managed to miss this??
Stone Age Settlement Found Under English Channel

But what would happen if we had evidence of glaciers melting and massive flooding that occurred 10,000 years ago - long before man burned fossil fuels to any significant degree ? Such evidence would certainly be considered evidence that global warming is a natural phenomenon - as opposed to man-made.

Well - this evidence actually exists and was reported in a Yahoo News article (via LiveScience.com) titled "Stone Age Settlement Found Under English Channel."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ livescie...9YpSdlI21Ws0NUE #

Odiyya said...

Hi Jim,

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Regards,

Odiyya

Sue said...

Odiyya, you are so right on target about the American people as a whole. The current political discussion in Kentucky is a case in point.

Despite the fact that the United States Congress has recently rejected two bills to subsidize the use of coal to produce liquid fuels -- the Kentucky Legislature (at the behest of the Governor) seems hell bent on providing hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to the coal industry, specifically Peabody Energy, for just that.

The Kentucky Senate has already passed such a bill. The only reason that the Kentucky House has not passed this bill is because of political wrangling over who will get "credit" (Republicans through Governor Ernie Fletcher) or the Democrats. The thing that I find so flat out amazing is that anyone anywhere would consider wasting so much tax revenue on such an outright piece of corporate welfare, to subsidize a product that will only damage Kentucky and the planet to be a political bonus. Yet some how, Kentucky politicians, seem to think that getting 125 jobs (at a tax revenue cost of about $240,000 per job per year for 10 years!) is a political plus and will garner them votes.

The saddest thing is that they just might be right!!

Sue

Sue said...

Odiyya, You are so on the money about the American people as a whole. Our political blindspots are Grand Canyon like. Witness the current political debate in Kentucky.

Despite the fact that the United States Congress has recently rejected two bills to subsidize the use of coal to produce liquid fuels, the Kentucky Legislature (at the behest of Governor Fletcher) is dead set on passing huge subsidies for coal to liquids.

The KY Senate has in fact already passed the legislation. The only reason that the Kentucky House has not passed this bill is because of political wrangling over who will get "credit" (Republicans through Governor Ernie Fletcher) or the Democrats.

The thing that I find so flat out amazing is that any one any where would consider wasting so much tax revenue on such an outright piece of corporate welfare, to subsidize a product that will only damage Kentucky and the planet to be a political bonus. Yet some how, Kentucky politicians, seem to think that getting 125 jobs (at a tax revenue cost of about $240,000 per job per year for 10 years!) is a political plus and will garner them votes.

The saddest thing? They may just be right about those votes!! There are those who work against it, but those willing to take the time to look at squarely at the issues are a small minority.

Sue

rgpman said...

A couple of weeks ago I read this article in Newsweek. I got pretty bent out of shape the corporate strategy of derailing efforts to fight global warming.

My anger turned to a desire to do something and I made a decision to step up in my activism.

This morning I was checking out Google's new "Google base" and came across this article:

http://base.google.com/base/a/2560087/D6726493050951623104

The thing I found interesting was not so much the article itself, but the website it was referring to. I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences, with regards to that site, in a way that might move others to action. (BTW: The article in Google base is actually amusing and is worth a read)

I spent my lunch break going through the entire website and, let me just say, these guys seem to have something here. They have a pretty extensive FAQ page that I found very informative.

At first, I thought that it was a joke or maybe even a scam, however, I was persuaded otherwise. In their F.A.Q. page they addressed the fact that there are scam artist that prey on the naive. They actually gave links to the authorities, the FBI and their state's Attorney General's office, to use if participants feel they have been defrauded!

I want it to be understood that I am a skeptic and pretty tight with my financial resources. I am also EXTREMELY environmentally conscious. That being said, I really felt that this might amount to something. Other green skeptics should browse though the F.A.Q. page as well as the rest of the site and see if they come to the same conclusions.

I showed the site to several of my co-workers and they all searched through the site, as well. At last count, myself and about 30 of my co-workers have taken part in their program.

What this organization, the Adopt the Atmosphere Foundation or ATAF, offers is sponsorship or what they call "Adoption" of the Earth's atmosphere. They have divided the atmosphere up into "columns" that are each 400 Kilometers high with a 100 square Kilometer base. People can adopt or sponsor an atmosphere column and become a member of their organization for a nominal, and 100% refundable fee.

There are several graphs on their site that clearly explain what the fee is spent on. About 85% will go towards environmental charities, environmental lobbying, and environmental issue awareness campaigns . The rest is divided up in administrative office expenses.

The thing I thought was so intriguing about ATAF was that they are hoping to eventually register the adoption/sponsorship of the entire atmosphere! I guess they plan to use the registry of adopters as a platform to be heard in the international community.

That's kind of interesting! If the entire atmosphere is divided up and sponsored by environmentally concerned individuals and the concise, detailed records of these designated sponsored columns are kept by an organization in a database registry, the members of that organization would have some real clout.

Even if the only outcome of a massive registry of adopters is a raised level of environmental awareness, than I say, "Good on ya!" to those who've orchestrated such a thing.

FYI: The ATAF website is www.adoptatmosphere.com