Climate change skeptics are fueled by the spin produced by a handful of scientists funded by right wing politics. They are also busy telling us DDT is healthy, smoking is safe and that the ozone hole is a hoax. They know they are lying but do so to save us from Communism.
Thursday the 24th of June 2010 I attended a guest lecture by Naomi Oreskes at Copenhagen University where she summarized her new book and answered questions. She wrote Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming with Erik Conway which should be available near you soon. Below is a video recording of the event as well as a collection of relevant links and my choice quotes.
Naomi Oreskes is one of the world's leading historians of science. June 24, 2010 she gave a public lecture in Copenhagen revolving around her new book "Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming". The event was organized in collaboration between The Initiative for Science, Society, and Policy (ISSP, http://www.science-society-policy.org), University of Southern Denmark (SDU, http://www.sdu.dk), a Danish newspaper (Dagbladet Information, http://www.information.dk) and University of Copenhagen (KU, http://www.ku.dk). For more information about the event and Naomi Oreskes see the lecture invitation. Note: In the beginning the sound isn't perfect. I cut out two short segments of people messing around with microphones and speakers. I recommend using headphones when viewing this video.
A few quotes
"[My 2004 article about the scientific consensus on climate change] led to some interesting emails, some interesting phone calls and attempt by certain people to have me fired from my university. So, when these things happen you know you are on to something important."
"Sometimes people say 'oh we didn't know', 'we couldn't know' or 'no one predicted'. We did know and we did predict."
"[An advisor to Jimmy Carter] was asked 'when will these changes occur' and he said 'well, maybe in 40 years'. The White House official said 'come back in 39'."
"25% of Americans are hopeless."
"In a series of cases [...] the harms of tobacco, the threat of acid rain, the depletion of the ozone layer and finally global warming - in each case these scientists became engaged in the public debate and insisted that none of these problems were particularly severe and that in each case the science was too uncertain to justify government intervention to prevent harm."
Questions from the Audience
The questions asked concern:
- The role of crackpots and why they do it when it's not for money,
- how they attempt linking environmentalism to Communism and socialism,
- how to debate the skeptics and deniers if at all and
- how so few people have managed to mess up so much.
Naomi Oreskes answering questions after "Merchants of Doubt" lecture from Benno Hansen on Vimeo. (Note: This video is much harder compressed as there was no presentation for her questions, of course.)
The MerchantsI have a profile at Twitter. These guys have profiles at certain other sites:
- Bill Nierenberg (1919 - 2000) is on SourceWatch.
- Fred Seitz (1911 - 2008) is on SourceWatch too.
- Fred Singer (1924 - ) is on both SourceWatch and ExxonSecrets.
About Merchants of Doubt elsewhereFrom Google Books (my emphasis):
Two reviews: The Christian Science Monitor and USA Today.