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Saturday, September 23, 2006

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Grant

Hey Cameron. Nice pick up - there's been a lot of momentum in "outing" this practice of late, which is good to see.

You mention reading about this confusion in the newspaper - in An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore makes the point that although none of the peer reviewed scientific papers contest that climate change isn't real and caused by humans, 53% of the news articles in a similar period did express that there was some doubt.

In the interview David Suzuki did with WWF the other week (disclosure: I work for WWF) - on YouTube here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=acqiViltz-c - he makes a similar point - about the use conflict as a device to sell a story, and the human need to see "both sides of the story".

The problem, as David says, is that one side is a vast majority of the scientific community (who we must remember, like the insurance industry, is quite conservative - they don't make brash "alarmist" statements without some serious supporting evidence), whereas the other is a small handful of scientists. The issue is that in a news article, the handful are given as much power as the majority. And thus confusion is sewn...

We need scientists that dissent and contest the majority view. We need them to test and poke holes in theories, and present alternatives. It is an essential part of the scientific process. And it needs to happen on the issue of global warming as well. But when the small handful are presented with equal weight as the majority we are likely to get into a great deal of trouble.

gnoll110

Yep.

"They", Big Oil and Big Coal are using the same tactics on the leading end of the problems too. That problem being "Peak Oil"

People, grab the podcasts from the fuelling the future (that's fuelling with two "l"s) conference in 2005. (Sorry to divide a podders time mate ;)

Buff

You shouldn't be surprised. With ExxonMobil spending over $16M to keep the confusion going. An excellent site to check is www.exxonsecrets.org It has this really nice interactive site where you can build a web of corporate funded scientists and other various hacks and link them with all the PR groups and the amounts those groups get from JUST Exxon.

There is also a nice report put out by the Union of Concerned Scientist in PDF format. It demonstrates how many of the same hacks hired to cause confusion over tobacco smoking are the same ones working to cloud the issue of Global Warming.

http://www.ucsusa.org/

Happy Earth Day

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