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Global Swarming

Sep 18, 2008
If you wonder how a Sarah Palin can get away with expressing skepticism regarding humanity’s contribution to global warming, wonder no more. Environmental skepticism is big business, and it is entrenched in conservative “think” tanks (CTTs) across the country.

The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental skepticism, by Peter J. Jaques, Riley Dunlap, and Mark Freeman, published in the June 2008 issue of Environmental Politics,1 lays bare the extent of CTT collusion in attempting to gull the public into disbelieving the mounting scientific evidence. Indeed, as the evidence has mounted, the CTTs have become ever more strident in their attempts to howl it down.

The authors find that over 92 percent of English-language environmentally skeptical books published between 1992 and 2005 are linked to CTTs, and that 90 percent of CTTs involved with environmental issues espouse environmental skepticism. Five such books were published in the US in the 1970s, 13 in the 1980s, 56 in the 1990s, and we are on schedule to see over 70 published in the 2000s.

Some of the better-known CTTs are the Hoover Institution, the Cato Institute, and the Hudson Institute. We particularly enjoy the ones that choose for themselves names which would seem to indicate they are patriotic defenders of truth, and not shameless whores: American Council on Science and Health, National Center for Public Policy Research, and—our favorite—Heartland Institute (what craven curmudgeon would dare to diss the Heartland?).

And what is the antidote to all this very well-funded nonsense? Simple: The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the scrupulous science they have brought to their series of reports over the past 20 years. In one of the most recent,2 they conclude:

  • “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”3
  • “Global GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions due to human activities have grown since pre-industrial times, with an increase of 70% between 1970 and 2004.”4
We shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free. Let’s just hope it arrives before a Sarah Palin presidency.
____________________
1 Environmental Politics, published by Routledge
2 Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Summary for Policymakers (.pdf)
3 Op. cit., p. 2
4 Op. cit., p. 5
tags: Environment | Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming

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