Professor Clive Hamilton’s absolutely brilliant five-part series of articles (originally published on the ABC website) is a clear-headed and searing exposé of climate change denial and the people and motivations behind it.
This is highly recommended reading.
A brief overview of each article is below, together with a link to the full piece. A warning – the comments after the articles quite clearly confirm (in Prof. Hamilton’s words) “that denial is only nominally about the science and really about ideology and cultural identity“, and that they are an angry and aggressive bunch with lots of time on their hands!
Part 1 – Bullying, lies, and the rise of right-wing climate denial
Details the cyber-bullying that scientists, journalists and others endure when they speak publicly on climate science.
Part 2 – Who is orchestrating the cyber-bullying?
Looks at the major blogs and news outlets, such as The Australian, that drive climate change denialism.
Also describes the driving factors behind climate change denial and exposes it for what it is, an extremist political movement that has nothing to do with science or scepticism.
“…becoming a denialist does not follow from carefully weighing up the evidence (that is, true scepticism) but from associating oneself with a cultural outlook, taking on an identity defined in opposition to a caricature of those who support action on climate change. It is the energy in this wider movement that has seen climate denialism morphing into a new form of political extremism.“
Part 3 – Think tanks, oil money and black ops
Looks at who are the major think tanks behind climate change denial, who is funding them and what their motivations are.
Part 4 – Manufacturing a scientific scandal
Outlines the process by which climate change deniers manufacture scientific scandals with the support of a lazy or biased media without any evidence. This article also provides an update of where the science is really at.
This is a quote from the article talking about the CRU email “scandal” after scientist emails were hacked last year:
“Although sceptics have been gnawing away at the credibility of climate science for years, over the last five months they have made enormous leaps owing to the hacking of emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and the discovery of a number of alleged mistakes in the benchmark reports of the IPCC.
“While the “revelations” have been milked for all they are worth, and a lot more, the science remains rock solid. If instead of cherry-picking two or three that lend themselves to spin, you read the 1000 or so emails that were posted on a Russian server the picture that emerges is one of an enormously dedicated group of men and women doing their best to carry out research of the highest quality.
“If there were a conspiracy among scientists to manipulate the truth, you would expect the evidence to be there in spades in these private emails. But it’s not. Instead they show scientists working their backsides off to do good science, with email exchanges stopping briefly on Christmas Eve to be resumed on Boxing Day, with apologies to colleagues for taking time out to have surgery or get married, all with a sub-text of worry about the implications of their work for the future of humanity.”
Part 5 – Who’s defending science?
Contains a list of lies about climate science that The Australian newspaper has published in recent times and the techniques it uses to further its political aims.