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Hurricane Sandy Reminds Us We’re All Paying The Price For Politically-Created Climate Of Doubt

2012/11/08

Image credit: Earth – The Operator’s Manual

The PBS Frontline program “Climate of Doubt” masterfully exposed the strategies and tactics that climate denialists have used to delay, if not undermine meaningful action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change in the US. Perhaps the #1 strategy they have pursued involves denying the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming.

The number one strategy this shadowy, well-financed group has pursued involves denying the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming.  As Myron Ebell of the right-wing think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) put it,

We felt that if you concede the science is settled and that there’s a consensus…the moral high ground has been ceded to the alarmists.”

Republican Congressman from Wisconsin and climate denialist James Sensenbrenner explained the importance of the public awareness of the scientific consensus:

JOHN HOCKENBERRY:Do you think this will ever be settled scientifically, if 97 percent consensus doesn’t settle it for you?

Rep. JAMES SENSENBRENNER:Well, I — you know, I think that it’s up to the scientists and their supporters to convince the public that this is the right thing to do. And the supporters of that side of the argument in the Congress have been a huge flop.

Driving the climate denialism movement are some of the same people who over the last four decades have greatly benefited from the reversal of the “New Deal” and astronomically rising economic inequality. Thanks to what political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson describe as “Winner-Take-All Politics” financial markets were deregulated leading to the Great Recession of 2007/2008, while environmental deregulation and inaction on climate science led to aggravated droughts and hurricanes, which climate scientists like NASA’s James Hansen has been warning of for many years:
“My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather. In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.” Dr. James Hansen, Washington Post, Aug. 3, 2012
I don’t know about you, but I’m really hoping that Fred Singer, Myron Ebell, and James Sensenbrenner, and James Inhofe and the rest of the “free-market conservatives” all have sea-front homes on the U.S. East Coast. What complete a**h%%*&s!!
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Click here to watch the PBS Frontline “Climate of Doubt” report online.
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Click here to watch Bill Moyers: On Winner-Take-All Politics
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Skeptical Science: Climate Of Doubt Strategy One: Deny Consensus
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Washington Post: Climate Change Is Here – and Worse Than We Thought
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source: 350.org

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 2012/11/08 6:17 pm

    (General comment: You may want to add the “Share this button for facebook.)

    “We felt that if you concede the science is settled and that there’s a consensus…the moral high ground has been ceded to the alarmists.”

    I find that statement incredibly… umm… nuts! What about the fact that you are taking the moral low ground by putting doubt in science? And basically, you are calling scientists “alarmists”.

    Oh, and Inhoe would be hilarious if he wasn’t an elected official in the country with the second highest carbon emissions in the world. During an interview with Rachel Maddow, he said (and I’m paraphrasing) that he used to believe in global warming until he found out how much it would cost to deal with it. That’s like saying “I believed I had lung cancer… that is until I found out what the treatment was”.

    Some day, these people should be tried criminally.

  2. 2012/11/08 6:17 pm

    By the way, great post! :)

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