Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Climate Denial Machine vs. Climate Science - Dealing in Doubt

Here is a report detailing the various attacks the IPCC has been subjected to over the years.  Including tracking down their originators.  It was compiled by Greenpeace USA, and I believe it worth sharing:

Dealing in Doubt

The Climate Denial Machine vs. Climate Science

A brief history of attacks on climate science, climate scientists and the IPCC.
September, 2013.


"Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' [linking smoking with disease] that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy...”
“Skepticism is not believing what someone tells you, investigating all the information before coming to a conclusion. Skepticism is a good thing. Global warming skepticism is not that. It’s the complete opposite of that. It’s coming to a preconceived conclusion and cherry-picking the information that backs up your opinion. Global warming skepticism isn’t skepticism at all.”
John Cook of Skepticalscience.com

Table of Contents:



  • The funders
  • The Players 
  • The think tanks
  • The roots of climate denial: borne out of Big Tobacco anti science campaigns
  • 1990 – The IPCC’s First Assessment Report
  • 1995 The Second Assessment Report (SAR)
  • 2001 – The Third Assessment Report (TAR)   
  • 2007 – the Fourth Assessment Report 
  • Climategate: No Scandal behind these gates: (updated 2013)     
  • The AR5, fifth assessment report:  the cherry-picking begins
  • Australia:  A climate denial front ‘down under
  • The UK’s denial machine


  • Heartland’s internal workings exposed
  • Heartland’s Fake Scientific Conferences and the Unabomber
  • The Origin of the ICCC
  • The NIPCC – or “Climate Change Reconsidered” – or “Not the IPCC”
  • 2013 NIPCC in China – or: Let not the truth get in the way of a good story
  • Heartland, ALEC and the attack on science education
  • Case Study:  Bad science versus hockey sticks: Michael Mann
  • Other attacks on scientists
  • Using Freedom of Information to attack scientists
  • The American Tradition Institute vs Mann and the University of Virginia
  • ATI vs James Hansen and NASA
  • ATI vs climate scientists and journalists
  • ATI and the EPA
  • FOI in Australia
  • Conspiracy of Doubt
  • Personal attacks and death threats 
  • Attacks on the consensus
  • 2012: “Pal review” replaces “peer review”
  • 2012: Fake a Government report
  • Fake a counter consensus 
  • Fake science and polar bears
  • Can’t publish a peer-reviewed article?  Self publish a book!
  • Fake – or outdated - qualifications
  • The political effect of climate denial
  • 2013:  Republican denial



This report describes organized attacks on climate science, scientists and scientific institutions like the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC), that have gone on for more than 20 years. It sets out some of the key moments in this campaign of climate denial started by the fossil fuel industry, and traces them to their sources.
The tobacco industry’s misinformation and PR campaign in the US against regulation reached a peak just as laws controlling tobacco were about to be introduced. Similarly, the campaign against climate change science – and scientists - has intensified as global policy on climate change has become more likely. This time though there is a difference. The corporate PR campaign has gone viral, spawning a denial movement that is distributed, decentralised and largely immune to reasoned response.
This report updates our March 2010 report, ahead of the forthcoming 2013 release of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment report.
The 2010 report was published just after the hysteria that greeted the release of climate scientists’ personal email hacked or stolen from the University of East Anglia on the eve of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in late 2009. This scandal showed the depth and sophistication of the climate denial movement and the willingness of the media to amplify their message, despite its lack of evidence or scientific support – and to be distracted from the urgency of the issue by unfounded attacks on leading research scientists.
Since 2009, there have been nine separate investigations into this so-called “scandal,” each of which have exonerated the scientists at the centre of the accusations. Yet that hasn’t stopped the continued hysteria around the scandals. There have been two more attempts at a “climategate” type scandal, releasing more emails, with very little effect. Unfortunately, traditional media outlets failed to properly correct the misinformation they were so culpable in helping to spread.
With this new edition of Dealing In Doubt we:
  • Detail the ongoing attempts to attack the integrity of individual climate scientists and their work.
  • Look beyond the strategic parallels between the tobacco industry’s campaign for “Sound Science” (where they labeled mainstream science as “junk”) to the current climate denial campaign, to new research that has come to light revealing the deeper connections: the funding, personnel and institutions between the two policy fights.
  • Detail how some scientists are now fighting back and taking legal action.
  • Showcase the Heartland Institute as an example of how tobacco-friendly free market think tanks use a wide range of tactics to wage a campaign against the climate science.
  • Reveal the range of tricks used by the denier campaign, from “pal review” instead of peer review, to personal attacks on scientists through Freedom of Information requests, self-publishing books, and the general conspiratorial noise from the denial machine in the blogosphere.
The majority of the front groups or free market think tanks running campaigns against climate science continue to receive funding from big oil and energy interests.
Since our first report, the massive campaign against climate science – and action on climate, funded by oil barons the Koch Brothers has come to light. And while fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil, whose very products are causing global warming, continue to fund think tanks driving the campaigns, much of the foundation funding has now been driven underground, masked by a funding front-group called the Donors Trust – and its associate Donors Capital Fund, two “donor-advised” funds created to hide the real givers and thus shield them from negative exposure of their support for these campaigns.
Funding to the organizations that comprise the denial machine has risen during the Obama presidency, just as the urgency of climate solutions and promise of policy advances also rose. ... {continue reading here}

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