Climate Change: Science vs. Denialists – (Part 3) Sources of Misinformation

This topic series is related to “Climate change is real.” – Truth Rating is: TRUE

For explanation of “Truth Rating”, see this post: http://wp.me/p2wnbd-7N

[Part 1 of this series is here: Climate Change: Science vs. Denialists – Part 1 (Carbon Fuels and Conspiracies) <https://edgeofmindandbeyond.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/climate-change-science-vs-denialists/>%5D

[Part 2 of this series is here: Climate Change: Science vs. Denialists – (Part 2) Who is (not) telling the Truth <https://edgeofmindandbeyond.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/climate-change-science-vs-denialists-part-2-who-is-not-telling-the-truth/>%5D

[Permalink to this article: <https://edgeofmindandbeyond.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/climate-change-science-vs-denialists-part-3-sources-of-misinformation/ >]

In part 1 of this series, a suggestion was made that the politics of energy is driven largely by the interests of the fossil fuels industry to the detriment of pretty much everyone else on this planet. These groups buy political support via lobbyists and campaign contributions or other quid quo pro arrangements.

Part 2 of this series explored specific proponents of misinformation, their interests and agendas, their network of funding, and their methods of propaganda.

This post intends to offer evidence from more objective sources about the state of opinion in the legitimate climate science community and clearly expose the motives and misinformation of the deniers.  At the bottom of the post, there will be a running list of denial organizations and the scientists who obstruct the majority view of climate scientists.

Summary of the main points in the climate change challenge:

Introduction to the global warming/climate change science:

  • Climate change (aka global warming) is very real and almost certainly caused or accelerated by human activities.
  • The science in this area has been in progress for at least 40 years, with increasingly vocal warnings from the climate science community, so the basic mechanisms of climate change and expected impact have been known for some time.
  • Several individuals who have studied climate science for decades have now quit their jobs to lecture, write, or protest full time about the evidence they believe is being ignored or suppressed from the public.
  • Best case scenarios for climate change predict significant climate events that could affect millions or billions of people in 30 years.  Those who are most alarmed suggest that we are already past the point of no return and that we should expect the earth to be uninhabitable by 2030 (within 15 years at this writing).
  • The fact that some of the largest carbon generating countries in the world, especially the United States, have not even begun serious carbon reduction efforts indicates that significant climate change is essentially unavoidable at this time.
  • One greenhouse gas contributing to global warming that was identified many years ago is CO2, but there is now very strong evidence that others may have even greater affect.
  • Methane has been found to produce even more powerful greenhouse effects than CO2.  Unfortunately, it has recently been discovered that total global methane production is not only from animals and peat bogs, but seeps up from the ocean floor and is released from melting permafrost. These methane releases will continue to accelerate as the earth becomes warmer.
  • Even atmospheric water vapor has a greenhouse effect that is greater than CO2, and actually becomes amplified as climate warming continues, since warmer air holds more moisture.
  • A number of other factors that can accelerate global warming once started, such as reduction in the total area of sea ice and land covered by glaciers. The lighter color of ice cover on sea and land covered with snow or ice helps reflect the sun’s heat back into space. Without the snow and ice, the darker colors of land and water will absorb more heat, which is trapped in our atmosphere when reradiated, or contributes to ocean temperature increase.
  • Most climate models only include several of these recently identified self-reinforcing effects, so most climate models may be underestimating the rate of climate change, at least until the new factors can be included in the models.
  • All of this means that our window of opportunity to make significant changes to avoid or mitigate major climate shift is either rapidly closing or has already closed.

Introduction to the global warming/climate change deniers (denialists)

  • There is a very active network of climate change denial groups and persons who are actively misrepresenting or ignoring the science which has established that climate change is real and a threat to human survival.
  • These deniers are nearly all related to the industries that would be economically affected (negatively, in their view), such as fossil fuels, coal production and use, electric power utilities, mining and major chemical companies.
  • Those who fund these deniers are billionaires affiliated with these industries.
  • The deniers also resist government oversight of their companies or industries since complying with safety and environmental regulations would cost them profits.
  • Deniers also claim that additional regulations would reduce jobs due to the extra burden of compliance.  (This is grossly untrue: new regulations generate mini-industries around the management of compliance to regulations.)
  • Deniers try to portray higher energy costs (allegedly due to compliance with regulations) as becoming an additional economic burden to those in lower economic classes.  This is a red herring issue – they could directly reduce energy costs to millions living in poverty simply by redirecting funding from political campaign contributions and denialist public relations initiatives into grants for those affected most.
  • Deniers resist efforts by government agencies to encourage the development and use of alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and hydrogen fuels. The only apparent purpose for this resistance is a fear of lowered near term profits.

 

Article Links

  1. “Climate change: A guide for the perplexed” <http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11462-climate-change-a-guide-for-the-perplexed.html#.VN_DCHLwuM8>
  2. “Climate myths: Any cooling disproves global warming” <http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17808-climate-myths-any-cooling-disproves-global-warming.html#.VN_CsnLwuM8>
  3. “Research confirms how global warming links to carbon emissions” <http://phys.org/print336658830.html>
  4. “UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous (Update)” <http://phys.org/print328283129.html>
  5. “Water in stratosphere plays key role in Earth’s climate” <http://phys.org/news/2013-10-stratosphere-key-role-earth-climate.html>
  6. “Climate change denial” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_denial>
  7. “Most speakers at the 6th International Conference on Climate Change misidentified as scientists” <http://scholarsandrogues.com/2011/06/29/6th-iccc-speakers-mostly-not-scientists/>

List of Climate Deniers – Organizations and Individuals

If you dig deep enough, the same names tend to emerge as the “scientific” or “expert” sources for the climate deniers.  Note that nearly all of these sources have been largely debunked or discredited by the legitimate scientific community.

Watch for these names in the published “reports” of denialists:

  •  Dr. Roy Spencer
  • Dr. Willie Soon
  • Marc Morano
  • Anthony Watts
  • Steve Milloy
  • Joe Bastardi
  • Matt Ridley
  • Larry Bell
  • James Taylor

Proposed Countermeasures or Solutions

Revision History:

[02/23/2017 – Changed short links to permalinks in related posts list.]

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About Hoosedwhut

Engineer - by education, training, and career experience. Philosopher - by inclination and choice. Amateur psychologist - by instinct and necessity. Amateur theologian - by birth into two distinct worlds...
This entry was posted in Climate, Climate Change and Sustainability, Energy, Environment, Meta-topics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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