21 May 2013

Action needed to stop 'climate deniers'
from winning the information war

Note: This appeal is written particularly for the attention of environmental groups and activists throughout Canada and the U.S., suggesting they set up a co-operative system to bring a halt to the huge amount of disinformation about global warming that appears in mainstream media.

The global warming deniers are at it again, and it is high time that the environmental movement in Canada and the United States launched an organized campaign to expose these scientific community charlatans.

The mainstream business media, which bows to corporate interests in both countries, is quick to publish interviews and opinion articles by the tiny percentage of scientists who deny that global warming exists. Some say that it has not been proven that human activity damages the environment. Some bizarrely claim that emissions of carbon dioxide are beneficial to the planet.

"No Need to Panic About Global Warming" was the headline for an opinion article that appeared on May 19 in The Wall Street Journal, the business newspaper most trusted by the business community.
"Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy," said the opinion piece. 
The most telling point about the article is that the group behind its' publication could get only 16 scientists and academics from around the world to sign it.

These kinds of denials, which appear in all of North America's business publications, are a message to the corporate community that "the jury is still out" on global warming. They believe it is perfectly okay for them to continue to carry on business as usual, despite the protests of "environmental nuts."

The business community has overwhelming power and influence in both countries, and we may not see truly effective action concerning climate change until many more business executives are convinced the changes are hurting both business and society.

Articles like the one in the Journal appear in mainstream media daily and go unchallenged.

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a western Canadian neo-liberal lobby organization, published the first of five articles about Canada's nice and clean environment. 

The series, which the Foundation trots out and slightly updates every two years, says that Canada has become "cleaner and greener." The subliminal-like message of the series is that Canada's tar sands mining is not a major polluter. This is exactly the kind of propaganda the energy industry and Canada's Conservative government want to see.

The series is sent out free to media organizations and reached a large potential audience when it was picked up by the National Post's George Jonas, sporting the headline: "The environmentalists need to stop crying wolf." 

Part one also showed up on some small Canadian sites, including Troy Media, and the Calgary Beacon on-line news site, and the home site of the Ontario Libertarian Party.

On the weekend, The Globe and Mail's Report on Business correspondent in Europe, Eric Reguly, indicated that he believed in climate change, but admitted he has no idea of the causes:
"We can argue until we turn blue in the face whether anthropomorphic carbon dioxide emissions are to blame for rapid climate change . . . ." "Arguing about the precise causes of climate changes - angry gods, CO2, water vapour, sun spots, terrorist plots - is becoming a waste of time when it is apparent to any sentient human that the climate is changing fast and dangerously." 
The truth is that analysis of hundreds of research studies clearly shows that the number of research papers rejecting AGW (anthropogenic global warming) is "a miniscule proportion of the published research . . . ." An overwhelming percentage - 97 per cent - endorse the scientific consensus on AGW.

Yet, the environmental movement is seriously losing the battle with the climate change deniers. According to an April poll by Pew research, only 33 per cent of Americans say that global warming is a very serious problem. Only 42 per cent agreed that the warming was mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels.

Lies appearing in mainstream media about the science surrounding climate change must be stopped! This unfounded propaganda, much of it funded by the energy industry, is a major reason why not enough progress is being made in attacking the causes of global warming.

Thousands of environmental networks and organizations need to divert some of their attention away from their normal work and focus more on winning the information war.

The movement has many effective communications systems that could be used to combat disinformation as well as help journalists better understand the realities of global warming.

A small number of effective yet not costly activities could be developed. For instance, networks or groups could be organized so that, when significantly damaging and unfounded articles appear in media, they are challenged within hours with emails, phone calls or visits from environmental advocates.

Among other possible activities, some acting as either "good cop or bad cop," could include:
  • After particularly damaging articles appear, demand equal space for rebuttal,
  • Conduct content analysis of some news organizations and write about the findings,
  • Provide media houses with a list of organizations known to provide misleading information,
  • Meet with editorial boards to discuss the findings and point out the facts,
  • Develop allies in influential media organizations and trade organizations who will join your campaigns,
  • Identify and widely praise news organizations that do not publish irresponsible materials,
Until the environmental movement wins the information war, it is unlikely it will win the most important war: Slowing and defeating global warming.

 Note: Any groups or individuals interested in exploring possible action in this area can e-mail me and I will compile a list and distribute it among the groups. Fillmore0274@rogers.com

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  1. Posted on behalf of Bruce Ryan:

    Activists over the decades have identified the ONE common principle to change is "public opinion". So long as a mere 33% understand the truth, the game will NOT change.

    Reaching a record 400ppm does not seem to register. Many climate studies & predictions point out more severe weather: aka New Jersey/NY, Oklahoma etc. etc.

    The activist movements such as Occupy, anonymous, Keystone and many others reaching 'boots on the streets mass' changes public opinion.... if the message is delivered via alternative/social media. The prophecy of the Idle No More movement is another example. We all know the revolution will not be televised.

    There ARE at least three solutions to the CO2 levels.... none of them popular in the "public opinion". The 'proposed green solutions' to date are putting a band-aid on a major wound ~ including Kyoto type Accords which are mostly like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Our current old boys network humans will not live to see the results of a global economy based upon infinite growth in a finite system. They leave all the problems to their children & grandchildren. The poisons in the air, the water and upon the land threaten our survival as a species.

    Viewing the existing corporate plutocracy in this light paints a grim picture for humanity.

  2. Posted on behalf of David Tarbuck:

    The main SOURCE of the problem is NOT burning fossil fuels or an atmospheric rise of 4-5 degrees celcius; Rather it is destruction of the PHOTOSYNTHETIC capacity of the earth which is vital to the (re)cycling of the CO2 produced by that burning and also by natural respiration.

    In the water bodies, photosynthsis is a function of single celled Photoplankton supplimented by leafy green seaweed. Humans have polluted water bodies with CO2, nitrates, sulphides, &c; many lakes and rivers are now too acidic to support ANY life and we are now relentlessly doing the same to the oceans. The rise of CO2 levels to date in the ocean is mesurable; if this were to continue it is game over for life on this small planet

    We have also recklessly developed involving clearing forests and bush lands, paving over urban areas &c. IIn N. America paving accounts for more than a hectare for every person therein.

    Domesticated agriculture is also anti-natural; the quick buck from artificial ways has led to hybrids and GMOs that minimise the prouction of the leafy greens wherein lies land based photosynthesis.

    IF the same level of PHOTOSYNTHETIC CAPACITY as existed prior to the Industrial Revolution were available today Mother Earth would be routinely (re)cycling and sinking the Carbon in the same way and at the SAME level as when the ORIGINAL fossil fuels were created some 20 - 100,000,000 years past.

  3. Hi Nick, A friend who is a gov't librarian shared this post with me and I thought I'd pass it on to you. You may or may not have seen or read it yet, but its a chronological look to all the funding cuts that have been geared toward Science. After reading thru the entire list of cuts, I'm really concerned and not sure what else to do, except share on FB and email out.. http://scienceblogs.com/confessions/2013/05/20/the-canadian-war-on-science-a-long-unexaggerated-devastating-chronological-indictment/
    Anonymous in Edmonton

  4. The Frontier Centre for Public Policy was a sponsor of the Friends of Science 10th Annual Luncheon in Calgary, Alberta on May 14, 2013. The guest speaker was Dr. Benny Peiser of the UK-based Global Warming Policy Foundation. He presentation was, "To Heat or Eat: Europe's Climate Policy Fiasco". This got a lot of press coverage. Calgary Herald published a major story on it saying, "For a growing number of Europeans, their continent’s global warming policies have forced them to decide whether to heat their homes or buy food. .. Indeed, for the past 16 years, temperatures have not spiked but remained stable. This “flatlining of global temperatures” along with skyrocketing energy prices “is why the green agenda is crumbling,” said Peiser." Peiser also did a radio interview and spoke with journalists in Toronto, Ontario. His presentation and related material are at:

  5. Posted on behalf of Nicolas Legault:

    There is so much polarization in the media about the climate issue that the general public tend to forget that the climate "debate" is a scientific one, not a social one.

    No scientist is debating the fact that a cleaner environments is a turn for the better or that the well-being of a society is not in it's decadence.

    Sadly, the overwhelming grip of the social and traditional media over the public opinion is so important that few of us request or care about the diversity of opinions but when the issue is popular, the herd will chant in the streets for free tuition fees.

    Unfortunately for me, I sometimes hold unpopular views; personal views.

    Just like you I have views with a brain and a big heart to defend them. Let's not go back to barbaric times when we use to stone people for their belief.

    Lover of life and creativity,
    Nicolas Legault

    1. Nicolas -- the reason that I wrote the blog is because there ARE a number of scientists and industry lobbyists out there who are very skilled at getting false claims about climate warming into mainstream media. Look at the comment above from Ken Gregory of Calgary.

      I am proposing that whenever these people come to media they be exposed for what they are. Their comments can be published, but a correction and denial should be published by a reputable scientist.

  6. Published on behalf of Alexandra Haas

    I read your article and an idea came to me, which would be really easy to carry out and potentially super effective.

    Yea, the media own the television, but everyday people have to go outside some time. I propose getting stickers (hopefully the most environmentally friendly they can be) with a slogan ("Don't Be Dumb/Wait the Earth isn't flat?/Remembered as a Hero or Laughed at as a joke/some catchy slogan to make these people feel on the wrong side of the argument where history is concerned) and then insert a quote about 97% of scientists, etc)

    To have the greatest impact we would need a coordinated front of street ready people to go out and blanket the towns, cities, etc! I am just a science teacher/mom but there is nothing more important to me than this.

    Please help to make this happen if you think this will have an impact?

    Thank you and hoping,

    Alexandra Haas

  7. Alexandra, I think that with the right slogan and done in a big way, this idea could be useful. Perhaps you should take the idea to an environmental organization. Thanks, Nick.

  8. Posted on behalf of Samantha Smathers:

    I just read your article on Climate Deniers and I found it very poignant and on target. Did you read the article IOPScience.org posted on the Scientific Consensus of Global Warming? It’s right on point with your number stating 97% of scientists agree climate change is caused by human behaviour.

    Despite scientific research confirming the roll of increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere causing global CC many people in a public position vocally deny the scientific evidence.

    Chris Christie, the governor of NJ, was just on the national news this morning stating that the notion of climate change is a liberal public radio agenda.

    I am a partner on a start-up website www.SaveTheRainforest.com and shedding light on these scientific studies in order to educate the public is part of our mission.

    Please put my on your list. I would love to hear about any other information or events related to this so I can post it on our site, or help in other ways you may deem appropriate.

    Thank you
    Selena Smathers

  9. Published on behalf of Fawn Edwards:

    Thanks for forwarding this article to me. It seems to be rather popular as I have had it forwarded from a couple other members as well. You've done a great job!

    It's chock-full of useful suggestions and I agree that cohesivity is important amongst environmental NGOs, as is working together to ensure rebuttals are made to articles and letters refuting the truth that is right in front of us.

    Your dedication to environmentalism and steadfast support are much appreciated.

    Fawn Edwards
    Supporter Services
    Greenpeace Canada

  10. Posted on behalf of Russ Browne - with my own comment below:

    Economist Martin Armstrong says global warming is not caused by humans, it is caused by a 300 year solar cycle and he has hosted Astro-physicist Dr.Sallie Baliunas at his conferences who has done research on this cycle which Armstrong noted has seen the rise and fall of just about every civilization on earth.

    Dr. Sallie Baliunas's Summary and Conclusions:

    “The climate record shows that the global warming of 1°F observed over the last 100 years is not unusual. Global temperature changes of this magnitude have occurred frequently in the past and are a result of natural factors in climate change.

    But is it possible that the particular temperature increase observed in the last 100 years is the result of carbon dioxide produced by human activities? The scientific evidence clearly indicates that this is not the case.

    All climate studies agree that if the one-degree global warming was produced by an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the additional CO2 first warms the atmosphere, and the warmed atmosphere, in turn, warms the earth’s surface. However, measurements of atmospheric temperatures made by instruments lofted in satellites and balloons show that no warming has occurred in the atmosphere in the last 50 years. This is just the period in which human made carbon dioxide has been pouring into the atmosphere and according to the climate studies, the resultant atmospheric warming should be clearly evident.

    The absence of atmospheric warming proves that the warming of the earth’s surface observed in the last 100 years cannot be due to an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused by human activities. The recent global warming must be the result of natural factors in climate change.”


    Another point that has been made is why there was warming before most of the industrial activity and automobiles existed.

    As far as press and court objectivity read this...

    BTW I am not impressed that you don't allow non members of your blog to post, how open and democratic is that?

    Russ Browne


    1. Russ, first of all, why would you believe any of this? Before endorsing such ideas, I'd suggest you always do research the on the people you are quoting.

      Why would economist Martin Armstrong know anything about climate change? He is an "economist."

      Furthermore, if you had checked around, you would discover that Dr. Sallie Baliunas is a well known "climate change denier." Among many things, she has worked for groups denying climate change that are funded by energy companies.

      Her full record appears on the DeSmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/sallie-baliunas

  11. You need to look at the facts not write off the person because of where the funding came from.

    Martin Armstrong is funded by no one, and he is not 'just an economist', he was the chairman of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles which includes all cycles. He also built a 32,000 variable Artificial Intelligence computer model that has made some dramatic predictions that have been proven correct in regards to political and economic events, that is why the CIA wanted a copy of his model after it predicted the breakup of the Soviet Union. Armstrong is not an ordinary guy, Michael Campbell from Moneytalks radio show said that "Armstrong is different than other economists, he is usually right."

    None of the climate weather models predicted the current cooling in the world, something is wrong there.

    Russ Browne

  12. Anthropomorphic warming scientists get funding for saying that humans are the cause of global warming too. Remember there was a 1 mile high ice sheet covering a great deal of the northern hemisphere thousands of years ago, did humans cause that to melt?

    Baliunas contends that findings of human influence on climate change are motivated by financial considerations: "If scientists and researchers were coming out releasing reports that global warming has little to do with man, and most to do with just how the planet works, there wouldn't be as much money to study it."

  13. Contribution from a classic climate change denier. I am printing it so you can see that kind of stuff they cite: Part 1

    Hey Nick:
    Are alarmists are so desperate for a ‘win’ that they are manipulating data to score points? We will hear more about the John Cook study as time goes on. It will be quoted uncritically by those who are politically motivated because it supports their narrative but take a look.

    ‘Studies’ like this one don’t help the case of warmists.
    Retraction Watch: Warmist John Cook’s 97% consensus study falsely classifies scientists’ papers according to the scientists that published them
    Retraction Watch: Warmist John Cook claimed that papers by skeptics Craig D. Idso, Nicola Scafetta, and Nir J. Shaviv endorsed CO2-induced global warming?
    Popular Technology.net: 97% Study Falsely Classifies Scientists' Papers, "It would be incorrect to claim that our paper was an endorsement of CO2-induced global warming":
    Twitter / RichardTol: Cook survey included 10 of ...
    Cook survey included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral.
    The Collapsing ‘Consensus’ | Watts Up With That?
    Germany’s Der Spiegel Newspaper Trashes John Cook’s 97% Consensus Survey. Man’s Impact ‘Remains Hotly Disputed’…Only 10% Have Faith In Models
    ‘The 97% consensus claim – a lie of epic proportions’ – Warmist John Cook’s study exposed
    New ’97% Consensus’ study goes belly up: ‘This study done by John Cook and others, praised by the President of the U.S., found more scientific publications whose abstracts reject global warming (78) than say humans are primarily to blame for it’ (65)

    Was it Aquinas who advised: Ask not who made the claim ask if the claim is true. If it were possible to resurrect and bring Aquinas forward into our age it is probable that he would like to add two corollaries to his epithet. Ask not how many made the claim ask if the claim is true. And finally, ask not who funded the claim ask if the claim is true. The who, how many and who funded
    subjects are red herrings designed to draw your attention away from whether the claim is true. To employ these arguments as valid on a logic exam would attract a failing grade.

    Who would use such invalid arguments? Why would they need them?

    Mutual agreement proves mutual agreement. It does not prove truth.

    Bertrand Russell knew about consensus:

    "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

    Have you ever entertained the possibility that the reason alarmists are not winning the information war is because you DO NOT have the science on your side and skeptics do?

  14. Part 2 of climate warming denier -- just so you know the things they say. (Edited for length.)

    People are learning that:

    1. There is no hot spot despite the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Here is another paper that reaches the same conclusion. They keep piling up. Is it hiding?
    2. World temperatures have been flat for the last 16 years despite the rapid rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration since the turn of the last century. Consensus is lacking.
    3. Extreme weather is not getting worse despite the rapid rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration since the turn of the last century. Sandy was not due to AGW.
    4. Sea level rise (SLR) is not accelerating despite the rapid rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration since the turn of the last century.
    5. Water vapor is not increasing in the atmosphere despite the rapid rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration since the turn of the last century.
    6. US has been cooling for the last 15 years despite the rapid rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration since the turn of the last century. Kinda takes the GLOBAL outta GLOBAL warming don’t it?
    7. Himalayan glaciers expanding contrary to prediction and despite the rapid rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration since the turn of the last century.
    8. The melting Arctic? We have heard it all before. We are still here and still waiting for the disastrous rise in sea levels despite the rapid rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration since the turn of the last century.
    9. Antarctica is cooling despite the rapid rise in CO2 atmospheric concentration since the turn of the last century.
    10. As the world warms LWIR increases at the top of the atmosphere. It is supposed to be trapped by increased CO2.

    Bonus: plants grow better, stronger, faster because of the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The only voice that counts in science is that of Mother Nature and she is saying loud and clear that CO2 does not have much if anything to do with climate change. After all, if you have extreme weather in times of lower CO2 concentration and bad storms in times of higher CO2 atmospheric concentration then isn't the correct conclusion that CO2 has nought to do with it?

    People are learning that CO2 has nothing to do with the temperature or the climate.

    The evidence mounts as a new study shows that tropical storms have decreased in frequency since 1872. Weather was more variable and extreme in the past which is not to say that it won’t be again in the future.

    Did you realize that deaths due to severe weather trauma are way down because of our early warning systems? Isn’t that great?

    Delusion: a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

    People are catching on and more and more scientists are speaking out or recanting on previously accepted CAGW beliefs.

    Skeptics are often accused of purveying misinformation on climate change. When skeptics point out that Grover Cleveland faced 15 hurricanes during his first term but Obama has had only 3 make landfall during his first term how is that misinformation? It is easily checked and helps to put current extreme weather into historical context so that people can judge for themselves whether or not extreme weather is getting worse as CO2 accumulates in our atmosphere.

    When skeptics point out that according to the world’s temperature datasets that the global temperature has not gone up in 16 years and has been on a downtrend for the last ten despite the rapid increase in CO2 emissions since the turn of the last century how is that misinformation? It is easily checked and informs people as to what Mother Nature is doing compared to what the consensus thinks she should be doing.

    Mother Nature is giving the finger to the 'consensus'.

    Skeptics report information that you will never see coming from an alarmist because they only see that which supports their narrative.

    The death knell for human induced CO2 driven climate change has sounded. Some people have been down the rabbit hole with Alice in Wonderland and have missed the memo.


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  17. http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/06/ken_braun_global_warming_dooms.html

  18. Articles showing that all of the AGW models have been proven to be wrong now. I would like to see the AGW communities response to this data....



  19. Problem is that people approach this and other problems like they would theoretical arguments: pro/cons, provide evidence, win argument, blah, blah, blah.
    talk, talk, talk

    Nature, instead, has its own way of winning all arguments, but mankind is too engrossed in its own little vanities and too stupid to see that.

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