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Fossil fuel lobby’s tactics to discredit Climate Change

As scientists uncovered more and more environmental problems, the skeptics “began to see science as the enemy.” ……… only a handful of scientists and lobbyists, and yet they have managed to convince many ordinary people — and even some US presidents — that science is deeply divided over the causes of climate change.

‘Science as the Enemy’The Traveling Salesmen of Climate Skepticism,  SPIEGEL ONLINE -13 Oct 10, By Cordula Meyer A handful of US scientists have made names for themselves by casting doubt on global warming research. In the past, the same people have also downplayed the dangers of passive smoking, acid rain and the ozone hole. In all cases, the tactics are the same: Spread doubt and claim it’s too soon to take action. With his sonorous voice, Fred Singer, 86, sounded like a grandfather explaining the obvious to a dim-witted child. “….. “Our problem is not the climate. Our problem is politicians, who want to save the climate. They are the real problem,”…..

Salesman of Skepticism

Singer is a traveling salesman of sorts for those who question climate change. On this year’s summer tour, he gave speeches to politicians in Rome, Paris and the Israeli port city of Haifa. Paul Friedhoff, the economic policy spokesman of the FDP’s parliamentary group, had invited him to Berlin. Singer and the FDP get along famously. The American scientist had already presented his contrary theories on the climate to FDP politicians at the Institute for Free Enterprise, a Berlin-based free-market think tank, last December.

Singer is one of the most influential deniers of climate change worldwide. In his world, respected climatologists are vilified as liars, people who are masquerading as environmentalists while, in reality, having only one goal in mind: to introduce socialism. Singer wants to save the world from this horror…..
Whether it was the hole in the ozone layer, acid rain or climate change, Singer always had something critical to say, and he always knew better than the experts in their respective fields. But in doing so he strayed far away from the disciplines in which he himself was trained. For example, his testimony aided the tobacco lobby in its battle with health policy experts.

‘Science as the Enemy’

The Arlington, Virginia-based Marshall Institute took an approach very similar to Singer’s. Founded in 1984, its initial mission was to champion then US President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), better known as “Star Wars.” After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the founders abruptly transformed their institute into a stronghold for deniers of environmental problems………….

As scientists uncovered more and more environmental problems, the skeptics “began to see science as the enemy.”

……… only a handful of scientists and lobbyists, and yet they have managed to convince many ordinary people — and even some US presidents — that science is deeply divided over the causes of climate change. Former President George H.W. Bush even referred to the physicists at the Marshall Institute as “my scientists.”

Whatever the issue, Singer and his cohorts have always used the same basic argument: that the scientific community is still in disagreement and that scientists don’t have enough information…………According to a US study, 97 percent of all climatologists worldwide assume that greenhouse gases produced by humans are warming the Earth. Nevertheless, one third of Germans and 40 percent of Americans doubt that the Earth is getting warmer. And many people are convinced that climatologists are divided into two opposing camps on the issue — which is untrue.

So how is it that people like Singer have been so effective in shaping public opinion?

‘Science as the Enemy’: The Traveling Salesmen of Climate Skepticism – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

October 13, 2010 - Posted by | climate change, USA | ,

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