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Thu, 2013-06-06 05:00Graham Readfearn
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The Campaigns That Tried To Break The Climate Science Consensus

So just in case anyone wasn’t sure, a major study of almost 12,000 scientific papers on global warming between 1991 and 2011 finds less than one per cent disagree that humans are the main cause.

Published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study led by John Cook, the Australia-based founder of Skeptical Science, confirms the debate about the causes of global warming had all but vanished in the scientific literature by the early 1990s. Almost all the research says it’s mostly caused by humans.

For any followers of climate science in journals (the place where it actually matters) the finding wasn’t really news at all.

Yet survey after survey finds the public still thinks scientists are arguing over the causes of global warming and the media continues to attempt to resuscitate long-dead ideas.

Does it matter that people have a clear understanding of the main thrust of the science? A 2012 study in the journal Nature Climate Change found that people were more likely to accept human-caused global warming if they were informed that scientists were in broad agreement (which we know they are).

For decades, fossil fuel-funded groups, free market think tanks (some of which also qualify as fossil fuel funded groups) and the fossil fuel industry itself have known the importance of the public’s understanding of the state of climate science. A public that understands the state of the science is more likely to want something done about climate change. Doing something, means using a lot less fossil fuel.

But who wanted to tell the public that a consensus didn’t exist? Here are just some of the campaigns run over the years showing how breaking the consensus in the eyes of the public was a key strategy.

Fri, 2013-01-25 05:00Carol Linnitt
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Canadian Scientists Must Speak Out Despite Consequence, Says Andrew Weaver

If people don’t speak out there will never be any change,” says the University of Victoria’s award-winning climate scientist Andrew Weaver. 

And the need for change in Canada, says Weaver, has never been more pressing.

“We have a crisis in Canada. That crisis is in terms of the development of information and the need for science to inform decision-making. We have replaced that with an ideological approach to decision-making, the selective use of whatever can be found to justify [policy decisions], and the suppression of scientific voices and science itself in terms of informing the development of that policy.”
 
Wed, 2012-03-21 16:20Steve Horn
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ALEC Climate Change Denial Model Bill Passes in Tennessee

The month of March has seen unprecedented heat and temperatures. A rational thinking, scientifically-grounded individual could only posit, “Well, hmm, I bet climate change has something to do with the fact that in Madison, WI, it is 80 degrees in mid-March. Sometimes it's 60 or 70 degrees colder than this!”

While that individual would be positing something that is the well-accepted scientific consensus, in some states, under law, that is only a “controversial theory among other theories.”

Welcome to Tennessee, which on March 19th became the fourth state with a legal mandate to incorporate climate change denial as part of the science education curriculum when discussing climate change.

First it was Louisiana, back in 2009, then Texas in 2009, South Dakota in 2010 and now Tennessee has joined the club, bringing the total to four U.S. states that have mandated climate change denial in K-12 “science” education. 

Many other states could follow in their footsteps as well, given that, as DeSmogBlog exposed in late-January, this is an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model bill, a near miror image of its Orwellian-titled “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act.”[PDF]

The machinations of ALEC are best explained by the Center for Media and Demoracy's “ALEC Exposed” project.

The ALEC bill passed as H.B. 368 and S.B. 893, with 70-23 and 24-8 roll call votes, respectively. Tennesse Republican Governor Bill Haslam is likely to sign the bill into law soon.

Thu, 2008-11-06 11:04Jim Hoggan
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Obama triggers first environmental dividend

Canada moves to protect U.S. market for dirty oil

The world enjoyed the first environmental dividend of an Obama presidency yesterday when a worried Canadian government proposed a joint North American action plan to address climate change.

Although it appeared that Canada's real goal was to ensure a continued U.S. market for its huge dirty-fuel tar sands project, this could still be a solid step toward a continental cap-and-trade program - which would be the first significant gesture from the world region that, so far, has been the least responsible in its approach to global warming.

 

Thu, 2007-12-13 11:53Bill Miller
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China, U.S. intransigence over climate policy hijacks Bali talks

A face off between the world’s largest greenhouse-gas spewers has taken center stage at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, and China appears to be winning its public-relations battle with the U.S.

China has reiterated it will not consider mandatory emissions cuts until the U.S. and other industrialized countries such as Canada embrace a less-extravagant lifestyle. The U.S. is standing pat in its opposition to mandatory limits.

Although both countries have dug in their heels, China, which many believe has already surpassed the U.S. as the world's top emitter of heat-trapping gases, is now seen as playing a constructive role on global warming after years of dodging the issue.

In that scenario, the U.S. is losing friends fast.

Sun, 2007-12-09 16:54Richard Littlemore
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Bali: U.S., Canada, Japan Stand Up for Selfishness

After a week at the UNFCCC Conference in Bali, the international press reports slow progress on creating a follow-on agreement for the Kyoto Protocol, bemoaning that:

rich countries like US … Japan and Canada have led the campaign for the complete dismantling of the existing regime.”

Fri, 2007-12-07 11:20Bill Miller
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Gore pushes Bali delegates for early pact to curb emissions

Former vice-president Al Gore has urged officials to advance by two years a new treaty to curb greenhouse emissions instead of waiting for the Kyoto Protocol to expire in 2012.

Wed, 2007-12-05 21:58Emily Murgatroyd
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You Might Die - But it Will Cost Too Much To Do Anything So Let's Not.

If you were told that you had a fatal disease and a Doctor told you how to get better, but then an economist came along and told you that the cost of treating you would be too high so it would be better not to do anything - would you sit there and wait to die?

It's that kind of inane logic that governs this quote from Cato Institute Senior fellow, Jerry Taylor who said, “scientists are in no position to intelligently guide public policy on climate change.” Scientists can lay out scenarios, but it is up to economists to weigh the costs and benefits and many of them say the costs of cutting emissions are higher than the benefits”.

Tue, 2007-12-04 13:59Bill Miller
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U.S.- China intransigence imperils climate-change breakthrough in Bali

If members of the 187 nations in Bali, Indonesia, are going to reach explicit agreement on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s largest greenhouse-gas spewers are going to have to come on board.

The U.S. and China are responsible for some 40 per cent of global emissions and their commitment is essential to rein in global warming.

Neither has shown willingness to make concessions, however, thus reducing the current round of talks to a political tap-dance.

Tue, 2007-12-04 07:01Richard Littlemore
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Bali: UNFCC Makes Case for Climate Cure

This China View article gives a simple, compelling argument for why the developed world should, in the short term, carry the lion's share of the responsibility for climate change: first, we created the lion's share of the problem; and second, we have the capacity to do so while letting the developing world pull their populations out of poverty.

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