fred seitz

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, 2009-01-02 11:58Richard Littlemore
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A New List of Climate Quibblers: Paid Deniers, Dead Guys and Ill-informed Fellow Travellers

The latest list of “650 International Scientists (who) Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming” seems to be more of the same: dead guys (Fred Seitz, Marcel Leroux, Reid Bryson …), paid deniers (Fred Singer, Tim Ball, Sallie Baliunas …), and a much larger group of weather forecasters and “experts” from unrelated fields, many of whom (eg., Edward Wegman) don’t even disagree with the scientific consensus that human activity is causing climate change.

The apparent author of this list, Swiftboater Marc Morano, even included the names of Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, an historian and an anthropologist who have made themselves famous by advocating for renewed and more vigorous policy action against the threat of climate change.

Oregon Petition

Oregon Petition

The infamous “Oregon Petition”

The Oregon Petition has been used by climate change skeptics as proof that there is no scientific consensus, however they fail to note the controversy surrounding the petition itself.

Read more: Oregon Petition
Fri, 2007-10-12 08:07Richard Littlemore
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New Oregon Petition Promoter "Not Sufficiently Rational" to Advise Tobacco Industry

The nominal promoter of a new Oregon Petition questioning the science of climate change was dismissed 18 years ago as “not sufficiently rational” to offer advice to the Philip Morris tobacco company.

On the day that Al Gore wins a Nobel Peace Price for his work on global warming, this is how low the fossil-fueled denial movement has sunk.

Tue, 2007-10-09 16:06Kevin Grandia
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Infamous Oregon Global Warming Petition Alive and Well

Yesterday we came across this post on DailyKos about a University professor who recently received a package from a PO Box in La Jolla, CA, asking urging him to sign a petition denying global warming and condemning the Kyoto Protocol.

The package included an official looking research study titled “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” by Dr. Fred Seitz (a gentleman we know all too well here at DeSmogBlog).

It seems that either this Professor has not picked up his mail in a long while, or the infamous “Oregon Petition” effort has resurfaced.

Below is a quick background and some helpful links to the history of the Oregon Petition. If you've also received one of these packages, please let me know it would be great to get a hold of one.

Wed, 2007-03-28 16:00Kevin Grandia
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Science Committee Slams Industry-funded climate science attack

Ah, a breath of fresh air on Capitol Hill today. Was it the spring air? Nope, it was a Congressional Subcommittee hearing today questioning industry efforts within science agencies, like NASA, NOAA and the EPA, to control federal scientists and confuse the public around the science of global warming.

Check here for the RealPlayer webcast and hit read more for some quotes DSBlog has pulled from the proceedings, as well as some research on one particular Republican Senator's outrageous “scientific sources” on global warming.

Thu, 2006-11-02 15:11Kevin Grandia
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The "JunkScience" Coup d'etat

Let's trash the junkman A lot of public relations technique rests in language. It is built in the nuanced choice and combination of
words that are developed and tested through public opinion research - through polling and focus groups.

For example, Republican pollster Frank Luntz has made a career of massaging language to his clients advantage. In Luntz's now infamous enviro-speak memo (pdf) to the republican party, he advises the following:


Wed, 2006-09-06 22:53Jim Hoggan
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Astroturf: The Only Grass That Withstands Toxic Friends of Science

There are few parties in the public realm that are more credible than a “grassroots organization” - a group of citizens who rise up with no agenda other than to speak frankly about a public issue. Politicians are inevitably suspect and businesses are clearly self-interested, so reporters are always searching for the “common man” - the “person on the street” - or from impartial experts. No news source wraps up those characteristics more efficiently than the true grass roots organization.

Tue, 2006-06-20 16:27Kevin Grandia
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Friends of Science; Friends of Tobacco


It seems that the professional pasts of some members of Canadian climate change spin machine “Friends of Science” go well beyond the oil and gas industry.

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