07 August 2007

In Denial

This is an important story - not so much for what it says, but for the fact that it is being said by a major US title like Newsweek:

Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless. "They patterned what they did after the tobacco industry," says former senator Tim Wirth, who spearheaded environmental issues as an under secretary of State in the Clinton administration. "Both figured, sow enough doubt, call the science uncertain and in dispute. That's had a huge impact on both the public and Congress."

Even though the feature has little that's new, the detail in which it reports the cynical efforts of powerful industries to stymie attempts to mitigate the damage that climate change will cause is truly sickening. It is cold (sic) comfort that the people behind this intellectual travesty will rightly be judged extremely harshly by future generations - assuming we're lucky enough to have a future. (Via Open the Future.)

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