Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Ingenious Ways We Avoid Believing in Climate Change

The campaign against climate science has been remarkably successful. George Marshall, founder of the Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN) discusses the many reasons for the lack of effective action on anthropogenic climate change.

(Don't confuse George Marshall with the George C Marshall institute discussed by Naomi Oreskes in the last video in this post.)

Summary of Part One
1. Risk - why many people do not feel immediately threatened by Climate Change
2. Belief - it is not enough just to present the evidence for Climate Change because belief is a socially constructed
3. Attention - groups of people may decide that difficult issues like Climate Change are not to be discussed

Summary of Part Two
4. Stories - the way the issue is framed is crucial; for example, seeing it as a resource issue rather than an environmental issue changes perspectives of people; because environmentalists were the first group to accept the science, climate change was discussed from an environmental perspecitve.

Summary of Part Three
5. Distancing – the strategies we adopt to keep the information at arm’s length
6. Compartmentalising – how we can accept climate change and continue polluting behaviour
7. Positive Framing – how we seek to turn climate change into a personal advantage
8. Ethical Offsets – how we adopt the easiest behaviours as proof of our virtue
9. Cynicism - the commercial appropriation of climate change images
What happens next? - surprisingly - what happens next
10. Denial - there is an active political campaign to deny the reality of climate change, which is feeding through to general attitudes
11. What happens next? - as more evidence for the damage that we are causing accumulates more people will become convinced, otherw will contine to oppose change and if it becomes obvious that we are beyond tipping points some quite aberrant behaviour.

This talk covers a wide range of issues. When I started to watch it, I expected that outright denial would be the major theme - instead it was the tenth issue. Clearly there has been a very active campaign to deny the reality of climate change as Naomi Oreskes documents in her book Merchants of Doubt.

Oreskes discussed her book and the evidence of the systematic campaign against the facts about global warming in the video below.

Here is a link to a longer talk on the issue.

Oreskes makes the point that most climate scientists support the view that human activities are causing damaging changes to our climate. For evidence that this is the case see this post.

To support their case and cause confusion amongst the general populace climate deniers have mounted a wide range of spurious arguments discussion of which can be found at this link

No comments: