For those understanding German, here a very interesting article about people who deny global warming.
The article mentioned above, published in Spiegel, discusses the phenomenon of climate change denialism on the specific example of Fred Singer, one of the most (in)famous denialists. For those who don’t understand German, here a short summary:
- in contrast to what the denialists claim, according to a comprehensive study, 97 % of scientist who work on aspects of climate change agree on the fact that there is anthropogenic global warming;
- the few denying “scientists” (who often – although not always, as the case of Singer shows – aren’t climatologist or scientists from related disciplines) are often the same men who claimed that nicotin isn’t causing cancer, the ozone layer is OK and you can’t find a connection between plant emissions and sour rain – and their institutes (above all the Marshall Institute) are often financed by the industry;
- though the specific arguments are varying (and often contradictory), the main message is: there is no scientific consensus, we shouldn’t do anything and wait for “reliable” studies;
- in case of Singer and some others, an other claim is that all the “alleged” problems are just means to the goal of imposing a socialist system over the world (in some cases even in the form of “global government”).
The sad fact is that, although there are only a few denialists, there are a lot of people who believe them. There are many reasons for this: first, an average person isn’t able to understand the complexity of science – denialists show “clearly” and “understandably” (though by far not according to scientific standards and facts), what is “wrong”. Second – the “good” climate scientists make mistakes (consider the criticism of the few avoidable mistakes in the 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC or the so called Climate Gate). Third, unfortunately, the denialists have strong and powerful allies who help them to spread their “message”.
And the “victims” of these lies are often people who really care. People who actually shall be on the “good” side. But it is very hard, perhaps, in some cases, impossible, to show them that they are wrong.