The latest issue of the New Scientist features a series of articles on climate change deniers (see below). The second – “Living in denial: When a sceptic isn’t a sceptic” compares “climate” deniers with deniers of the holocaust, 9/11, Aids, vaccine, evolution and the harmful effects of tobacco. It is this last that I have just posted a fuller analysis.
Alternatively consider these two arguments.
1. The proposition that smoking is harmful to health was initially based on a study of 34,000 British Doctors. The study itself was “heralded a new type of scientific research”. The results have been replicated, refined and further issues identified. To deny that smoking is harmful to health is equivalent to denying a simple fact. By implication you are going against science, so must either have an ulterior motive or be a crank.
2. The proposition that the climate system will be changed catastrophically is agreed upon by a very large number of scientists, as a result of a huge numbers published papers, using similar empirical methods to that used in medical research. So those who oppose the AGW consensus, must be equivalent to those who oppose the medical consensus on smoking.
This is bad science seeking to piggy-back on the reputation of good science. If the results of climate change science were so clearly unambiguous, then the counter-arguments would be easily dismissed by clear presentation of that science. But there are deep flaws in the science, so smears are necessary.
Hatip wattsupwiththat From their article is the following:-
Here’s links to all the New Scientist articles on “denial”. They did include one article from Michael Fitzpatrick that is a feeble attempt at balance,but even it too strays into the ugly territory of comparing climate skeptics with AIDS deniers.
Special report: Living in denial Opinion > Special Report p35 From climate change to vaccines, evolution to flu, denialists are on the march. Why do so many people refuse to accept the evidence?
Living in denial: When a sceptic isn’t a sceptic Opinion > Special Report pp36-37 There are clear lines between scepticism and denial, but telling them apart can be tricky in the real world, says Michael Shermer
Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth Opinion > Special Report pp38-41 Denialism satisfies deep emotional needs. That makes it easy to encourage and hard to counter, says Debora MacKenzie
Living in denial: How corporations manufacture doubt Opinion > Special Report p41 If the truth is inconvenient, put up a smokescreen instead. It works wonders for big business, argues Richard Littlemore
Living in denial: Unleashing a lie Opinion > Special Report pp42-43 It’s easy to send a lie flying around the world, and almost impossible to shoot it down, says Jim Giles
Living in denial: Questioning science isn’t blasphemyOpinion > Special Report p44 Michael Fitzpatrick argues that calling an opponent a denier is illiberal, intolerant and ineffective
Living in denial: The truth is our only weapon Opinion > Special Report p45 We must let denialists be heard, and respond with patience, vigilance and tireless rebuttal, says Michael Shermer