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Monday, November 23, 2009

The Global Warming Denial Machine

Global Warming Denial Machine
The sections below highlight the AGW Denial Machine and its efforts to try to convince policy makers and the general public that the massive scientific evidence for man-made global warming is either false or a "hoax". Many of these denialists are supported by the fossil fuel industry and other companies that stand to lose money if the world gets "greener". However, there are many well-intentioned people who just do not "believe" that humans can cause the world's climate to change because they either do not have access to the peer-reviewed literature (where climate experts communicate their research) or, if they do, they find these journal articles too difficult to read. Instead these well-intentioned people seek their information from more user-friendly avenues such as Websites, books, television, and radio. The problem is that these portals are not typically where the experts in climate science publish. Instead, these are the portals where "misinformation" can be easily spread. Please view the Suggested Reading page where I have listed Web documents, blogs, and books that will provide the current scientific research in a fairly easy to read format (which is the goal of this Website).
Union of Concerned Scientists Exposes ExxonMobil Funded Organizations & Spokespeople:
The Union of Concerned Scientists, in their expose titled: Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air - How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco's Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science (2007) show how ExxonMobil waged the most successful and sophisticated global warming denial campaign since that of Big Tobacco's campaign against the dangers of smoking. In their 64 page document, they show that ExxonMobil:
  1. Manufactured uncertainty about climate change by raising doubts about even the most certain science.
  2. Used a tactic known as information laundering by using seemingly independent front groups that pretended to be doing science but were instead just waging public relations for the company. Virtually all of these front groups publicize the work of the same people and these people typically serve as board members or scientific advisors for each of these groups. This tactic creates the illusion that there are many organizations and many people with doubts about global warming.
  3. Funneled about $16 million to these front groups to manufacture this uncertainty.
  4. Paid guilt-less scientists to cherry-pick data and misrepresent peer-reviewed scientific evidence whereby these scientists then used this misinformstion to persuade the general public and the media that there was still no scientific consensus.
  5. Shifted the focus away from global warming action by questioning if the data was "sound science".
  6. Used its extraordinary access to the Bush Administration to block regulation and to shape governmental communications about global warming.
These front groups and their spokespeople are listed below. (Some of these groups and people are discussed in more detail on this Web page below.) Click on any image to see a larger verison that can be easily viewed.

ExxonMobil Front Groups Page 1
Front Groups Page 1
ExxonMobil Front Groups Page 2
Front Groups Page 2
ExxonMobil Front Groups Page 3
Front Groups Page 3
ExxonMobil Spokespeople Page 1
Spokespeople Page 1
ExxonMobil Spokespeople Page 2
Spokespeople Page 2
ExxonMobil Spokespeople Page 3
Spokespeople Page 3
The Organization of Denial: Conservative Think Tanks and Environmental Scepticism:
Dunlap & Freeman (2008) in their article The Organization of Denial: Conservative Think Tanks and Environmental Scepticism state:
    Environmental scepticism denies the seriousness of environmental problems, and self-professed 'sceptics' claim to be unbiased analysts combating 'junk science'. This study quantitatively analyses 141 English-language environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005. We find that over 92 per cent of these books, most published in the US since 1992, are linked to conservative think tanks (CTTs). Further, we analyse CTTs involved with environmental issues and find that 90 per cent of them espouse environmental scepticism. We conclude that scepticism is a tactic of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism, and that the successful use of this tactic has contributed to the weakening of US commitment to environmental protection. They further state: Thus, the notion that environmental skeptics are unbiased analysts exposing the myths and scare tactics employed by those they label as practitioners of 'junk science' lacks credibility. Similarly, the self-portrayal of skeptics as marginalized 'Davids' battling the powerful 'Goliath' of environmentalists and environmental scientists is a charade, as skeptics are supported by politically powerful CTTs funded by wealthy foundations and corporations.
A Few Examples of Organizations that Deny AGW:
The information below has been gleaned from the following sources:
Heartland Institute:
DeSmog Blog:

  • Heartland calls itself "a genuinely independent source of research and commentary," its has been a frequent ally of, and funded by, the tobacco and oil industry.
  • Heartland Institute funded by Philip Morris and ExxonMobil
  • Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets website lists Heartland as having received $676,500 (unadjusted for inflation) from ExxonMobil between 1998 and 2006
  • The Heartland Institute created a website in the Spring of 2007,, which asserts there is no scientific consensus on global warming and features a list of experts and a list of like-minded think tanks, many of whom have received funding from ExxonMobil and other polluters.
  • The institute is a member organization of the Cooler Heads Coalition, an informal and ad-hoc group focused on dispelling the myths of global warming
  • Heartland also co-sponsored a New York state Conference on Property Rights, hosted by the Property Rights Foundation of America. The Institute puts out several publications, including Environment & Climate News which frequently features anti-environmentalist and climate skeptic writing.
  • They also published Earth Day '96, a compilation of articles on environmental topics. The publication, distributed on college campuses, featured Adventures in the Ozone Layer by S. Fred Singer, and the Cold Facts on Global Warming by Sallie Baliunas. The articles denied the serious nature of ozone depletion and global warming.
  • Walter F. Buchholtz, an ExxonMobil executive, serves as Heartland's Government Relations Advisor, according to Heartland's 2005 IRS Form 990, pg. 15.
  • The Heartland Institute formerly sponsored and hosted, a web page ostensibly dedicated to objective research on global warming, but at the same time presenting heavily biased research by organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute as an FAQ section.
  • In March 2008, and again in March 2009 the Heartland Institute sponsored an international conference bringing hundreds of global warming skeptics to New York City. Participants criticized the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore.
  • A bibliography written by Dennis Avery and posted on Heartland's Web site, titled "500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares," included at least 45 scientists who neither knew of their inclusion as "coauthors" of the article, nor agreed with its claims regarding global warming. Dozens of the scientists asked the Heartland Institute to remove their names from the list. In response, the Heartland Institute refused to remove any names from the list. See:
Some of Heartland's key quotes:
  • 15 January, 2007: "Warming is likely to be very modest relative to natural variation, benefits are likely to outweigh costs, and taking action now in the name of fighting "global warming" is unnecessary and would be very costly."
  • 16 April, 2007: "There is no consensus about the causes, effects, or future rate of global warming."
  • From the various articles on the Heartland Institute's global warming page:
      "There is no experimental data to support the hypothesis that increases in hydrocarbon use or in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing or can be expected to cause unfavourable changes in global temperatures, weather, or landscape…….any number of things can influence earth's temperature. The list includes volcanic eruptions, variations in the amount of energy received from the sun, El Niños, and La Niñas - all of which are natural………we understand public anxiety about climate change, but are concerned that many of these much publicized predictions are ill-informed and misleading……….the media continue to uncritically accept and vigorously promote shrill global warming alarmism………after hundreds of millions of dollars spent on climate modeling, and decades of screaming headlines, we have no more certainty today about global warming prediction than we did decades ago………..if even a small part of the money spent trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions were spent instead on fighting hunger or disease in Third World countries, millions of lives could be saved."(, 2009)
Heartland's publications make the following assertions about climate change:
  • "Most scientists do not believe human activities threaten to disrupt the Earth's climate."
  • "The most reliable temperature data show no global warming trend."
  • "A modest amount of global warming, should it occur, would be beneficial to the natural world and to human civilization."
  • "The best strategy to pursue is one of 'no regrets'.
Environment & Climate News A monthly newsletter espousing very questionable science.
Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change
Edited by S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso and is the latest attempt by Heartland to discredit the well-established scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming. The publication claims that there were 35 contributors and reviewers. Of these 35, only 22 have credentials that relate to one of the climate sciences. Several of these people also do not have any published articles in peer-reviewed journals related to climate. 22 does not stack up well against the 800+ contributing and 450+ lead authors of the IPCC report.
As Carl Sagan often stated, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." When the overwhelming majority of climate experts state that human activities have dominated modern climate change, the NIPCC should have shown extraordinary evidence to support its claim that nature and not human activity causes climate change. Of course, as with much of this document, the evidence is quite flimsy and never approaches that of extraordinary. Much of what is being represented in this document has been thoroughly discredited by experts in climate science at and


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