Thursday, 2 July 2009

Who Exactly Are The Denialists Here?

What is it with this increasing insistence on silencing opposing views by the righteous? If one's argument is 'overwhelming' and 'beyond debate', why should it be necessary?

ExxonMobil continuing to fund climate sceptic groups, records show

Records show ExxonMobil gave hundreds of thousands of pounds to lobby groups that have published 'misleading and inaccurate information' about climate change

The world's largest oil company is continuing to fund lobby groups that question the reality of global warming

Stop right there. The reality of global warming? That is just the hack's opinion, surely. The fact that there are 'sceptics' as mentioned in the headline must surely mean that there is some doubt from sections of the public.

Is that a pre-determined agenda I sniff?

This is the BNP argument all over again. If you are so sure about your case, debate it in the open and convince us. If, however, you merely dedicate your efforts into stifling all dissenting voices, we are obviously going to think you're talking bullshit.

According to Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, at the London School of Economics, both the NCPA and the Heritage Foundation have published "misleading and inaccurate information about climate change."

Well, Bob, considering your job title, you would say that, wouldn't you. I venture to suggest that if they are correct, you might be out of a job. In fact, I'm pretty sure of it.

Not what we could call an unbiased source then, are you?

On its website, the NCPA says: "NCPA scholars believe that while the causes and consequences of the earth's current warming trend is [sic]** still unknown, the cost of actions to substantially reduce CO2 emissions would be quite high and result in economic decline, accelerated environmental destruction, and do little or nothing to prevent global warming regardless of its cause."

The Heritage Foundation published a "web memo" in December that said: "Growing scientific evidence casts doubt on whether global warming constitutes a threat, including the fact that 2008 is about to go into the books as a cooler year than 2007".

Interesting. That appears to be evidence-based and a cause for debate on the matter. What say you, Bob?

Ward said: "ExxonMobil has been briefing journalists for three years that they were going to stop funding these groups. The reality is that they are still doing it."

In an article on the Guardian website, Ward writes: "I have now written again to ExxonMobil to point out that these organisations publish misleading information about climate change on their websites, and to seek guidance on how to reconcile this fact with the pledge made by the company. I believe that the company should keep its promise by ending its financial support for lobby groups that mislead the public about climate change."

No, Bob, I meant what of their claims? Care to rebuff them with evidence and stuff? Instead of just trying to make them shut up? Come on, you're the expert with overwhelming proof and all that.

OK, maybe not.

We can surely only take this to mean that you don't like to get into discussing the specifics for some reason known only to yourself. For God's sake man, the Guardian journo made a better fist of it than you, and you get paid for promoting your cause. If you shy away from doing so in favour of just criticising the funding behind those with whom you disagree, how can we possibly believe your assertions?

This avoidance of proper debate is increasingly common amongst those who insist their opinion is incontrovertible. They always concentrate on attacking the funding of the opposition rather than engaging the arguments presented to them. Why so coy?

One might even call them denialists.

** Subtle pedantic condescension by the Guardian guy there, hope you noticed.

1 comment:

Jeff Wood said...

War should be declared on this expression "climate change". The speaker should be challenged to say if he is speaking of the world getting colder - which it is at present - drier, wetter, windier.

Eventually the speaker will admit, as he must, that he means global warming.

Then, he has to explain why the world isn't getting warmer, even on the badly flawed temperature record, and even though carbon dioxide, the villain he wants to regulate, continues to increase.