Ecology And Environment

How Hype and Sensationalism Hurt Climate Science



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It is heavy with GHG, green house gases, but is the sky really falling?  Alarmists, as they are often called, say the alarms are not loud enough.  However, they say it quietly, in journals, graphs and near silent circulation.

The opposing side is loud and proud. The hype and hot air generated by deniers, hoaxers and climate science skeptics, seems to only show signs of heating up. Tracking down the motivations of hype against climate science does provide some insights.

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky believes that climate change skeptics are less likely to be swayed by scientific evidence.  The Daily Telegraph reported on a recent Australian study to be published in the journal Psychological Science.

Lewandowsky said: “Science is about weeding out bad ideas, with conspiracy theories you start out with a theory and stick to it no matter what the evidence. Lewandowsky, a leading author of the study concluded that extreme climate skeptics are most often avid free marketers.  Secondly, they also tend to be conspiracy theorists. This is most prevalent in the USA, and the UK.

The free market system, and its underlying ideology,  is very relevant to their findings.  “We find that endorsement of a laissez-faire conception of free-market economics predicts rejection of climate science,” the paper says. “We additionally show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin Luther King or that NASA faked the moon landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings.”
Conspiracy theories abound and help the hype spread due to their very incredulity.   From the faked moon landing, to Princess Diana’s planned “murder”  and even the “hoax” that the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 were master-minded by the U.S. government, these tales proliferate and spread on the internet.

That climate change is denied is far more serious than any of these other conspiratorial hoax and sensational stories.  The costs of planetary degradation, lost bio-diversity and tragedy affect every person alive, whereas hype about a moon landing hoax is almost just a ridiculous form of entertainment.

Climate change hype is therefore, a dangerous enemy to truth.

True science is seldom alarmist, and this too, can present problems.  Dr. John Fasullo at the University of Colorado recently revealed that climate change is actually worse than has been predicted.  In a press release he said: “Climate models showing a greater rise in global temperatures are likely more accurate than those showing a lesser rise.”

In other words, far from being the screeching Chicken Littles who fuss on about the seriousness of climate change, scientists remain far more calm and collected than skeptical hype-sters  who charge them with conspiracy,  greed, treason and fraudulent findings.  There is a difference between free market capitalism and destructive corporatism, but the line is blurred in hype.

Science is a search for truth and solutions.  Conspiracy is a search for projected blame, sensationalism, ideology and sadly, amusement. That one is confused with the other is truly as amazing as it is lamentable. 

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More about this author: Christyl Rivers

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://theconversation.edu.au/profiles/stephan-lewandowsky-685
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk › Earth › Environment › Climate Change
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://news.discovery.com › Earth News