George Monbiot on climate-change denial

"It is fair to say that the professional denial industry has delayed effective global action on climate change by years, just as it helped to delay action against the tobacco companies."

- George Monbiot

In this fascinating piece from George Monbiot’s latest book (published recently in extract form in The Guardian), we learn that pseudo-scientific denial is a well-funded professional industry that cut its teeth with Phillip Morris's "passive smoking doesn’t cause cancer" campaign but which has now branched out to various neo-con causes including global warming denial and biotechnology scaremongering. The founding PR agency involved, APCO, Monbiot claims, along with dozens of dummy faux-grassroots organizations worldwide, is heavily funded by ExxonMobil, which has "more to lose than any other company from efforts to tackle climate change".

These organizations, Mobiot reveals, preach that climate change science is "contradictory", that the scientists do not have a consensus, and that environmentalists are "charlatans, liars or lunatics".

In the piece, Monbiot lays out just what machinations were necessary to "confront a scientific consensus as strong as that which maintains that smoking causes lung cancer or that HIV causes AIDS" and to set back attempts to halt climate change by nearly a decade. These tactics included faking a paper from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, smear campaigns and selective citing of disproven or orphan research findings. As Monbiot sums up: "Research findings that [Exxon-finded] organisations dislike are labelled ‘junk science’. The findings they welcome are labelled ‘sound science’."

You can read the rest of the article here.