Disinformation campaign by special interests at heart of climate change skepticism, say historians of science





Even though 2009 was the fifth warmest year since 1850, and 2000-09 the warmest decade ever, according to the World Meterological Organisation, surveys show that public concern about global warming in the United States and Canada has dropped sharply in the past 18 months.

Why? Because of a relentless disinformation effort from an unlikely cabal of fossil fuel interests, Christian evangelicals and the media, says Naomi Oreskes, a professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego. "They have managed to reopen the debate over global warming in people's minds," she told IPS.

Oreskes and co-author Erik Conway, a science historian at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, document similar efforts to manufacture doubt around the science on acid rain, the ozone hole, secondhand cigarette smoke, and the pesticide DDT in their forthcoming book, "Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming".

Oreskes and co-author Erik Conway, a science historian at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, document similar efforts to manufacture doubt around the science on acid rain, the ozone hole, secondhand cigarette smoke, and the pesticide DDT in their forthcoming book, "Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming"....


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