A Map of Organized Climate Change Denial (Dot Earth, N.Y. Times)

October 2, 2011, 3:51 PM


Oct. 3, 9:00 p.m. | Updated 
A chart of “key components of the climate change denial machine” has been produced by Riley E. Dunlap, regents professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University, and Aaron M. McCright, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University. The diagram below (reproduced here with permission) is from a chapter the two researchers wrote on organized opposition to efforts to curb greenhouse gases for the new Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society.
That there are such well-financed and coordinated efforts is not contentious. And this is not the first attempt to map them.

But it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone skeptical of worst-case predictions of human-driven climate disruption, or everyone opposed to certain climate policies, is part of this apparatus.

And there’s plenty to chart on the other edge of the climate debate — thosegroups and outlets pursuing a traditional pollution-style approach to greenhouse gases.

[Oct. 3, 9:00 p.m. | Updated As it happens, the blogger behind Australian Climate Madness has posted a skeptics’ map of “the climate alarmism machine.” (see below) I think some, though by no means all, aspects of the map are not bad. But, as with so much of the climate debate, it is an overdrawn, overblown caricature of reality.]

It’s also important to examine whether a world without such efforts — in which citizens had a clear view of both what is known, and uncertain, about the human factor in shaping climate-related risks — would appreciably change. Some insist the answer is yes. Given the deep-rooted human bias tothe near and now and other aspects of our “inconvenient mind,” I’m not nearly so sure (although this doesn’t stop me from working on this challenge, of course).