2011-04-24 22:13:47Treehugger transcript #3: Understanding Climate Denial: Fake Experts
John Cook

In all movements that deny a scientific consensus, you find common arguments and tactics. One such tactic is the use of fake experts. A sinister example is the tobacco industry's attempt to deny the evidence that smoking causes cancer. Their strategy was called "The Whitecoat" Project and used scientists who reassured the public that they could smoke without any adverse effects.

Climate Deniers use the same tactic, using fake experts to reassure us we can pollute without any adverse effects. The most popular example is the Petition Project by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. This petition features 31,000 scientists, PhD's and Bachelor of Science graduates who state carbon dioxide emissions will not disrupt Earth's climate.

However, almost all of the names, around 99.9%, are not climate scientists. Instead, you have mechanical engineers, computer scientists and medical doctors but very few who actually have expertise in climate science. When it comes to complicated, technical subjects, you rely on expert opinion. If you need heart surgery, you don't want a mechanical engineer cutting into you. So what do the experts say? Over 97% of actively researching climate scientists are convinced by the evidence that humans are causing global warming.

When climate deniers try to throw fake experts at you, point them to what the actual climate experts are saying.

2011-04-25 13:55:57OISM
Dana Nuccitelli
Is it worth mentioning that anyone claiming to have any college science degree could sign the Oregon Petition, and 31,000 is Only about one hundredth of one percent of all eligible Americans?