Climate denial is not losing steam. In spite of mounting evidence of climate change, the herd mind continues to allow itself to be influenced by propaganda and wishful thinking. Massive delusional consensus perceives something vaguely incorrect or impossible about scientists’ assertions that climate is at the ineluctable threshold of disaster. For many, climate change is something to sweep under the rug and ignore altogether, while “game over” is quietly chanted by a Greek chorus of scientists.
What fuels this self-destructive social trend? A brain washing industry exerts powerful influence on public opinion. Prostitute think tanks funded by the Koch brothers and corporate oil use strategies to spread doubt and resistance to science via media, policy, and politicians. Culturally, education is suppressed or financially withheld, and religious anti-science mentalities are encouraged by true believer politicians and media personalities. The Zeitgeist celebrates ignorance as religious and economic ideologies polarize with science.
Frederick Seitz (1911-2008) was one of the most vigorous drum bangers in the public deception rally. With a well known track record in strategically promoting tobacco through deception and denial, Seitz was the Chair of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, an organization founded by another well-known climate denier, Fred Singer. Seitz was a driving force behind major fraudulent campaigns to deny climate change.
Frederick Seitz was a signatory of the Leipzig Declaration of 1995 that proclaimed there was no “scientific consensus ….. about greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide”.
While this declaration was supposedly signed by 33 European scientists, a Danish journalist discovered that of the signers, 12 denied signing the petition, and some had never even heard of it. Among the signers were some with no qualifications whatsoever in climate science. Consequently, the declaration was revised with many signatures removed.
Seitz organized the Oregon Petition in 1998, another campaign of lies about climate change. It was fraudulently crafted to appear to be from the National Academy of Science (NAS), which it was not. Attached to the petition was a phony research paper made to look like an NAS document. It was authored by oil scientists. The utter deceit of the petition and document led the NAS to issue a public news release accusing the Oregon Petition of misrepresentation. The authors and signers of the petition were criticized for using deliberate lies “to mislead scientists and to rally them in an attempt to undermine support for the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science.”
This was a rare instance of the NAS repudiating one of its former presidents, Frederick Seitz. The document proclaimed ”a wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial Revolution”. Global warming stimulating atmospheric carbon dioxide and increasing plant growth – the filth in the air was good for us! There appear to have been no legal consequences for this fraud. Frederick Seitz, 96, Dies – Physicist Who Led Skeptics of Global Warming – Obituary – NYTimes
While Seitz had been the former president of the NAS at one time, following the Oregon Petition, the organization took pains to distance itself from him as he continued to discredit himself with lies. Seitz was also associated with the notorious Marshall Institute, called by Newsweek a “central cog in the denial machine.” The Marshall Institute campaigned against the science of the tobacco cancer link, and fervently crusaded for Reagan’s Star Wars. In 1987 they stated that in five years the Soviet Union would be so powerful that it “would be able to achieve world domination without firing a shot.” The Soviet Union collapsed four years later. Today the Marshall Institute dispenses treachery and lies about climate change.
Link to US Senate Committee on Environment and Pubic Works document citing Marshall Institute’s assertion against climate change. Also, see Climate Reality Project for Marshall Institute’s role in climate change denial and other crimes of deception.
Read more about Fred Seitz and his disinformation campaigns: Frederick Seitz – DESMOGBLOG.com
There is sociological evidence that right wing resistance to climate change is ideologically driven, even to a greater degree than phony corporate research. According to sociologists from the Universities of Oklahoma and Michigan, and a recent book, Merchants of Doubt, the most powerful current resistance to the scientific evidence of climate change lies in conservative, free market, anti-regulatory ideology. Market fundamentalism drives the deniers to extremes of deception that overlook the catastrophic consequences of climate change. Unbridled greed trumps human decency.