Skepticism and doubt are fundamental aspects of science. Denial and belief are words used by religions – not science. I don’t receive any compensation for this and I know that most of the other skeptical bloggers don’t either.
Many alarmists would have been burning witches had they been born a few hundred years ago. They aren’t interested in facts, but they desperately need something to believe in.
Climate sceptics, deniers, contrarians – call them what you like – are engaged in a fight for column inches, radio waves, TV talk-time and community sentiment.
In Australia, the issue has turned decidedly unsavoury, with climate scientists revealing inboxes chock-full of hate and Government advisors being slurred as Nazis.
But as a memo from US Republican communications guru Frank Luntz revealed in 2003, the most important aspect of climate change denial is not to throw hate, but to sow doubt.
Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.
Doubt is the product of the climate change denial industry – an industry which is tightly knit, well resourced and globally linked.