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Time to Wake up to the Climate Denial Beast

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource  Page and our Politics and Democracy Page.

The truth is often extraordinary - perhaps because it is so rare that we are told it. This disturbing speech by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse shines the bright light of truth on the US's huge, shadow-dwelling climate denial industry.

I come to the floor today, for the 57th consecutive week that the Senate has been in session, to urge my colleagues to wake up to what carbon pollution is doing to our atmosphere and oceans.

I have described Congress as surrounded by a barricade of lies. Today I'll be more specific. There isn't just lying going on about climate change, there's a whole carefully built apparatus of lies.

This apparatus is big, and artfully constructed:

phony-baloney organizations designed to look and sound like they're real; 
messages honed by public relations experts to sound like they're truthful; 
payroll scientists whom polluters can trot out when they need them; 
and the whole thing big and complicated enough that when you see its parts you could be fooled into thinking it's not all the same beast.

Many heads, one Beast

But it is. Just like the mythological Hydra: many heads, same beast. So this speech is going to be about that Beast.

A recent research article published by Dr. Robert Brulle, a professor of Sociology and Environmental Science at Drexel University, describes the Beast.

He joins a tradition of scholarship in this area, including work by Naomi Oreskes [or-ES-kiss], Aaron McCright, and Riley Dunlap, each of whom has studied the forces behind climate denial; and David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, who explored chemical and lead industry campaigns to deceive Americans about the dangers of those products.

The intricate, interconnected propaganda web and funding network of this climate denial Beast encompasses over 100 organizations, including industry trade associations, conservative think tanks, and plain old phony front groups for polluter interests.        


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