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← Attacks paid for by big business are 'driving science into a dark era'

Attacks paid for by big business are 'driving science into a dark era' - Comments

potteryshard's Avatar Comment 1 by potteryshard

If only corporations were tasked with providing some social benefit as a precondition for being allowed to make money...

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 23:08:12 UTC | #920149

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 2 by QuestioningKat

What to do? I hope deniers and corporations funding anti-science issues are being well documented. The average person has no idea of what is really going on.I have no idea what's going on. If there were some sort of website that would objectively document who is saying and doing what, people will eventually take notice. If scientific explanations, in basic layman's terms, can then be used to explain why it is incorrect, that would be even better. Use bullet points and footnoted research or links to research - fabulous. People need to be held accountable even if it take twenty or thirty (or more) years. Making people aware of what's going on - in simple honest terms, will eventually attract people willing to take a stand.

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 23:25:41 UTC | #920155

some asshole's Avatar Comment 3 by some asshole

If only so many average citizens weren't the intellectual equivalent of a bag of rocks...

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 23:28:56 UTC | #920158

gloves71's Avatar Comment 4 by gloves71

Oh dear, this is truly depressing... only a YouTube Hitchslap can cheer me up now.

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 23:38:07 UTC | #920161

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 5 by Alan4discussion

@OP At the last Republican party debate in Florida, Rick Santorum insisted he should be the presidential nominee simply because he had cottoned on earlier than his rivals Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney to the "hoax" of global warming.

We can only hope that the electorate cotton on to the hoax of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney as potential presidents!

Comment 1 by potteryshard - If only corporations were tasked with providing some social benefit as a precondition for being allowed to make money...

The people need to sort out useless candidates, along with the executive and bankers' bonus culture, so as to insist on an ethical investments policy, rather than speculative money making. - especially when it is THEIR MONEY which is being invested! People should make sure that any employee representatives elected by unions etc to be supervising their pension funds, are awake and on the job!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socially_responsible_investing - Government-controlled funds such as pension funds are often very large players in the investment field, and are being pressured by the citizenry and by activist groups to adopt investment policies which encourage ethical corporate behavior, respect the rights of workers, consider environmental concerns, and avoid violations of human rights. One outstanding endorsement of such policies is The Government Pension Fund of Norway, which is mandated to avoid "investments which constitute an unacceptable risk that the Fund may contribute to unethical acts or omissions, such as violations of fundamental humanitarian principles, serious violations of human rights, gross corruption or severe environmental damages

Many pension funds are currently under pressure to disinvest from the arms company BAE Systems, partially due to a campaign run by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).[16] Liverpool council has passed a successful resolution to disinvest from the company,[17] but a similar attempt by the Scottish Green Party in Edinburgh was blocked by the Liberal Democrats.

There is an interesting chart showing investments of various funds by product sectors about half way down the Wiki page.

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 23:38:18 UTC | #920162

Greyman's Avatar Comment 6 by Greyman

Comment 5 by Alan4discussion :

The people need to sort out useless candidates, along with the executive and bankers' bonus culture, so as to insist on an ethical investments policy, rather than speculative money making. - especially when it is THEIR MONEY which is being invested!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socially_responsible_investing - Government-controlled funds such as pension funds are often very large players in the investment field, and are being pressured by the citizenry and by activist groups to adopt investment policies which encourage ethical corporate behavior, respect the rights of workers, consider environmental concerns, and avoid violations of human rights. ...

oOh!  Now that's a bloody good idea, mate!

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 23:46:41 UTC | #920165

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 7 by Alan4discussion

Then there's the Fair Trade Scheme:

http://www.fta.org.au/about-fairtrade/label

http://www.fairtrade.net/

Around the world, over 1.15 million farmers and workers benefit from participation in Fairtrade. “Monitoring the Scope and Benefits of Fairtrade” is an 80-page report that covers everything from the country with the highest number of Fairtrade farmers (Tanzania with 148,200), to the total area of land under cultivation with Fairtrade products (1,184,400 hectares), to the most popular Premium projects (production and processing investment ).

Aimed at treating producers on a stable and fair basis rather than profiting from destructive speculation and market manipulation.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 00:02:17 UTC | #920169

rtfa's Avatar Comment 8 by rtfa

There was a "hack" of the anti-science promotion group Heartland - have a read of these and they show the anti-science funders.... http://www.skepticalscience.com/denialgate-heartland.html

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 00:10:22 UTC | #920170

brightthings's Avatar Comment 9 by brightthings

Comment 4 by gloves71 :

Oh dear, this is truly depressing... only a YouTube Hitchslap can cheer me up now.

Then I recommend this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqK4TM97ZCE

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 00:22:03 UTC | #920176

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 10 by Rawhard Dickins

Most people believe exactly what they want to believe, whether it's due to preconception, indoctrination or misinformation.

And we're the same except that ultimately we rely on observable fact, and modify our beliefs accordingly.

Just had to take a dose of Hitch.. OK now..

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 00:29:07 UTC | #920179

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 11 by Neodarwinian

" merely to get a realistic conversation started "

Taboos! When it comes to the point when you can not even discus such things as climate change and genetic engineering then you have a religious dogma at work even without all the wackaloonish paraphernalia.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 01:20:29 UTC | #920186

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 12 by Border Collie

I have never seen a scarier bunch of zombie clowns running for office on the Republican side here in the US. They are truly frightening. But, I'm also afraid that the corporations will continue to punish the American people for electing Obama if a Republican isn't elected. What to do?

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 01:21:15 UTC | #920188

DeepFritz's Avatar Comment 13 by DeepFritz

Also add in that there is BIG money to be made out of keeping people ill informed... Never underestimate the financial motivation going on here...

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 03:23:47 UTC | #920207

Mr Blue Sky's Avatar Comment 14 by Mr Blue Sky

OK and theproblem is.... one word eight letters begins with "R"? It is so depressing and here in UK we are shielded somewhat. If only God could bless Amaerica but alas... One day comedians will begin sets with " back at the beginning of the 21st century when we didn't accept the obvious effects of climate change blah blah etc and then Oh it's so ironic!!! What a travesty these public parasites exist in our world today.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 04:47:32 UTC | #920224

ChadSmith1452's Avatar Comment 15 by ChadSmith1452

Human affairs are making it ever more grimly plausible to me that much the most likely explanation for the Fermi paradox is that the vast majority of prospective type 2 civilizations simply destroy themselves.

Plato was right about democracy. If only there were some way to successfully perpetrate mass voter fraud in all the world's (ostensibly) democratic elections whereby the vote of every person with an IQ below 160 were expunged (or simply converted to avoid a suspiciously small tally.

A totalitarian state ruled by the extreme intellectual elite would, of course, be a utopia by any remotely reasonable definition of that word.

Pipe dreams both, but splendid ones.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 06:26:26 UTC | #920233

ChadSmith1452's Avatar Comment 16 by ChadSmith1452

@Border Collie

You've been observing the wrong planet. There is absolutely nothing punitive in the stolid, impersonal, self-interested machinations of corporations, and most do not by any strtetch have any problem with Obama. You need to familiarize yourself with Thomas Ferguson's investment theory of politics in a frantic hurry.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 06:31:30 UTC | #920236

Hume's Razor's Avatar Comment 17 by Hume's Razor

Comment 8 by rtfa :

There was a "hack" of the anti-science promotion group Heartland - have a read of these and they show the anti-science funders.... http://www.skepticalscience.com/denialgate-heartland.html

And notice that these are some of the very same people who immediately went out and declared - as if it was an indisputable fact - that the whole "climategate"-farse (debunked by six independent investigations the last time I checked) discredited all of climate science for all eternity. In a hypothetical, parallel world that didn't suck, this would cause a major backlash against the denial industry. Unfortunately the world we live in does suck, so my guess is that the media coverage will be minimal (compared to the whole "climategate" hubbub) and this won't have much of an impact at all.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 06:49:47 UTC | #920238

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 18 by glenister_m

This reminds me of MacMillan Blodel running it's "Forests Forever" commercials on British Columbia tv back in the '90s'. An environmental group tried to buy ads to point out that MacBlo was lying about their "sustainable practices", but were refused by the television networks. A "useful" collaboration between the corporations to ensure that the public got only one side of the story...

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 07:07:26 UTC | #920244

sbooder's Avatar Comment 19 by sbooder

This is a media battle and we are loosing. We live in a sound bite society that only reads snippets of information form daily rags and bad TV and these rags and TV channels are controlled by money. They do not care if the information they give is true, they just care about readership numbers or viewing figures.

And the public do not care as long as they can watch X Factor and play with their PC tablets or mobile phones, and if the snippets tell them it is all OK, just carry on as usual, they are happy. My mother in law is a case in point.

She is happy to listen to me when it comes to understanding her PC and phones me when it is on the blink or she needs to know how to do something on it, but when it comes to other things I know about and she dose not, she blanks me and my knowledge.

We had a discussion on Climate Change last year, which went like this.

My Father in Law, "Simon, what are your views on Climate Change?"

Me, " Well...I… (interruption)

My mother in law, " I do not believe it is happening!!.

Me, "On what evidence are you basing that statement?".

Mother in Law, "I just don't believe it!!!".

Me, "But where are you getting your data?".

Mother in Law, "I just don't believe it!!!!!!!".

And on it went.

I know exactly where she gets her information, The Daily Mail, her church, rubbish TV and Facebook.

Reading a newspaper today is like watching subliminal messages in films. We are so concerned with the world economic climate that the small amount of Science information the reader gets is in inserted sound bites. Every now and again in the endless money problems coverage they slip in Orwellian chants, ‘Science bad, popular media good’.

Science is becoming a dirty word, so sad, so so sad.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 07:16:57 UTC | #920249

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 20 by Michael Gray

Comment 3 by some asshole :

If only so many average citizens weren't the intellectual equivalent of a bag of rocks...

Is that yet another parochial US-centric response?

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 07:39:29 UTC | #920259

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 21 by Premiseless

Power and affluence disaffecting free thought to afford themselves exploitative rights unchallenged to a point where any challenge makes little or no difference to their agenda.

Unreasonable dominance to power and affluence.

Religion uses it. But it is not alone. We could say it is synonymous with religion.

Claimed rights over the masses: not to think, or not to act as if they do; to believe, or at least to act as if they do.

Enslavement of the hunter gatherers freedoms.

Enslavement of the freethinkers rights to roam others minds.

Essentially slavery to affluence and power.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 07:52:20 UTC | #920266

Hume's Razor's Avatar Comment 22 by Hume's Razor

Comment 19 by sbooder :

This is a media battle and we are loosing. We live in a sound bite society that only reads snippets of information form daily rags and bad TV and these rags and TV channels are controlled by money. They do not care if the information they give is true, they just care about readership numbers or viewing figures.

And the public do not care as long as they can watch X Factor and play with their PC tablets or mobile phones, and if the snippets tell them it is all OK, just carry on as usual, they are happy.

Unfortunately, I have to agree. When physicist Hal Lewis resigned from the APS in protest of the organization's endorsement of climate science, claiming that antropogenic global warming was part of the "greatest hoax in the history of science" (or something to that effect), the major newspapers in my country (Norway) did not write:

One particular individual without any relevant expertise claims that antropogenic global warming is a hoax.

Instead what they reported was that:

Antropogenic global warming is a hoax.

No qualifiers.

It was depressing to see how quickly Facebook was flooded with comments uncritically endorsing the article as if it settled the matter once and for all. When I took them up on it, it went silent for a while until a few months later when ex-physicist and nobel laureate (turned professional crank) Ivar Giaever went out and repeated the discredited argument that "global warming ended in 1998". Same story all over again and no lesson learned.

Now, I had the dubious pleasure of attending a lecture by this guy at the 250th anniversary of the Norwegian Royal Society about two years ago. The announced topic of his presentation had something to do with the chemical basis of life. However, it soon became obvious (from his pre-prepared powerpoint presentation) that the intention all along was to dedicate most of his to lecture to a long, embarrassing rant against climate science (nothing new, by the way, just the same old debunked arguments and denialist retoric).

I have since often noticed this strategy of using a relatively neutral topic as a “trojan horse” to smuggle in as much denialist retoric as possible. It should be considered a huge red flag whenever someone feels the need to diguise the true topic of their talk.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 08:05:38 UTC | #920270

Hume's Razor's Avatar Comment 23 by Hume's Razor

Comment 20 by Michael Gray :

Comment 3 by some asshole :

If only so many average citizens weren't the intellectual equivalent of a bag of rocks...

Is that yet another parochial US-centric response?

I think it holds up pretty much everywhere.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 08:28:47 UTC | #920282

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 24 by Alan4discussion

Comment 12 by Border Collie

I have never seen a scarier bunch of zombie clowns running for office on the Republican side here in the US. They are truly frightening. But, I'm also afraid that the corporations will continue to punish the American people for electing Obama if a Republican isn't elected. What to do?

Get the citizens to wrest control their pension funds from the fat-cat bankers and finance elite, and pull the money from under the rogue corporations - as @5!

Comment 22 by Hume's Razor

One particular individual without any relevant expertise claims that anthropogenic global warming is a hoax.

Instead what they reported was that:

Antropogenic global warming is a hoax.

Whereas a proper headline would be :

Science duffer proves he is unfit to take decisions on national and international issues! Who proposed this clown as a candidate?

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 09:59:24 UTC | #920305

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 25 by Border Collie

Thank you ChadSmith for straightening me out. I'll reference you henceforth.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 14:20:01 UTC | #920384

rkher531's Avatar Comment 26 by rkher531

Ask Baroness Warsi to read this and respond. Who is prosecuted and who is prosecuting.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 07:51:50 UTC | #920655

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 27 by strangebrew

That 'big business ' is funding the anti/denial/conspiracy mob...is not a great surprise.

Anyone who is shocked by such a claim should really wake up and smell the bullshite emanating from right wing politicos, the puppet masters in international conglomerates and church pulpits.

He who has the dosh can buy the opinion.

Whether global warming is directly proportional to an anthropogenic culprit or reflects causes more to do with a natural cyclic phenomena is hardy the point...the point is how to minimize the inevitable affects. That the weather system and temps recorded globally is changing in some areas can hardly be doubted...just to many indicators need analysing and still not enough data to be unequivocal....summat' is afoot though and it ain't whistling dixie!

If it is anthropogenic then I suggest it is far to late to to reverse the slide...if natural we are still screwed...arguing whether grass is green or lime green is fucking banal...we should be considering tactical response...not blame. Denigrating and hacking into climate change lab computers might amuse the brain dead...but it will be a rather distressed populace if the Atlantic is floating boats up Whitehall...or down Wall street.

One thing is for certain they will blame the scientists for not doing something before they got their precious tootsies wet.

As for the clowns that poo poo such warnings they will presumably be in some restaurant on top of Kilimanjaro thanking their wallets and the multi-nationals that filled them!

They will weasel and whine about 'unforeseen' circumstances...but no doubt everyone will be to busy bailing out the ark to pay them any notice.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 15:46:35 UTC | #920768