Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Who's behind environmental negativity?

There's a worthwhile report in Newsweek on how the campaign to deny global warming has evolved over the years, and who's funding it: The Truth About Denial. Fascinating stuff:
Challenging the science wasn't a hard sell on Capitol Hill. "In the House, the leadership generally viewed it as impermissible to go along with anything that would even imply that climate change was genuine," says Goldston, the former Republican staffer. "There was a belief on the part of many members that the science was fraudulent, even a Democratic fantasy. A lot of the information they got was from conservative think tanks and industry."
...The response to the international climate panel's latest report, in February, showed that greenhouse doubters have a lot of fight left in them. In addition to offering $10,000 to scientists willing to attack the report, which so angered Boxer, they are emphasizing a new theme. Even if the world is warming now, and even if that warming is due in part to the greenhouse gases emitted by burning fossil fuels, there's nothing to worry about.

The story comes with a timeline, with an entry from 1896!
Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius is the first to quantify how much the Earth is warming due to carbon dioxide emissions. “We are evaporating our coal mines into the air,” he writes.

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