The Resurgence Of Climate Change Denial And Anti-Science

Michael Mann addresses the chilly atmosphere for scientists currently in Washington, DC, and talks about the dire situation the world finds itself on as President Donald Trump rolls back initiatives intended to combat climate change.
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    Scientists hold signs during a rally in conjunction with the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Scientists hold signs during a rally in conjunction with the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Published in partnership with Shadowproof.

    Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Michael Mann, who is a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University. He also directs the Penn State University Earth Science Center. And he’s the co-author of the book, “The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Destroying The Planet, Ruining Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy.”

    Mann recounts his experience testifying before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, which is chaired by Republican Representative Lamar Smith, a massive climate change denier. He addresses the chilly atmosphere for scientists currently in Washington, DC, and talks about the dire situation the world finds itself on as President Donald Trump rolls back initiatives intended to combat climate change.

    Later in the show, Mann talks about why he wrote a satirical book about climate change. He also highlights the Science March planned for April 22, when scientists will mobilize against the Trump administration for its agenda of climate change denial and attacks on science.

    “Anywhere between 97 percent and 99 percent of publishing scientists, depending on the study that you look at, [are] all on record. Climate change is real. It’s human-caused. It’s already a problem. So this is the overwhelming consensus of the world scientists, and yet at that congressional hearing, as you noted, I was the only witness there to basically put forward the consensus view on the science, and then there were three contrarian witnesses, who have attempted to attack the science in various ways in the past.”

    Mann suggested any field has its “iconoclasts.” Those in science, who take contrarian views and deny the reality of climate change, have a great incentive to take such a position. “Fossil fuel interests are more than happy to provide funds for them in various ways, to promote them, to sell their books, to fly them around to give presentations.”

    On the March For Science planned for April 22 (Earth Day), Mann said it speaks volumes that scientists are organizing a massive demonstration. “When you see [scientists] marching in the streets, you know the attacks on scientists have reached yet a new threshold. They’ve become so bad that scientists have decided they have no choice but to make their voices heard.”

    To listen to the interview, click the above player or go here.

    Both Khalek and Gosztola also posted a separate discussion on free speech on university and college campuses and Trump’s expansion of war in Somalia, which can be found here.

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      • 9.8m/ss

        Scientists need to get better at explaining to the public how science is developed, vetted, and funded. The core claim of the climate science deniers amounts to a conspiracy story that would make a 9-11 Truther blush. All the world’s universities and national science academies telling the same elaborate lie, to please their corrupt funders. When I tell my scientist friends what I’m reading in newspaper comment sections about this conspiracy, they burst out laughing. Science, of course, is a ruthless competition to discover and disclose a researcher’s competitors’ mistakes and distortions. Journals bend over backwards to include dissenters from the mainstream, on the off chance that they might be right, even though they’re almost always wrong. Thousands of new graduates, at institutions in dpzens of countries, need to do that just to stay in their chosen field. There’s no way the conspiracy that the deniers allege could survive in today’s research environment. But the readers of The Hill and Brietbart News don’t know that. They can more easily believe in the conspiracy.

      • Bryan See

        The March for Science is just the first of many acts in the opposition to the Trump regime, which is friendly to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a godfather of a global anti-science and anti-technology movement, but for those who participate it must be aware of reprisals, whether from armed Trump fans, Russian criminals and thugs, Cossacks, and Kadyrovites (people of Putin’s Chechen ally Ramzan Kadyrov).

        I think Trump will say to anyone considering this behind his current stance on science and tech that he has seen their same problems since Day One. He goes on to refer me, Starkiller88, whom he says I’m obsessed with the failed Russian Phobos-Grunt space mission since September 2007.

        Above all, according to blind, rabid, right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, and racist Bulgarian psychic Baba Vanga, he will fulfill prophecy that he will be instrumental in making sure that when the permafrost thaws and floods come, nothing will survive on Earth but Russia:

        “Everything will melt away like ice yet the glories of Vladimir, the glory of Russia are the only things that will remain. Russia will not only survive, it will dominate the world.”

        So, I guess that the phrase “Everything will melt away like ice” is something that is warned about by many, including SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore. In his GQ interview, he expressed concern that Trump and Putin will shut any avenues of Mars colonization and space exploration down by consuming the entire human race in a nuclear conflict driven by growth of religious extremism and nationalism.

        “There’s a window that could be opened for a long time or a short time where we have an opportunity to establish a self-sustaining base on Mars, before something happens to drive the technology level on Earth below where it’s possible. So does the base become self-sustaining before spaceships from Earth stop going?…I mean, I don’t think we can discount the possibility of a third World War. You know, in 1912 they were proclaiming a new age of peace and prosperity, saying that it was a golden age, war was over. And then you had World War I followed by World War II followed by the Cold War. So I think we need to acknowledge that there’s certainly a possibility of a third World War, and if that does occur it could be far worse than anything that’s happened before. Let’s say nuclear weapons are used. I mean, there could be a very powerful social movement that’s anti-technology. There’s also growth in religious extremism. Like, I mean, does ISIS grow…?”

        Now, Trump has undone Obama-era climate regulations, and Michael Moore predicted, revealing a message similar to Vanga and Nostradamus:

        “Historians in the near future will mark today, March 28, 2017, as the day the extinction of human life on earth began, thanks 2 Donald Trump.”

        That sounds plausible, even with the growing global tensions we see today, as psychic Edgar Cayce foresaw. Vanga also foresaw that “everything melts away like ice”, leading to a great flood will destroy all nations, kill all human life on Earth, and leave “the glory of Vladimir, and the glory of Russia” totally intact.

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