Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Tuesday 26 October 2010

Science, disinformation and ethics

"Environmental scepticism is an elite-driven reaction to global environmentalism, organised by core actors within the conservative movement." A recent study from the University of Central Florida shows that over 92 per cent of environmentally sceptical publications are linked to conservative think tanks, and 90 per cent of conservative think tanks interested in environmental issues espouse scepticism. This scepticism is a key tactic to undermine the environmental movement’s efforts to legitimise its claims via science. The sceptics are not unbiased analysts of science who expose the myths and scare messages of the environmentalists, whom they label as practitioners of ‘junk science’. They are not - as they claim - marginal voices who battle like ‘Davids’ against the powerful ‘Goliath’ of the environmental scientists. These sceptics are supported by politically powerful think tanks funded by wealthy foundations and corporations. In another recent publication of Penn State University Donald Brown asks himself whether the disinformation of sceptics can be labeled as a new kind of crime against humanity. Given the results of the climate change and biodiversity negotiations one could at least say that the communication tactics of the sceptics to influence decision makers and the public seem to work better than the communication strategy of the environmentalists.

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