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Entry 765, on 2008-05-08 at 18:28:44 (Rating 4, Politics)
Anyone can make a claim of some sort and support it by careful selection and presentation of the evidence. I have seen this happen in creationism (recently I have debated with someone who uses a site which seems to be very reasonable when viewed in isolation) and political conspiracies (the 9/11 conspiracy being the most famous recent example) and now it is happening with climate change.
There's no doubt that if you read the material on a climate change denial web site it is easy to be convinced that they have a point. But if you really examine the issue fairly and refer to the material which supports the truth of global warming then the story suddenly becomes quite different.
The conspiracy sites don't necessarily outright lie about the facts, but they do present them in deliberately deceptive ways and they often fail to remove information which has been shown to be false. Its often quite easy to refute the information they have but that doesn't matter because very few people bother to try.
And creating a controversy where no real controversy exists is usually the ultimate aim of the organisations behind the denial and conspiracy theories. As long as there is an apparent contrary view to the accepted facts there will always be a place to hide for the people who prefer to reject the facts. This is most obvious with outright nonsense like creationism but happens in more subtle ways with other issues as well.
Practically nothing creationists present has any merit at all but just the fact that the information exists is enough for many people because it makes it look like there is a reasonable alternative view and that view deserves fair consideration. Normally I would say we should look at all sides to debates but when one side continually presents falsified and discredited information then there is a point where we would be justified in starting to ignore them.
So the latest news which triggered the rant above was the five New Zealand climate scientists who demanded their names not be used by an organisation which is opposing the idea of global warming being caused by human activity.
The organisation is called the Heartland Institute (notice how they always have such nice names which disguises their evil intent) and they claim to be "a non-profit research and education organisation not affiliated with any political party, business or foundation." But that's an example of their half truths because it turns out they were partly funded by Exxon Mobil.
The major problem is they are selectively and misleadingly using the research of the scientists to try to demonstrate the exact opposite of what the research really shows. Why is it only organisations funded by oil companies who use these half truths to try to demonstrate their beliefs? They seem to be intelligent enough to effectively carry out this deception so they must know they are lying. Why do they do it?
Obviously its because they would rather make a bigger profit for a few years while at the same time destroying the planet's long term future. These great "captains of industry" are amongst the worst type of evil, self centered, greedy scum on Earth. That may sound extreme but what should we think of people who would deliberately create pollution leading to the probable deaths of millions of people just to inflate their already huge profits?
So as soon as we see big business is involved in any source of information we should be immediately suspicious. And that's not just an ad hominem attack because the evidence is there to show they regularly partake in this sort of activity because they probably don't even really know what truth is any more - their advertising campaigns have become such an important source of propaganda that they think being misleading and deceptive is just the way things should be.
As soon as a list of seemingly credible supporters is shown I dig a bit deeper. The apparent support of the scientists for the Heartland Institute is one example. Another is a creationist site I recently visited which had a list of scientists questioning the big bang. I checked out some of the "scientists" on the list and the first one was also talking about an anti-gravity machine at their web site. So the list looked impressive at first glance but dig just a little bit and its not really what it seems!
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