Thursday, July 17, 2008

'Organisation of Denial'

Environmental scepticism denies the seriousness of environmental problems, and self-professed 'sceptics' claim to be unbiased analysts combating 'junk science'. This study quantitatively analyses 141 English-language environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005. We find that over 92 per cent of these books, most published in the US since 1992, are linked to conservative think tanks (CTTs). Further, we analyse CTTs involved with environmental issues and find that 90 per cent of them espouse environmental scepticism. We conclude that scepticism is a tactic of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism, and that the successful use of this tactic has contributed to the weakening of US commitment to environmental protection.
-- abstract from The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism by Peter J. Jacques, Riley E. Dunlap and Mark Freeman, Environmental Politics Vol. 17, No. 3, June 2008, 349–385

P.S. 18 July: an interesting denialist story from Joe Romm.

2 comments:

Douglas Coker said...

Thanks Caspar. The whole thing is available FREE here http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a793291693~db=all~order=page

Douglas Coker
Enfield Green Party

George said...

this is a much more profitable line if enquiry than making connections with oil companies (after all large green NGOs take plenty of cash from oil companies and many skeptics do not).

My reservartion with this is that the association with the think tanks is not well defined. The authors define it as 'affiliated' but there is a very big difference between being on a board of the Cato Institute and having an article published on its website and I am not clear how these were differentiated. For example, my articles have been printed and linked from Globalise Resistance but I am hardly a member.

George