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Apr 14 2013

Climate denial and the Industry of FUD

I’ve had this link to Climate Crocks on my tabs for forever, intending to blog about it as soon as possible. Today I was listening to Minnesota Atheists Talk Radio, on AM 950 KTNF, and Stephanie Zvan was interviewing Greg Laden about the climate denialists who’ve been trying to sue him into the ground for talking about the settled science that is whether or not the climate is changing for the worse, and whether or not humans are responsible. During one of the intro/outros Stephanie mentioned how similar the astroturf seems to the progenitor of the corporate-interest-sponsored organized disinformation campaign that was the Big Tobacco industry in the 90s, and I remembered this tab immediately.

This talk documents the origins of the US’s “Tea Party”, built by corporations to prey on the anti-liberal sentiments of the far-right segments of the already-far-right Republican party, calving off a chunk of them to be a populist movement against corporate regulation.



It’s a relatively new tactic, built on the old and time-tested tactic of sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about your competitors. In this case, the viability of humanity as a species is the single largest threat to making money off of fossil fuels. And the fear, uncertainty and doubt is built from what to outsiders appears to be honest popular opinion, even though it’s actually very carefully crafted by cynical and empathy-deprived human beings. And it’s fairly damning that climate change denial, libertarianism and conservatism all overlap so drastically, and how in every case it takes creating a whole cottage industry of faking science to provide a patina of credibility to ideas that are intended to make certain people money in the short term at the expense of the long-term viability of the human species.

The podcast of today’s show is already available, and it’s worth listening to as well. One must be informed about the tactics of people who so strongly prioritize short term gain over long-term viability to the point where they’re willing to disinform and outright lie about everything to get their way. We already know that Fox News lies blatantly, we know that certain industries are pouring money into disinforming the populace, and we know that there are people who so lack empathy for their fellow human being that they’d sell the whole species’ future down a polluted river for an extra buck right now.

3 comments

  1. 1
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    Audio: Theda Skocpol – Sociology of the Tea Party’s Members (1:03:09)

  2. 2
    Francisco Bacopa

    I had no idea the astroturf had such deep roots. Thanks for posting this video. But I never never can read “FUD” as “fear, uncertainty, doubt. FUD, pronounced like the English word “food”, is the biggest producer of deli meats and processed meat products in Mexico. They have moved into the US in the last few years. They make an awesome pastrami.

  3. 3
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Cheers for this.

    Climate Denial Crock of the Week is one of my fave blogs on this issue too.

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