HuffPo: “Deniers” clogging up the blogosphere

HuffPo: “Deniers” clogging up the blogosphere. Now the Huffington Post isn’t exactly science central, but watching Anthony Watts try to mock them is like watching a cretin laugh at an idiot.

The article is here; Climate Deniers are Polluting the Blogosphere, but Anthony’s summary is “Gosh, excercising [sp] free speech and questioning assumptions, why, why, they’re TERRIBLE!” He also repeats the unsupported hope that “the bulk of opinion has shifted.

Actually among other things the article identifies these familiar denialist tactics:

Deniers often pile up comments on climate change-related articles, most of which may be grouped into the following categories:

  1. Humor (i.e. “What’s next, cow farts?” or “Since carbonated beverages release CO2 into the atmosphere, will CalEPA be outlawing beer and sodas in California?”)
  2. Political (making fun of Al Gore, partisan name calling)
  3. Bullying, name calling, threats
  4. Despair (i.e. “we’re all doomed, humans will go extinct anyway”)
  5. Junk science — quoting disreputed sources that reinforce denier preconceptions, or using simple but wrong aphorisms (confusing weather and climate, or saying the climate is always changing)
  6. Obfuscation – burying your opposition under a mountain of obscure but usually irrelevant statistics
  7. Economic fear — (i.e. “if we take action on climate, all businesses will leave CA, and we’ll lose jobs”)

Looks to me like someone’s noticed Anthony’s army of ditto-heads.

1 thought on “HuffPo: “Deniers” clogging up the blogosphere

  1. The Huff-Po can be well… less than a friend to science. Their stance on vaccines is shameful, and fuels the antivax movement. Still I read the article and agree, it captures some of the main tactics used by the deniers in order to try and undermine confidence in the science.

    I’d add two more:

    8. Lying – simply telling untruths such as the CRU/IPCC are involved in a massive fraud
    9. Re-framing information – deliberately misrepresenting data or the misquoting scientists.

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