Doubt is our product

June 12, 2007 at 5:39 am | Posted in Climate change, Denialists | 1 Comment

“Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy … if we are successful in establishing a controversy at the public level, there is an opportunity to put across the real facts about …”

1969 Strategy Document by PR group B&W to counter anti-cigarette forces, see ‘Smoking and Health Proposal

An old quote, but its effects are apparent today. Finally and thankfully, more countries are going smoke-free in public areas (e.g. California, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and finally England on 1 July 2007) after many years of denialist activity.

Now, our concern has to focus on global warming denialists who use the same rhetoric to make their arguments palatable, persuasive, and sufficient to cause doubt. Richard Lindzen did this the other day at the Institute of Physics. He manufactured and marketed doubt very well as he wove a web of tenuous misleading threads to lead the audience into supporting his goal of delaying action indefinitely to combat climate change.

Five of Spades Delaying TacticsEight of Clubs Red HerringsNine of Hearts Muddying the WatersNine of Spades Exploiting IgnoranceAce of Spades We Will Lose Money!


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  1. I’m no poker-player, but I’m sure the skeptics hold no hearts, let alone as much as a pair of nines. Maybe five aces (all of spades) would be more appropriate? Or jokers?

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