Video: Understanding the Global Warming Disinformation Campaign

Understanding the Global Warming Disinformation Campaign

Naomi Oreskes, PhD. is a Historian of Science at UC San Diego. Her recent research has been on the global warming disinformation campaign, and her lecture explains what happened and why.

Professor Oreskes has a B.S. in mining geology and a PhD in the History of Science from Stanford. She is the author of The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science and other books. By researching, writing, and lecturing on the global warming disinformation campaign she is making a valuable contribution to the history of science. She will become the Provost of Sixth College at UC San Diego in July.

The first part of her lecture oulines the history of climate science research (going back to 1850), and the unpoliticized acceptance thereof that lasted until the 1990s. The second part describes the George C. Marshall Institute’s role in creating confusion and politicizing the issue, using tactics from the cigarette wars.

John Mashey has created a guide to the Oreskes lecture to help find specific sections:


00:00 Introduction
02:00 Frank Luntz
03:40 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report
05:30 Early climate science, John Tyndall (1850s), Svante Arrenhius (1890s), G.S. Callendar (1930s), Gilbert Plass (1950s)
10:30 1957 Suess & Revelle; “Big Greenhouse” in Time Magazine
14:00 1964/65 NAS Science Advisory Committee; President’s Science Advisory Committee
17:30 1970s NRC; JASON; “Charney Report”
23:30 1988 IPCC formed; US National Energy Policy Act; George H. W. Bush signs U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change


26:00 Why is there denial? Where did it come from?
29:15 1984 George C. Marshal Institute founded by William Jastrow (added William Nierenberg, Frederick Seitz; S. Fred Singer later).
Original goal: Cold War, defend Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative against criticism from other physicists.
Tactics: Create uncertainty; threaten PBS stations with lawsuits under “Fairness Doctrine”.
36:00 1990, cold war over, switch to other areas [global warming, CFC-ozone, tobacco]
39:00 1995 IPCC Second Assesment Report, personal attacks on Ben Santer
42:00 1995 Connection with tobacco, Seitz, tactics
Create doubt, do not publish science, but in popular literature, op-eds
53:30 Why? In each case, political views [NO REGULATION, EVER] masked as arguments about science.

Posted on 8 October, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Video: Understanding the Global Warming Disinformation Campaign.

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