Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Georchestreerd scepticisme : Conservatieve denktanks

In dit nieuw boek wordt een verhelderende inkijk gegeven over hoe boeken die de ernst van milieuproblemen én de ernst van de uitgevoerde wetenschap minimaliseren voor het merendeel rechtstreeks gelieerd kunnen worden aan conservatieve denktanks
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.


Samenvattend wordt het scepticisme rond deze vier punten gesitueerd :
  1. First, environmental scepticism is defined by its denial of the seriousness of environmental problems and dismissal of scientific evidence documenting these problems. This primary theme sets environmental scepticism apart from earlier environmental opposition movements like the US 'wise use movement' and 'sage brush rebellion' (Switzer 1997).
  2. Second, environmental scepticism draws upon the first theme to question the importance of environmentally protective policies.
  3. Third, environmental scepticism endorses an anti-regulatory/anti-corporate liability position that flows from the first two claims.
  4. Lastly, environmental sceptics often cast environmental protection as threatening Western progress.


De harde conclusies van de auteurs zijn voor wie de methoden van de denial industrie wat beter kent, allesbehalve verrassend :
Our analyses of the sceptical literature and CTTs indicate an unambiguous linkage between the two. Over 92 per cent of environmentally sceptical books are linked to conservative think tanks, and 90 per cent of conservative think tanks interested in environmental issues espouse scepticism. Environmental scepticism began in the US, is strongest in the US, and exploded after the end of the Cold War and the emergence of global environmental concern stimulated by the 1992 Earth Summit.

Environmental scepticism is an elite-driven reaction to global environmentalism, organised by core actors within the conservative movement. Promoting scepticism is a key tactic of the anti-environmental counter-movement coordinated by CTTs, designed specifically to undermine the environmental movement's efforts to legitimise its claims via science.

Thus, the notion that environmental sceptics are unbiased analysts exposing the myths and scare tactics employed by those they label as practitioners of 'junk science' lacks credibility.

Similarly, the self-portrayal of sceptics as marginalised 'Davids' battling the powerful 'Goliath' of environmentalists and environmental scientists is a charade, as sceptics are supported by politically powerful CTTs funded by wealthy foundations and corporations.

Big bucks kopen big lobbybollocks.


Een uitgebreidere Engelstalige analyse van de paper kan je hier terugvinden.

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