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The Hockey Stick and the Climate WarsDispatches from the Front Lines$
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Michael Mann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152556

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152556.001.0001

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The Origins of Denial

The Origins of Denial

(p.59) Chapter 5 The Origins of Denial
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

Michael E. Mann

Columbia University Press

This chapter traces the origins of climate change denial. In the 1990s, as the scientific evidence for human-caused climate change grew stronger and calls for action to curtail greenhouse gas emissions grew louder, fossil fuel industry executives decided to launch a massive, media-savvy public relations campaign rather than concede the potential threat posed by global warming and the necessity of ultimately reducing fossil fuel use. While presenting a seemingly forward-thinking, proenvironmental public face, oil companies and allied economic and political interests were working behind the scenes to sow doubt about the validity of the underlying science on climate change. Their objective was to forestall any governmental policy action to regulate greenhouse gas emissions while seeking to maintain a positive corporate image. This chapter looks at the scientific community's efforts to fight against the disinformation campaigns funded by climate change deniers, giving rise to the so-called “climate wars”.

Keywords:   climate change denial, human-caused climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel industry, public relations, global warming, climate change, corporate image, disinformation, climate wars

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