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The Inquisition of Climate Science$
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James Powell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157193

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157193.001.0001

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Science and Potemkin Science

Science and Potemkin Science

(p.7) 1 Science and Potemkin Science
The Inquisition of Climate Science

James Lawrence Powell

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes two separate conferences that illustrate the distance between the scientists and the deniers on the issue of global warming. In December 2008, during the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, scientists presented research that regarded global warming as an observational fact. In contrast, during the March 2009 conference sponsored by the Heartland Institute, the speakers scorned global warming not only as false, but a deliberate hoax designed to effect “an enormous transfer of wealth from the people to the government.” Presenters at the Heartland Institute conference had few if any research results of their own to report. Instead they attacked the research findings of mainstream scientists, looking for any discrepancy or inconsistency. Another major difference between the conferences of scientists and those of deniers lies in the aftermath. When their meetings ended, scientists rushed back to their labs to continue their research and follow leads picked up at the meeting. Having no labs to go to, deniers conducted a public relations stunt by issuing a “declaration,” a cleverly worded statement that dressed up their denial in fancy duds.

Keywords:   global warming, climate change, American Geophysical Union, Heartland Institute, denial

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