The documentary Merchants of Doubt provides an excellent primer explaining how spin doctors propagate misinformation. What is especially interesting is the close parallel between the methods of big tobacco and of big oil. For years, the former denied a link between tobacco and cancer. The latter has similarly denied a link between the burning of fossil fuels and climate change. The film illustrates how climate change deniers have three levels of argument:
(1) There is no warming of the climate.
(2) There is warming of the climate but it is not linked to the burning of fossil fuels.
(3) There is warming of the climate, it is linked to the burning of fossil fuels, but it is too economically costly to stop it.
Yesterday at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Ted Cruz firmly placed himself with (1) by dismissing climate change as based on “pseudo-science”.
Wow, really? According to NASA,
“Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.” (source)
And yet, this politician cavalierly dismisses that 97 percent consensus not merely as wrong but as basing their conclusions on pseudo-science.
I’m left with two possibilities. Either Cruz is a flat out liar or he is self-deceived to a staggering degree. I haven’t yet decided which is worse.