F.U.D. and Climate Change Denial

There’s less and less that climate change deniers can seize on to support their claims that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax, or an illusion, or something than overwhelmingly established.

The solution, for those folks, is apparently to make up evidence to prove your point. “Everyone knows” that scientists were predicting an incipient ice age in the 1970s, right? There’s even magazine covers to prove it.


Pretty impressive, huh? And completely fake. The penguin on the cover is a Photoshop effort. Here’s the cover in question:


And the issue is from April 9, 2007, not 1977. Time Magazine even ran an article disavowing the forgery.

WC doubts that “Natalina” at ExtraordinaryIntelligence.com created the fake 1977 cover; more likely, she slapped her website URL on it. Natalina is a climate change denier, but seems mostly focused on a very strange mix of Christianist dogma and New Age nonsense. Oh, and society gossip.

But someone went to a bit of trouble to alter the banner teasers and to match fonts. Why?

It’s all about FUD. Fear, uncertainty and doubt. If you can’t prove your point, then spread confusion instead. The thinking by the climate change deniers – if you can use the term “thinking” in this context – is that if you can’t attack the data, attack the messengers. There was never, ever a consensus that the Earth was cooling. When climatologists were just starting to get a handle on CO2, particulates and the other contributions of humankind to the atmosphere, there was speculation on whether the warming effects of CO2 and other greenhouse gases might be outbalanced by the increases numbers of sunlight-blocking particulates being emitted.

There was never a consensus that the planet would cool. As the models got better and aerosols were better controlled by anti-pollution technology, it became ever clearer that heat, not cold, was the problem.

But that doesn’t stop the fossil fuel industry from pretending that a consensus, or even a plurality, of climatologists ever believed the planet was cooling. Because the fossil fuel folks and their tools don’t have any facts; all they can do is make them up, to undermine the credibility of climatology.

The fossil fuel industry has shifted strategy. They are no longer trying to prove anthropogenic climate change is untrue. Instead, they are using FUD to delay action to address the issue. It’s a crime against nature and humanity but, hey, it lets the industry make a few more years of obscene profits, so it’s okay.

Right? Gotta focus on this year’s shareholder dividends.