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Books on the Contrarians

Here are some books that deal with the contrarian campaign and global warming denials.

Berger, John J. Climate Myths: The Campaign Against Climate Science. Berkeley, CA: Northbrae Books, 2013. 132 pp.
Availability: not in UW system
Summary: Climate Myths is both a primer on climate change and a definitive rebuttal of climate science denial. The book can thus be used to help educate students, teachers, and the general public about the controversy over climate change. Climate Myths puts the campaign against climate science in historical, political, and economic context and juxtaposes the claims of climate change deniers with the facts about climate change as revealed by authoritative climate science. Climate Myths dispels common misunderstandings about climate change and spotlights the companies, organizations, and individuals who have promoted climate myths in the course of their highly successful, multimillion dollar climate disinformation campaigns. Drawing on the principles and achievements of climate science, Climate Myths summarizes the imminent threat of rapid climate change, pointing readers toward needed action

Hoggan, James, with Richard Lattimore. Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. Greystone Books, 2009. 240 pp.
Availability: UW online access & UB
Summary: Talk of global warming is nearly inescapable these days — but there are some who believe the concept of climate change is an elaborate hoax. Despite the input of the world’s leading climate scientists, the urgings of politicians, and the outcry of many grassroots activists, many Americans continue to ignore the warning signs of severe climate shifts. How did this happen? Climate Cover-up seeks to answer this question, describing the pollsters and public faces who have crafted careful language to refute the findings of environmental scientists. Exploring the PR techniques, phony "think tanks," and funding used to pervert scientific fact, this book serves as a wake-up call to those who still wish to deny the inconvenient truth.

Mann, Michael E. The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. 384 pp.
Availability: UW online access & UB
Summary: The ongoing assault on climate science in the United States has never been more aggressive, more blatant, or more widely publicized than in the case of the Hockey Stick graph -- a clear and compelling visual presentation of scientific data, put together by Michael E. Mann and his colleagues, demonstrating that global temperatures have risen in conjunction with the increase in industrialization and the use of fossil fuels. Here was an easy-to-understand graph that, in a glance, posed a threat to major corporate energy interests and those who do their political bidding. The stakes were simply too high to ignore the Hockey Stick -- and so began a relentless attack on a body of science and on the investigators whose work formed its scientific basis.

Norgaard, Kari Marie. Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions, and Everyday Life. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011. 279 pp.
Availability: UW online access & UB
Summary: Global warming is the most significant environmental issue of our time, yet public response in Western nations has been meager. Sociologist Kari Norgaard searches for answers to this question, drawing on interviews and ethnographic data from her study of "Bygdaby," the fictional name of an actual rural community in western Norway, during the unusually warm winter of 2000-2001.

Oreskes, Naomi. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Bloomsbury Press, 2011. 368 pp.
Availability: Polk library: Q147 .O74 2010
Summary: Merchants of Doubt was one of the most talked-about climate change books of recent years, for reasons easy to understand: It tells the controversial story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. The same individuals who claim the science of global warming is "not settled" have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it.

Powell, James Lawrence. The Inquisition of Climate Science. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. 272 pp.
Availability: UW online access & UB
Summary: Modern science is under the greatest and most successful attack in recent history. An industry of denial, abetted by news media and "info-tainment" broadcasters more interested in selling controversy than presenting facts, has duped half the American public into rejecting the facts of climate science -- an overwhelming body of rigorously vetted scientific evidence showing that human-caused, carbon-based emissions are linked to warming the Earth. The industry of climate science denial is succeeding: public acceptance has declined even as the scientific evidence for global warming has increased. It is vital that the public understand how anti-science ideologues, pseudo-scientists, and non-scientists have bamboozled them. We cannot afford to get global warming wrong -- yet we are, thanks to deniers and their methods.

Washington, Haydn. Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2012. 193 pp.
Availability: UW online access & UB
Summary: Humans have always used denial. When we are afraid, guilty, confused, or when something interferes with our self-image, we tend to deny it. Yet denial is a delusion. When it impacts on the health of oneself, or society, or the world it becomes a pathology. Climate change denial is such a case. Paradoxically, as the climate science has become more certain, denial about the issue has increased. The paradox lies in the denial. There is a denial industry funded by the fossil fuel companies that literally denies the science, and seeks to confuse the public.

by Barnhill, David L last modified Sep 08, 2013 01:26 PM
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