[ASC-media] Media Release: A Call to Arms Against Climate Change Deniers

Australasian Science science at control.com.au
Thu Apr 24 01:26:21 CEST 2008

For immediate release
A Call to Arms Against Climate Change Deniers

A leading environmental scientist has called on fellow scientists to ³work
harder at making the public aware of the stark difference between good
science and denialist spin². Professor Barry Brook issues his challenge as
climate change sceptics step up their campaigns against the scientific
consensus on global warming and ³creation scientists² and ³intelligent
designists² continue to deny evolutionary theory.
Writing in the May issue of Australasian Science magazine, published today,
Professor Brook, who is Director of the Research Institute for Climate
Change and Sustainability at the University of Adelaide, urges scientists to
³be strong, well-informed advocates for good science! Don¹t think that it is
enough to be merely passive bystanders. Good science alone invariably wins
these silly debates, but usually not before denialist spin does much damage.
³Active and forthright public communication of science is not only an
obligation of scientists, but a critical necessity. This is especially true
for climate change and environmental sustainability, where we are perilously
close to running out of time.²
Professor Brook singles out for criticism ³people who intentionally post
false or controversial messages to gain attention or foment a conflicting
style of debate². He says: ³Most remain shielded within the anonymous
confines of their online pseudonymŠ Those few apparently well-educated
people who continue to deny the now vast body of scientific knowledge and
analysis on the causes and consequences of global warming are variously
called sceptics, denialists, contrarians, delayers or delusionistsŠ Their
business is the dissemination of disinformation, doubt and unscientific
nonsense. One of their most regular ploys is to leverage the widespread lack
of public appreciation of how science operates.
³Good science ­ evidence and ideas that are repeatedly supported by
observations, experiments and models ­ gradually emerges from the pack,²
Professor Brook explains. ³Yet some people will attempt to hijack science
for political or ideological reasons and in doing so besmirch science¹s
public imageŠ 
³They often exert a disproportionate influence on policyŠ If confronted with
good science, deniers sidestep valid critiques and ignore counter-evidence.²

Summaries and quotations of selected passages for reporting or review are
permissible provided AUSTRALASIAN SCIENCE MAGAZINE is credited as the source
of this story.

Professor Brook on (08) 8303 3745 or 0420 958 400, or after hours on (08)
7000 1188 (including Anzac Day).

For permission to reproduce this article (partially or completely) call
Editor, Guy Nolch, on (03) 9500 0015 or Senior Correspondent, Peter Pockley,
on (02) 9660 6363. A photo of Prof Brook is available. 

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