Ted McLaughlin : Climate Change and Corporate Propaganda

Global warming cartoon titled “Eco-Glazing” by Vladimir Druzhinin of Russia, from Earthworks 2008 global cartoon competition / Treehugger.

Causes of climate change:
The corporate anti-science
campaign
is working

By Ted McLaughlin / The Rag Blog / April 26, 2011

Just three or four years ago a majority of the people in the United States believed that global climate change was either fully or partially the result of human activity (overuse of fossil fuels) — about 60% of Americans believed this. And this was in line with the views of most of the rest of the world, especially the developed nations. But a lot has changed in the last few years.

American corporations have spent millions of dollars yearly to propagandize the issue. And they have bought a lot of congressmen (most of them Republicans). These corporations and their political lackeys have used a powerful tool creating doubt — a tool they learned from the successes of the creationist movement.

The creationists attacked evolution (a proven fact) by repeatedly calling it just a “theory” and getting a few dubious scientists (usually from fields other than biology) to back them up. They then used the statements from these very few “scientists” to attack the work and facts of actual science and scientists. And after repeating their lies a few thousand times they have been able to get a substantial portion of the population to believe them — enough to force religion into many science classes around the nation.

The corporate barons saw how well this tactic had worked for the creationists, and decided to try it for themselves. They figured they could be even more effective since they were willing to spend many millions of dollars to spread their falsehoods.

They found a few scientists who could be bought or hoodwinked and used pronouncements from them to make it seem as though man-made global climate change was only a theory that had widespread disagreement in the scientific community (even though it is accepted by more than 90% of the world’s scientists).

Then they turned their politicians (who had been bought and paid for) loose to claim that acting on this “unproven theory” would cost jobs and damage American businesses by making them unable to compete in the world market (more well-paid-for lies). And it has worked.

Now only 48% of Americans (a 12 point drop since 2007-2008) believe that human activity has anything to do with global climate change, and a full 47% of Americans believe that human activity had nothing to do with it — that it is just a natural phenomenon.

I believe this drop in the belief that humans are causing the global climate change is due to this corporate-based propaganda, because the numbers of those who believe humans are at least partially responsible remain very high in most of the rest of the world — especially the developed nations.

The only nations with less than 50% belief in human responsibility, other than the United States, are the developing parts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa (where about half of the populations have never even heard of global climate change). And even in these undeveloped areas, a clear majority of those with knowledge of global climate change believe it is caused at least partially by humans.

In fact, the only place in the world where more people believe global climate change has a natural cause instead of a human cause is the United States. This is sad. This used to be a nation that respected science and scientists. Now a substantial portion of the population has been hoodwinked. And the only reason is greed.

American corporations know it will cost them some money to clean up their act, and they don’t want to spend that money. They are perfectly willing to endanger the future of all mankind to maximize their own profits today.

It now looks like nothing will be done to delay or prevent global climate change until it is too late, and the United States will have to shoulder much of the blame for that. We not only use the lions share of the world’s fossil fuels and produce much of it’s pollution (Texas alone produces more pollution than all but six countries), but with our international influence it is unlikely the rest of the world will (or could) act without us.

Some on the right tell us that the Earth is very resilient and will survive. I agree. The Earth will survive whatever humans do to it (just as it always has). It is not the Earth’s survival that is in doubt — it is the survival of humans and the societies they have created that is in doubt. And that is because far too many in the U.S. are convinced that corporate profits are more important than anything else:

Here’s what a recent Gallup Poll showed when people in different parts of the world were surveyed on global climate change and its causes.

Percentage of those who believe humans are at least partially responsible for it:

Developed Asia……………83%
Canada……………72%
Western Europe……………69%
Eastern & Southern Europe……………68%
Latin America……………65%
Commonwealth of Ind. States……………51%
UNITED STATES……………48%
Developing Asia……………39%
Middle East/North Africa……………37%
Sub-Saharan Africa……………32%

Percentage of those who haven’t heard of global climate change:

Developed Asia……………4%
Canada……………4%
UNITED STATES……………4%
Western Europe……………6%
Eastern/Southern Europe……………17%
Latin America……………23%
Commonwealth of Ind. States……………23%
Developing Asia……………48%
Middle East/North Africa……………49%
Sub-Saharan Africa……………54%

And here is how the world collectively views this crises:

Human cause……………35%
Natural cause……………14%
Both causes……………13%
Not aware of it……………36%

[Rag Blog contributor Ted McLaughlin also posts at jobsanger.]

The Rag Blog

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