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Climate Skeptics

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Rick Perry thinks Texas climate scientists are in a 'secular carbon cult'

Photo: Kevin DooleyCross-posted from ThinkProgress Green. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has watched firsthand the ravages of a warming climate, first as his state's agriculture commissioner (killer droughts and record heat in 1996 and 1998) then as governor (droughts in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, with Texas' hottest July in history). Perry declared the 1996 drought "the worst natural disaster in Texas in the 20th century." He issued an official proclamation to pray for rain this year (it didn't work). However, he argues that climate science is "all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart …

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Rick Perry to run for president; climate deniers cheer

Perry, Perry, quite contraryPhoto: Gage SkidmoreThe climate skeptics can finally get excited about the 2012 election: Rick Perry, their candidate of choice, is about to officially throw his hat in the ring. Perry calls global warming "all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight." Unlike many of the other GOP presidential candidates, he hasn't expressed concern about climate change in the past, so he won't have to do any back-pedaling. Notorious climate denier Marc Morano is a big fan: "Based on climate views alone, anyone who is holding their nose voting for Mitt Romney because …

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Super Congress stacked with climate zombies

Fred Upton.Photo: republicanconferenceCross-posted from ThinkProgress Green. A ThinkProgress analysis finds that a majority of the members on the congressional special fiscal committee oppose regulation of global warming pollution. Even with the three House Democrats left to be named, seven of the 12-member committee are known to be climate zombies. Every Republican on the so-called Super Congress, as well as Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), have voted to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) work to limit greenhouse-gas pollution. Most of the Republicans named to the committee are proud torchbearers of global warming denial: Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): "I do not say …

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Right-wing pundits: 'People believe our falsehoods, so we win!'

I guess it's no surprise that conservative pundits think climate science is about deliberately misleading people for political point-scoring. That's what their agenda is, so why should anyone else's be different? After a recent poll showed that 69 percent of Americans believe it's at least "somewhat likely" that "some scientists" may have falsified climate data, the right-wing media response amounted to "Hey, that's our lie! Look how well it's doing! We rule!" Here's Limbaugh's response, which (as usual) provides the most egregious example. What a proud papa! Limbaugh, Aug. 4: "While a majority of Americans nationwide continue to acknowledge significant …

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Getting more voices into the climate game, starting with Steven Chu

Energy Secretary Steven Chu.Photo: Center for American Progress Action FundIt's easy to overthink the problem of climate change skepticism, to get caught up in sophisticated theories about the psychology of communication. (Er, guilty.) But the question of how to influence public opinion does have some simple answers. One thing that changes people's minds is receiving signals that trusted people and institutions are in agreement on an issue, that it's no longer contested, that it's socially "safe" to accept it. This is why the right's strategy has been so brilliant -- they haven't convinced the public that climate is a hoax, …

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Critical List: Al Gore curses about climate skepticism; garden thieves steal tomatoes

Sometimes even Al Gore can’t resist cursing when he talks about climate skeptics. Listen here. EPA's scientific integrity policy doesn't do a particularly good job at its intended purpose: protecting scientists from political influence. Heavy-duty trucks have to meet fuel efficiency standards too. No word yet on monster trucks. More than 440,000 birds die each year in collisions with wind turbines. "Radical industrialist" and green businessman Ray Anderson died yesterday. Some people out there are so cold-hearted that they would steal ripe tomatoes from community garden plots.

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Companies claim concern for climate, but sponsor ALEC

Photo: divinenephronCross-posted from ThinkProgress Green. The fight against global warming pollution requires the investment of everyone, including the world's multinational corporate giants. Many companies have taken official stances on climate pollution, pledging to reduce their greenhouse footprint in order to reduce the threat of a destabilized climate. However, a number of these same companies are sponsoring toxic, far-right denial of climate science. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) pushes an extremist denier agenda throughout the United States, funded in secret by corporations. ThinkProgress has acquired a list of the sponsors of ALEC's 2011 annual meeting, held last week in New …

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How do you solve a problem like conservative white men?

The most satisfying solution? Kick their asses!The other day, I wrote about a study that attempted to explain why conservative white men (CWM) are so loathe to accept the threat of climate change. It has to do with system justification and identity-protective cognition. Go read it! The question remains: What should we do about it? The denialism or indifference of CWM toward climate is a huge barrier to getting anything done. In this post, I'm going to argue that the typical strategies are doomed to failure. It may be that the simplest, least clever strategy -- kick their asses -- …

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Fox News public enemy No. 1: Spongebob Squarepants

Is Fox News getting bored now that Obama's produced his birth certificate and the Casey Anthony trial is over? Apparently, since their new barely-tethered-to-reality flogging point is that SpongeBob SquarePants is indoctrinating kids with a sort of extremist environmental zealotry. The Department of Education hosted an event where kids got to pick out free SpongeBob books, and the Fox hosts' heads promptly exploded. Why? Because in one of the books on offer, SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs try to use car exhaust to cause global warming, in order to sell pool admission tickets. Media Matters has put together an exciting mix tape of …

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