James Hoggan on Climate Change Denial Industry

The CRU e-mail scandal broke while I was working on that climate change article in the latest issue. It kind of ended up hijacking everything I was writing. Not necessarily a bad thing. It's a complete gong show, sure, which the media has -- as usual -- completely bungled. But, the hacked e-mails are a perfect example of the ridiculous extremes to which the denier crowd is willing to go to discredit climate science. It became a nice little case study in how the denial industry works.

Unfortunately, though, I wound up not using nearly as much interview material as I would've liked. For instance, my interview with James Hoggan was awesome but I only ended up taking a couple quotes from it. So, here for all to read, is a transcript of my interview with him. It's very good (because of Jim's answers, not my questions). Here's a sample....
prairie dog: Your book gives a good overview of the state of climate denial in Canada. But I came away feeling like Canada is a real hotbed for denial. Are we really the centre of the denial industry?
James Hoggan: No. The Americans are by far. They’re the ones who set up the echo chambers. In the States, you see it working much better than it does in Canada where you have more of a loose connection. But in the United States, you have this powerful combination of the extreme right religious movement, the libertarians, basically just contrarians, vested interests, then you have this extreme right-wing media, and en masse you have massive numbers of Glen Becks and Fox News and the list just goes on and on. Those are the extreme right-wing guys, then you have these libertarians who are in the media as well. So the echo chamber down there is really very impressive. And for some reason, a lot of these libertarians and extreme right-wing groups have joined forces with the anti-science interests that are working for business. And I think it’s because they’re just anti-government. We have those kind of people in Canada but not in the organized way they do in the States.
James Hoggan, by the way, is the author of Climate Cover-Up, which details how the fossil fuel industry supports a massive, decentralized climate-change denial industry. It's a scary but important book. By day, Hoggan is a public relations consultant and he is also one of the founders of DeSmog Blog, an essential source for those who want to track the misdeeds of the deniers.

Read the full James Hoggan interview.

No comments: