Oreskes Rules

There’s an interview with Naomi Oreskes by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. which is well worth hearing. It’s only a little over ten minutes, but it just might be a “must hear.”

12 responses to “Oreskes Rules

  1. Good interview. It complements and adds too her book. Well worth the ten minutes.

  2. For Australian readers the schedule for Naomi Oreskes lecture tour can be found here at Deltoid.

    She’s on tonight (15/11) at UNSW here in Sydney.

  3. It’s time to make “Merchants of Doubt – The Movie”.

  4. I saw Dr. Oreskes speak at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography about three years ago — it was a terrific, hard-hitting lecture. UCSD has been kind enough to archive the whole thing here: http://ucsd.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=13459

  5. Great, honest, hard-hitting stuff. I loved the GCMI’s response– their ‘no, you’re the bad guys’ is so convincing (not)– and Oreskes’ answer was one of the best I’ve heard to that maneuver. But pre-emptive well-poisoning continues to be a great political success for those who want to crush any challenge to the fossil fuel industry’s wealth (and massive subsidies)–even though the history of repeat performances documented by Oreskes should convince anyone with a clue that these people don’t deserve to be taken seriously. I wonder just how bad things will get before most Americans (and many of my compatriots, too) learn how thoroughly (and embarrassingly easily) they’ve been misled.

  6. 1) If you like Naomi’s talks, another good one was the dissection of the marketing campaign (test markets for messages, etc), fro mteh Western Fuels Association (Powder River Coal) in early 1990s.
    See here, with my review & synopsis, of which especially amusing are:
    “30:00- Video shows the Sahara turning completely green
    32:20- “Plants have been eating CO2 and they’re starved”

    You may not have know plants were starved for CO2.

    2) The book of course is a must-read.

    3) If you want to learn more about GMI in later times as Seitz/Jastrow/Nierenberg faded out in favor of Will Happer, William O’Keefe (25-year American Petroleum Institute), Jeffrey Salmon (ex-Cheney speechwriter), and funding flows, activities, etc see CCC @ DeSmogBlog.

    That also includes some of the story behind GMI’s fostering of McIntyre & McKitrick, Baliunas&Soon, OISM, etc, leading to the Wegman Report.

    She got hassled for her 2004 Science essay (including odd phone calls), but stirring her up was a really bad move. Climate scientists don’t have the time or skill set to chase such things, but people who have both geosciences/science history backgrounds are much more likely to come looking for the reasons behind this.

  7. Also, the MoD website is a good resource.

  8. ABC’s lateline also did a nice interview with Naomi:
    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s3067282.htm

    Not surprisingly, the George Marshall’s President Jeff Kueter came out with the standard “the climate’s always changing” line. For someone in his position, saying that should be considered a crime against humanity IMO.

    • Steve O’Connor wrote

      Not surprisingly, the George Marshall’s President Jeff Kueter came out with the standard “the climate’s always changing” line. For someone in his position, saying that should be considered a crime against humanity IMO.

      A moral crime, not a legal one. But I have to wonder: wouldn’t it be nice to include a few quotes and the names and positions at think tanks of the authors of those quotes on one side (and perhaps even the names of the companies who are funding those think tanks) and then perhaps comparisons of rate and magnitude of change with what is in the paleoclimate record? E.g.,

      The rate of ocean acidification:

      [Zimmer:] They had drilled down into sediment that had formed on the sea floor over the course of millions of years. The oldest sediment in the drill was white. It had been formed by the calcium carbonate shells of single-celled organisms — the same kind of material that makes up the White Cliffs of Dover. But when the scientists examined the sediment that had formed 55 million years ago, the color changed in a geological blink of an eye…

      Nature Geoscience study: Oceans are acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred
      February 18, 2010
      http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/18/ocean-acidification-study-mass-extinction-of-marine-life-nature-geoscience/

      The degree of ocean acidification:

      “This is extremely worrying,” Professor Jean-Pierre Gattuso, of France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, told an international oceanography conference last week. “We knew that the seas were getting more acidic and this would disrupt the ability of shellfish – like mussels – to grow their shells. But now we realise the situation is much worse. The water will become so acidic it will actually dissolve the shells of living shellfish.”
      ….
      His research suggests that 10% of the Arctic Ocean will be corrosively acidic by 2018; 50% by 2050; and 100% ocean by 2100. “Over the whole planet, there will be a threefold increase in the average acidity of the oceans, which is unprecedented during the past 20 million years. That level of acidification will cause immense damage to the ecosystem and the food chain, particularly in the Arctic,” he added.

      Arctic seas turn to acid, putting vital food chain at risk
      Robin McKie, 2009-10-04
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/04/arctic-seas-turn-to-acid

      Current carbon dioxide levels and projected sea levels:

      The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which stood between 260 and 285 parts per million (ppm) from the beginning of agriculture until the Industrial Revolution, has risen rapidly in the last two-and-a-half centuries, to over 387 ppm today. The last time carbon dioxide levels were this high was roughly 15 million years ago, when sea level was 25–40 meters (80–130 feet) higher and global temperatures were 3–6 degrees Celsius (5–11 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer.

      Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall in 2009 –
      Past Decade Still Sees Rapid Emissions Growth
      Amy Heinzerling, July 20, 2010
      http://www.earth-policy.org/index.php?/indicators/C52/

      Sure — climate changes all the time, but it is the magnitude and rate of change that is — but for a few cataclysmic periods in the Earth’s history — unprecedented. And I don’t consider it an everyday occurrence for the shells to dissolve off shellfish. Not yet, anyway.

  9. Her talk last night at UNSW was excellent – she’ s too bright by far for the likes of the George Marshall Institute.

  10. Daniel J. Andrews

    caerbannog’s link to Dr. Oreskes talk is a must see. I saw that talk a few years ago so when I heard her new book was coming out, I picked it up soon as it became available.

    John Mashey…thanks for that link to her You CAN argue with the facts. I hadn’t seen that one, and am listening to it now.

  11. The Climate Show has an extended interview with Naomi, now live at Hot Topic (and podcast, Youtube etc). Worth a listen, even if I say so myself… ;-)