The Conspiracy Index

Discovering the Undiscovered

The 5 characteristics of consensus denial

All movements that reject an overwhelming scientific consensus show 5 inevitable characteristics. They celebrate fake experts, cherry pick the data, argue using misrepresentation and logical fallacies, indulge in conspiracy theories, and demand impossible expectations of what research can deliver.These characteristics are seen in the movements that deny the scientific consensus on vaccination, HIV and AIDS and the link between smoking and cancer. They are also abundantly evident in the movement that denies the scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.Industry and conservative groups have been attacking scientific consensus for decades. As far back as 1991, Western Fuels Association launched a $510,000 campaign to ‘reposition global warming as theory (not fact)’ in the public perception. A memo from communications strategist Frank Luntz leaked in 2002 advised Republican politicians to ‘continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.’ In a recent analysis of syndicated conservative opinion pieces spanning 2007 to 2010, the most popular myth was “there is no consensus”.While opponents of climate action have persistently sought to manufacture doubt, the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming has grown so robust, it now manifests itself in a number of ways. Scientific organisations of many types…

Filed in:
, ,
Date Posted:
May 28, 2013
Skeptical Science