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Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming Paperback – September 29, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Canadian environmental activists Hoggan and Littlemore pull no punches in this spirited indictment of global warming deniers. Their well-sourced research spotlights premeditated prevarications about the threat of greenhouse gas emissions by the oil and coal industry, in league with junk scientists, compliant conservative politicians and unsavory public relations practitioners. Persistent obfuscation of science by these anti-environment players is further abetted, say the authors, by a manipulated media that, in a misguided effort toward journalistic balance, pairs scientific certainty about an encroaching climate crisis with quotations from people who make a living denying it. Readers predisposed to believe the worst about the oil, coal and electric industries will find their fears buttressed by the book's detailed overview of an orchestrated climate coverup by Astroturf (fake grassroots) organizations, right-wing think tank echo chambers, the tens of millions of industry dollars poured into primarily Republican campaign coffers and the PR profession's Orwellian use of language. But global warming skeptics might also be swayed by the detailed dissection of an ongoing campaign to convince the public that climate change is still unproven. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"[Climate Cover-Up] explains how the propaganda generated by self interest groups has purposely created confusion about climate change. It’s an imperative read for a successful future."—Leonardo DiCaprio

"“… the most detailed and probing analysis to date of the interrelations between business organizations and conservative think tanks in campaigns to question global warming….The sleuthing is sophisticated and impressive… Recommended.”—CHOICE Reviews, ALA

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Greystone Books; 1St Edition edition (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553654854
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553654858
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 201 people found the following review helpful By John R Mashey on September 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anti-science (or agnotology), seeks to cover-up or obscure science considered inconvenient, or at least create doubt in the minds of public and decision-makers. It seeks to replace knowledge with ignorance, and has no resemblance to normal arguments within science, by scientists.

Modern anti-science is most skillfully executed by a relatively small subset of lobbyists and PR agencies. Some of the most effective are actually "thinktanks". They have public identities distinct from their (often-unidentified) funders, and can often be labeled "non-profit", thus avoiding the expense of taxes. They often seek funding in the same way as lobbyist/PR agencies, as is well-documented in the Tobacco Archives.

Such entities have played successful roles in activities like fending off tobacco regulation, fighting CFC regulation ("ozone hole"), fighting mercury regulation, etc. For some, their top priority has changed to obfuscating climate science. Anyone who can help keep children getting addicted to tobacco should find it easy to create confusion about climate.

So, if you wonder how and why so many people, especially in North America, are confused about the current state of climate science, this is an excellent introduction to the key players and tactics.


People respond better to "grass-roots" efforts than to PR from business. If no grass-roots efforts exist, then one can set up fake ones ... astroturf.

Within science, the only things that really count are:
- publication in credible, peer-reviewed journals, a relatively low bar that mostly means "Not obviously wrong and might be worth reading.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Doctor Who on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been reading about the science of climate change as a non-scientist, and about the policy and political implications, for a number of years, trying to learn what was going on, and what needs to be done in response. I particularly recommend Kolbert, "Field Notes from a Catastrophe," and Flannery, "The Weather Makers" for a good overview. And "Scientific American" provides good regular coverage of the issue. The description of this book struck me as interesting so I bought it from amazon and read it, and recommend it as well written and clear, and providing a good overview of the long-term disinformation campaign by professional skeptics who don't do much science, but do a lot of public relations on behalf of the industry that does not want to be responsible for the harm climate change is causing. I think business students familiar with marketing and advertising will find the authors perspective on how that industry plays in this area quite interesting. The insight into Canadian tar sands gives a new perspective to a subject for readers unfamiliar with anything except U.S. politics. I read it just before the latest round of PR broke --- the theft of the East Anglia E-mails and the controversy over the Himalaya glacier melt rates in the IPCC report. None of these undercut the overall science of climate change, but they play into the PR campaign to put off a timely cost-effective response. Another book I bought here, "What's the Worse That Can Happen," lays out the risk assessment argument for responsible action. But I fear our political and legal system is too dysfunctional to be able to respond in time. In any event, this book will need a second edition to take into account the events of recent months, and perhaps by then we will know the e-mails of the professional skeptics as well.
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56 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Personne on October 27, 2009
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The chasm between the practice of science and the public's perception is enormous. Any body of knowledge that may require a change in public policy rapidly becomes prey to ideology. One need look no farther than the reviews posted about this very book. A large portion of the public does not understand how to understand science and tends to look for voices of authority. It's no surprise that those they trust to form their political views may also end up framing their views about science. This is true no matter where a person sits along the political spectrum. It's a pity, because ideology has no place in understanding this important topic.

I believe there are still many people who would like to know what the fuss is about. They don't like to have their opinions dictated to them by someone else. They may be vaguely suspicious that there's more than impartiality going on. This book is an imperfect step for readers who may fit that description. There is too much of the author's own opinion where a simple statement of facts is more than sufficient. The book steers a little too uncertainly between polemic and journalism.

I found the preface and initial chapters somewhat off-putting. The author spends some time on the case of Freeman Dyson, a scientist with a respected opinion in many areas. Dyson has moved strongly into the camp of 'deniers' (a term I promise not to use again). Author Hoggan makes quite a spectacle of Dyson's lack of credentials in this area. This is a dangerous approach for many reasons. There are certainly cases of scientists displaying remarkable ignorance outside their fields. One need look no further than William Shockley to understand that. But there are also many uncredentialed scientists who've done spectacular work.
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