Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.


The organized denial of climate change

October 19, 2010

Professor of Atmospheric Science Scott Denning feels that global climate change has become more than a scientific field of study -- it is now front and center as a subject of political rhetoric. On Tuesday, Oct. 19, Denning will talk about the organized efforts in the U.S. which focus on denying that climate change exists.

Tuesday, Oct. 19
7 p.m.
Engineering, Room 100

CSU Professor of Atmospheric Science Scott Denning will give a talk on Oct. 19, from 7-9 p.m., on his experiences learning about and engaging organized climate change denial.

Topic is political fodder

Denning has come to realize that global climate change is no longer merely a scientific field of study.

“It has emerged as a major issue in American popular culture and political discourse,” Denning said, “and it is subject to political rhetoric and media spin in the same way as health care, war, the economy and the marital difficulties of Tiger Woods."

Climate change: A conspiracy?

"Millions of Americans believe that predictions of future global warming are part of a politically-motivated conspiracy; these people outnumber professional climate scientists by at least 1,000:1.” 

In May 2010, Denning was invited to speak at the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago, sponsored by The Heartland Institute. He learned a lot about the viewpoints of people who believe that climate change will not occur - and who have organized themselves to convince others. 

Topic reflects cultural values, views of world

In the process, Denning said, he also thought carefully about why he is convinced that climate change will occur. This phenomenon ultimately is not a disagreement about science, but rather about cultural values and views of the world.

“It is important for climate scientists and scholars to be aware of this discourse, which is arguably more important than the facts as global societies debate their future courses of action on climate change adaptation and mitigation,” Denning said.

This event is sponsored by Changing Climates @ CSU.

Contact: John Calderazzo