According to The Nation’s Mark Hertsgaard, allowing climate change deniers to pose as cautious skeptics has sabotaged the US response to the global warming crisis. Hertsgaard, who’s reported on climate change for over twenty years, joins The Real News Network to explain how the media has provided a platform for right-wing fringe groups to peddle a distorted ideology and a mercenary support for the coal and oil industries.
True skeptics, Hertsgaard says, are invaluable to the scientific process because scientific hypotheses must be tested. But those who claim that the science is mixed on whether climate change is occurring deserve the name "climate cranks." A genuine skeptic is driven by facts and open to changing their position, while the outright denial of overwhelming evidence that climate change is real, urgent and dangerous by this crop of conservatives does not warrant them the title of skeptics, he says.
“The Republicans are the only major political party in the world who doubt climate science,” he says. “Fox TV is amplifying the voice of a very small minority… and so there’s the appearance of there being much more dispute about the science than the actuality.”