Tag Archives: Nick Minchin

Science denial is a diversion from the real problems

Here’s a short but informative discussion between Naomi Oreskes and Australian politician Nick Minchin. He is known for his denial of human inputs to climate change and for attacking the science. Oreskes suggests to him that his reasons for denial are not scientific. That he should accept the science and get on a deal with the political and financial issues which really motivate him.

This is an extract from the documentary “I Can Change Your Mind About..Climate.” You an watch the film on line.

This reminds me of the comment made by a well-known US climate change denier, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). When debating his position, and his attacks on science, with a TV interviewer he made this remarkable admission:

I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”

In short, learning about the (supposed) high cost of the solution is what turned him from a believer in climate science to a denier.

This is something which I seem to have to learn again and again in my debates with those attacking the science of climate change and climate scientists. Although they attack the science their real motivating beliefs are political and financial.

It’s an interesting psychological phenomenon, and an unpleasant political one seeing they are needlessly  badmouthing innocent and honest scientists.

Naomi Oreskes has often lectured and written on  science denial. Her book Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming is well worth reading.

I also recommend a recent interview with her on Point Of Inquiry: Naomi Oreskes – Neoliberalism and the Denial of Global Warming

Thanks to: Deniers in Denial about Why they Deny.

See also: Q&A Climate Debate the ABC programme screened after the above documentary.