It is indeed a war of manipulation and misdirection, but the main actors are not the ones you may think about first. As a new study concluded, some 3 out of every 4 climate change denial books have direct, easily verifiable connections to conservative organizations.
A research conducted by Riley E. Dunlap of Oklahoma State University and Peter J. Jacques of the University of Central Florida concluded that authors of nearly 90 percent of books from publishing houses (others were self-published) had ties to conservative think tanks such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute, and the Marshall Institute.
Another reported problem was the fact that most people writing such books had actually little or no adequate scientific training. It appears that at least 90% of denial books do not undergo peer review, allowing authors or editors to recycle scientifically unfounded claims that are then amplified by the conservative movement, media, and political elites.
So we have a lot of biased, unscientific books that are used as weapons to manipulate people into thinking that climate change is a “hoax”:
“[The books] confer a sense of legitimacy on their authors and provide an effective tool for combating the findings of climate scientists that are published primarily in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals,” Dunlap and Jacques noted in the paper.
Also, they keep on pushing forth the same arguments over and over, even when they’re proven to be wrong time and time again:
“zombie arguments are disproven over and over and then pop up again. The books can make any points they want to,” without going through any of the scientific peer-review process that traditional scientific papers require.
Dunlap and Jacques’s study will appear in the June issue of American Behavioral Scientist as part of a seven-part special package, edited by Dunlap, focused on “climate change skepticism and denial.”