Climate Change: Altering Reality

“Don’t be in such a rush to say ‘nonsense.’ And even if it were, people live and die by nonsense. It’s not what is so much as what people think it is”

Isaac Asimov, Forward the Foundation


Ever hear of the Global Climate Science Communications Team Action Plan?

You should have. You’re likely one of its intended targets. You can read more about how it came to light here,

Climate Change - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Many of us are victims of this plan, conceived in 1998, to combat the science of Climate Change. It was convened by the American Petroleum Institute (API) the largest U.S. oil and gas lobbying operation with membership including ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell Oil and ConocoPhillips. Here’s a link to their current membership,

As the science of climate change began to link fossil fuels to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and demonstrated a direct causal link of anthropogenic activity to rising global temperatures, the API formed a Global Climate Action Team guided by certain principles and with a specific purpose, to spread doubt over this scientific evidence.

By claiming any doubt over certainty discredits all the science, they capitalized on the fundamental lack of understanding of the scientific method so prevalent in our society. They used our own science ignorance against us.


Their manifesto was simple and sinister. These are their expressed purposes from the document.

Victory Will Be Achieved When

Average citizens “understand” (recognize) uncertainties in climate science; recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the “conventional wisdom”

Media “understands” (recognizes) uncertainties in climate science

Media coverage reflects balance on climate science and recognition of the validity of viewpoints that challenge the current “conventional wisdom”

Industry senior leadership understands uncertainties in climate science, making them stronger ambassadors to those who shape climate policy

Those promoting the Kyoto treaty on the basis of extent science appears to be out of touch with reality.”


In the best tradition of psychological warfare, the fossil fuel industry set out to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt. They didn’t have to disprove the science, all they had to do was plant seeds of doubt.

By claiming any doubt over certainty discredits all the science, they capitalized on the fundamental lack of understanding of the scientific method so prevalent in our society. They used our own science ignorance against us.

And, like a conspiracy theory that cannot be disproved, they accomplished their purpose.

What they didn’t anticipate was that most of the predictions of these early climate change researchers were wrong. The API was correct in its assertion there was uncertainty in the predictions.

The uncertainty was not that they were too dire or too drastic but that they were too optimistic. Global temperatures, and the attendant rise in more drought, more intense storms, faster rise in sea levels, more rapid melting of polar ice and permafrost accelerated faster than even the scientists the Global Climate Action Team were trying to discredit.

Sometimes conspiracy theories—when properly investigated and vetted and not touted by aluminum hat wearing lunatics without a shred of evidence—turn out to be based on facts. When confronted with such evidence, we need to recognize when we’ve been victimized by greed and corporate self-preservation.

The very existence of the planet is at stake and we need remove the blinders forced on us by those who seek to profit in the short-term at the expense of our long-term existence.

As we enter the third decade of this century, we face a critical turning point. One likely to determine the longevity of the planet and our ability to sustain human existence.

Let’s hope we embrace the moment, eliminate the viral infection of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and follow the science. Failure to do so will make the current pandemic look like a momentary blip of inconvenience.


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