February 26, 2018
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

The Mad Men of Climate Denial

Trained scientists and others take money to go on the air and in print and espouse lies dictated by and paid for by billionaire owners and boards of fossil fuel industries. At a time when the emergency warning light is flashing on climate change, these scoundrels help to confuse the issue, making it seem as though there is scientific debate where there is no significant scientific disagreement. The planet is warming rapidly and it is life-altering for the world as we know it. And worse if we do nothing.  But “nothing”, as in doing nothing, is the project for these men.Many thanks to Mary Parsons of The American Prospect for her elegant handling of this idea from the git go. And editor Kit Rachlis for the support and smarts that make all the diff.

THIS AMERICAN LIFE did an excellent Climate Change show last week, which you can hear HERE.

that our carbon addiction is trapping heat and destroying the Earth as we knew it. In the new world that emerges we will be thinking about this all the time and, in spite of our own horror of change, especially to those who are very comfortable with the system we have, we will change. Those who fight hard against change, especially when the evidence is staring one in the face, are experiencing what psychologists call “motivational reasoning”: insisting that facts fit their world-view, not the other way around. They can self-delude all they like of course. It’s the job for the rest of us to tell the truth best we can every day.


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  1. Jim Earp says:

    Such brilliant and important work. Thanks for this, Steve.

  2. Harpo says:

    Nice drawings, they all look suitably sinister and evil. The cigarettes are a good touch.
    Oh, by the way, as anyone remotely in touch with the subject knows, the planet isn’t ‘warming rapidly’. It hasn’t warmed at all for a decade and a half.

  3. Steve says:

    Thanks Jim. Interesting the cicadas we are attracting tonight. If they didn’t spend all that time with their heads underground they would do some homework. I am happy that I have made a picture that got them to think about this issue. That’s what cartoonists are supposed to do. I don’t have to present evidence or footnotes. Climate Change is settled science. It is all over the world, in your face every day. My job is to keep making pictures to keep this on the table. Very soon, as they become more and more isolated deniers will flip and say that they have been for climate control measures all along. Just tell the truth. Tell it. Every. Day.

  4. Harpo says:

    Hmm, interesting point of view, Steve. The cartoons certainly show just how utterly, despicably evil these people undoubtedly are, but don’t you think it might encourage those with more enquiring minds to use google to find out just what sort of evil, evil things they are actually saying?
    Could be a bit counter-productive, in fact.

  5. Steve says:

    To all those posting here who repeat what Harpo has said, please know that the repetition of denial doesn’t change anything. You can do the self-delusion dance all you want on your sites. And soon there won’t be much of that either. We can change while there’s time. This blog will be devoted to that.

  6. Harpo says:

    I think you are a wonderful cartoonist, so perhaps you are right that this is not the place to discuss the details of climate change. However, in using your talent to attack people you have clearly been informed are pond-life means you have some sort of duty to look into the subject for yourself, rather than taking it all on trust. You might be surprised at just how weak the science is.

  7. Roger Bloyce says:

    @SB: Very powerful way to present the most serious issue facing mankind. I wish, though, that you had included George Will, who is far more visible than and of the usual think tank deniers. And there are some more prominent totally unqualified contestants in the global-warming-is-a-commie-hoax game — Jack Welch, Pat Buchanan, Joe Scarborough, David Gregory, etc., etc., etc.

    @ Harpo. How can you possibly believe that the science on global warming is weak? What planet are you living on?