’24-carat bafflegab’

15 09 2009

George Monbiot has launched a renewed attack on the ‘Professor of denial’, Ian Plimer, and his ‘pseudoscientific gobble-degook’ . The suggested public ‘dual‘ between Monbiot and Plimer will not go ahead for reasons outlined here.

Monbiot compares climate change deniers with creationists who ‘never retract, never apologise, never explain, just raise the volume, keep moving and hope that people won’t notice the trail of broken claims in their wake.’

It takes 30 seconds to make a misleading scientific statement and 30 minutes to refute it. By machine-gunning their opponents with falsehoods, the deniers put scientists in an impossible position: either you seek to answer their claims, which can’t be done in the time available, or you let them pass, in which case the points appear to stand.

This raises an important question. Should climate change deniers be given a public platform from which they can lay claim to ‘science’? Further still, to what extent should environmental campaigners engage with denial discourse?