Ideology blinds us from facts

From the department of the wind blows against bankrupt beliefs:
Environmental scepticism denies the seriousness of environmental problems, and self-professed 'sceptics' claim to be unbiased analysts combating 'junk science'. This study quantitatively analyses 141 English-language environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005. We find that over 92 per cent of these books, most published in the US since 1992, are linked to conservative think tanks (CTTs). Further, we analyse CTTs involved with environmental issues and find that 90 per cent of them espouse environmental scepticism. We conclude that scepticism is a tactic of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism, and that the successful use of this tactic has contributed to the weakening of US commitment to environmental protection.
One reason why Communism collapsed was that its ideologues decided to shape "facts" around their beliefs. Communists ignored important facts such as the inefficiency of a universal planned economy and the undemocratic nature of their political system. This inbuilt inability to face facts led to their downfall.

In the same way, conservative politics has managed to paint itself into a rather embarrassing corner. According to the writers of this paper (quoted above) environmental scepticism has its basis in the influence of "conservative think tanks" (CTT), most of which published their work after 1992.

The upshot is that conservatives in 1992, without communism to energise them, turned their attention inwards towards the political left and issues that they saw as important. Since environmentalism is based upon left-wing political thinking, this particular facet of left-wing ideas was targeted. It can therefore be assumed that an organised disinformation campaign has been running since that time that is the basis of modern environmental scepticism.

Of course, such activity (putting forward a sceptical case) needs to be based upon objective scientific research. Had these conservative think tanks put facts before ideology, then they would have had the golden opportunity of proposing conservative answers to scientifically proven environmental problems. Instead, by disseminating incorrect information, they have managed to make our world a more dangerous place.

Any similar study that focuses upon non-sceptical environmental papers and books will discover that some of them would have been written by left-wing ideologues operating within progressive think tanks. However, since the scientific case is so clear, this would actually be a minority. Scientists who represent the "mainstream scientific consensus" in things like Global Warming are not doing so because they are left wing ideologues, but because their opinion has been shaped by facts.

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