Green Left Weekly's $250,000 Fighting Fund Appeal: Swindlers, snake oil merchants and denialists

Issue 

I am sure readers would agree that the real swindlers were exposed in the discussion after the much-watched screening of Martin Durkin's Great Global Warming Swindle on ABC TV last week.

Durkin lied and slandered his way right through the Great Global Warming Swindle but he has been well and truly caught out. His graphs conveniently stopped in the 1980s so that we would not see the world temperature record of the last 17 years, which literally runs off the top of the chart and beyond the maximum temperatures recorded in the Medieval Warm Period (800-1300 AD).

This record also had to be omitted to boost the film's thesis that the sharp rise global warming today is caused by increased solar radiation and not rising carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, because in the last 17 years global warming has accelerated exponentially while solar activity has declined.

Durkin also made a crude play to political prejudice and hysteria by trying to frame the campaign against global warming as a grand conspiracy of Hitler-inspired eugenicists, frustrated Marxists who had infiltrated the environmental movement and a majority of scientists who were lying about global warming to get more funding!

Durkin has form for this sort of propaganda film. In 1997, Britain's Channel 4 broadcast Durkin's documentary series Against Nature, which painted the environmental movement as a threat to personal freedom and economic development. His 1998 documentary Storm in a D-Cup argued that silicone breast implants were good for a woman's health.

We've seen the same sort of propaganda produced with tobacco industry funding to deny the dangers of tobacco and its deadly connection with lung cancer. In fact, some of today's global warming denialists were also professional denialists in the tobacco debate.

Indeed "denialism", the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or rational debate when there is none, has now been developed as a well-funded propaganda technique. False arguments — using emotionally appealing, but ultimately empty and illogical assertions — are systematically used against a scientific consensus or against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Distraction, the secret of tricksters and magicians, is a major weapon of the denialists.

These days we are deluged with reactionary "denialism". We've seen John Howard and Mal Brough deny — against all the evidence — that their assault on NT Aboriginal communities is racist and a land grab.

We've seen Howard deny that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has anything to do with its oil resources — even when Brendan Nelson and Alexander Downer let slip the obvious!

And we've seen Howard's election campaign strategist Mark Textor brazenly lay out his plan to dupe some workers that giving their bosses more power to exploit will be good for their economic and social welfare. Never mind the official statistics that show corporate profit taking the biggest slice of national income since the 1950s.

Professional swindlers and snake-oil merchants are working full-time and for big bucks to distract us from and distort the truth. So we need campaigning and dissenting publications like Green Left Weekly that are independent from the corporate rich and their political regimes, to take on this barrage of lies.

Since the last issue, our supporters have raised $9027 taking the total amount raised so far this year to $115,722 or 46% of our 2007 target of $250,000. You can help us get closer to that target by depositing a donation to the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund at: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 901992.

Alternatively, send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia), or donate online at http://www.greenleft.org.au/donate.php.

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