Everything you ever wanted to know about climate change denial

John Cook, creator of the wildly popular web site Skeptical Science, published a new book today with Haydn Washington. The book is titled Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand and is available here and here at Amazon for less than $25.

In John’s words: “In late 2009, I was approached by environmental scientist Haydn Washington who suggested collaborating on a book ‘Climate Change Denial’. Haydn was interested in writing an in-depth examination of the social science behind denial – in particular, denial about climate change.

There are various types of climate denial. There’s literal denial, where skeptics deny the evidence for man-made global warming. This is most obvious in the denial industry, often funded by fossil fuel companies that seek to confuse the public. But there’s also denial within governments, who pretend they are taking action. And there’s denial within most of us. We let denial prosper and we resist the science and delude ourselves. Our book looks at all of these, examines the climate science in brief, summarises the types of denial arguments, and considers how we can roll back denial.”

John also has a great piece in today’s Guardian here about why he started Skeptical Science and why he wrote the book.  I spent some time with John when I was on sabbatical in Brisbane, Australia last year. He is a graduate of UQ in physics and works from home as a website engineer. It is remarkable that in the span of a few years, he has become one of the most influential non-scientists in the world in the climate change arena. I honestly cannot think of any non-scientist that has had a greater impact, even when considering other environmental issues. The only one in this league is writer Bill McKibben.

I have learned a lot about communicating with the public and explaining science from John and the other bloggers at Skeptical Science and I use the site daily as a resource and also in teaching. Beyond that, I think John’s biggest influence on me is proving that old adage that one person can make a difference. His example is really inspiring and frankly led me to initiate the development both SeaMonster and TheBlueCarbonProject.


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