Environmental Skeptics Politicised: Study
June 13, 2008
Environmental Skeptics Are Overwhelmingly Politicized, Study Says
A review of environmental skepticism literature from the past 30 years has found that the vast majority of skeptics, often identified as independent, are directly linked to politically oriented, conservative think tanks.
The study, published in this month's issue of Environmental Politics, analyzed books written between 1972 and 2005 that deny the urgency of environmental protection. The researchers found that more than 92% of the skeptical authors were in some way affiliated to conservative think tanks - non-profit research and advocacy organizations that promote core conservative ideals.
While many environmental skeptics are known to work for these think tanks, the study is the first to provide a quantitative analysis of the relationship. The popular media often regard environmental skeptics as independent experts, despite their connection to industry-funded campaigns that seek to de-legitimize sound environmental science reports, especially on climate change, says lead author Peter Jacques, an environmental politics professor at the University of Central Florida.