Pharyngula: Journamalism at Wired
Journamalism from Max Frankel (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?)

Jonathan Chait on Global-Warming Deniers

Jonathan Chait says that the right wing cannot be in denial about global warming because they are all bought-and-paid-for tools of the oil industry. Only most of them are bought-and-paid-for tools of the oil industry:

Why the right goes nuclear over global warming - Los Angeles Times: The easy answer is that Republicans are just tools of the energy industry. It's certainly true that many of them are. Leading global warming skeptic Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-Texas), for instance, was the subject of a fascinating story in the Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago. The bottom line is that his relationship to the energy industry is as puppet relates to hand. But the financial relationship doesn't quite explain the entirety of GOP skepticism on global warming. For one thing, the energy industry has dramatically softened its opposition to global warming over the last year, even as Republicans have stiffened theirs.

The truth is more complicated -- and more depressing: A small number of hard-core ideologues (some, but not all, industry shills) have led the thinking for the whole conservative movement.... [W]e nonconservatives tend to defer to mainstream scientific wisdom. Conservatives defer to a tiny handful of renegade scientists.... National Review magazine... has a blog dedicated to casting doubt on global warming... "Planet Gore." The psychology at work here is pretty clear: Your average conservative may not know anything about climate science, but conservatives do know they hate Al Gore....

[I]f the GOP allowed Republican researchers who accept the scientific consensus to sit on a global warming panel, it would kill the party's strategy of making global warming seem to be the pet obsession of Democrats and Hollywood lefties. The phenomenon here is that a tiny number of influential conservative figures set the party line; dissenters are marginalized, and the rank and file go along with it....

You can tell that some conservatives who want to fight global warming understand how the psychology works and are trying to turn it in their favor. Their response is to emphasize nuclear power as an integral element of the solution. Sen. John McCain, who supports action on global warming, did this in a recent National Review interview. The technique seems to be surprisingly effective. When framed as a case for more nuclear plants, conservatives seem to let down their guard...

Jonathan should ask a deeper question: Why have the industry shills and the hard-core ideologues led the thinking for the whole conservative movement? They have led the thinking because the energy industry has funded them.