The Great Global-Warming-Denial-Echo-Chamber Echo-Chamber Irony

by | Feb 17, 2009

Last week, we posted about David Roberts’ conspiracy mongering about the email list operated by Marc Morano, which like its many green counterparts, serves to keep people in touch. Roberts said:

Morano’s entire job is to aggregate every misleading factoid, every attack on climate science or scientists, every crank skeptical statement from anyone in the world and send it all out periodically in email blasts that get echoed throughout the right-wing blog world and eventually find their way into places like Fox News and the Weekly Standard. From there they go, via columnists like George Will and Charles Krauthammer, into mainstream outlets like Newsweek and the Washington Post. [Our emphasis]

In our view, there’s nothing spooky, or illegitimate about people – even people you have political differences with – talking to each other.

Unless you’re paranoid.

That’s politics. In fact, it’s democracy, and as we pointed out, Roberts’ objection seemed to be that people were actually allowed to talk to each other. There’s clearly something up with Roberts, who seems to believe that, without Morano’s list, the climate-sceptic argument in the news, and on the blogosophere, would disintegrate.

Roberts’ story made its way today to the Wonk Room blog, where Brad Johnson wrote

Morano’s “entire job,” Gristmill’s David Roberts explains, “is to aggregate every misleading factoid, every attack on climate science or scientists, every crank skeptical statement from anyone in the world and send it all out periodically in email blasts” to the right-wing echo chamber. The Wonk Room has acquired Morano’s email list, and we can now reveal the pack of climate skeptics, conservative bloggers, and corporate hacks who feed the misinformation machine. [Our emphasis]

Echo chambers, eh?

Over at Desmogblog Kevin Grandia had this to say in reply to Brad Johnson:

One of the oldest public relations trick in the book is called the “echo chamber” and it plays off the idea that if you repeat something often enough it becomes the truth

Senator James Inhofe’s political spindoctor Marc Morano knows this technique well and he has been using for years to shotgun blast out misinformation on global warming to right-wing media and bloggers for years.

In turn, these bloggers and media outlets blast out their own rendition and before you know it the misinformation is bouncing around the internet and inboxes all over the world. [Our emphasis]

What these complaints seem to relate to is the existence of a mode of communication between climate sceptics, through which pointless and made up stories are passed, published, and, by repetition, the profile of these stories is raised in the public mind.

Without an echo-chamber network to propagate silly stories, Roberts, Grandia, and Johnson wouldn’t have much to talk about. But the irony of the nonsense they propogate is beyond their understanding.


  1. StuartR

    My first bit of Latin that really sunk in was “argumentum ad hominem”, this was learned by seeing it at work. I now know it means “avoiding the issue and attacking the man” if used by a ‘denier’, or “saving time and ‘moving on’” if used by a believer.

    I know this isn’t science but I’ve never met a live person who talks with anything remotely like the zeal you see implied by even the most ‘neutral’ Telegraph headline regurgitating a climate handout.

    On the other hand, if push comes to shove, you will find that the equivalent of the ‘hammer hitting the thumb’ blurting of annoyance on this subject, lies latent and dormant in most productive humans.

    This ‘expose’ by Roberts that people who don’t agree with him actually talk to each other, is really nothing more than the most lame of this accusatory phenomenon, as illustrated in this article.

    By twittering in this way to each other about it, they just illuminate the fact that their true aim is nothing more than to keep submerged this subject which will accept no scrutiny.

    Shows how desperate these morons are. – Yes I know, Ad Hominem :)

  2. Stevo

    I think Grandia misunderstands the normal usage of the term.

    Talking into the echo chamber is preaching to the choir – passionately arguing your case to people who are already convinced. They simply reflect back your own opinions, and you get the misleading impression that your arguments are convincing and valid, because nobody disagrees with them, and you hear everybody repeating them.

    That’s the accusation being made by Johnson. He’s obviously never hung around a sceptic site if he thinks we never get argued with.


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