In a new paper published in the Journal of Social Marketing, Dr. Erik L. Olson spotlights the “Fakegate” scandal as a salient example of the unethical and deceptive practices used by those who promote dangerous anthropogenic global warming (AGW) — a“difficult-to-sell” cause. It is suggested that the ethically questionable tactics employed by AGW “marketers” (i.e., falsely hyping “the severity, immediacy and certainty of AGW threats”) have failed and should be resisted.
Image Source: ResearchGate.net, BI Norwegian Business School BINBS
Three years ago, an unheralded paper was published in The International Journal of Geosciences entitled “Climate Change Science & Propaganda” (Nelson, 2015). The author, a retired chemical engineer, openly and brazenly characterized the United Nation’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as an “undisputed” distributor of propaganda.
“Propaganda is a manipulation tool focused primarily on emotions. It has little to do with truth or facts and everything to do with persuasion and motivation. Whether that is good or bad, depends on whether you feel science should be boringly independent and often ignored, or entertainingly deceptive but viewed by many. If the initial reaction is emotional, it’s probably propaganda.”
“The IPCC members are obligated to uphold, maintain, and implement its principles and promote its products, and act in accordance with the manifesto (IPCC, May 2011 p. 24). They must proactively communicate with the media and correct any incorrect representations that may be damaging (IPCC, May 2011, p. 33). Bureau members must not express any views beyond the scope of the reports (IPCC, May 2011, p. 36). All members, including all lead authors (IPCC, Nov 2011, p. 16) must sign a conflict of interest form (IPCC, Nov 2011, p. 19), which indirectly obligates them to uphold the IPCC principals and products.”
“It is undisputed that not only does the IPCC recommend propaganda, it teaches and promotes it.” — Nelson, 2015
In a new paper (detailed below), Dr. Erik L. Olson — a professor of marketing at BI Norwegian Business School (BINBS) — further derides the current marketing of an imminent human-caused climate threat.
Olson targets the tendency for the purveyors of dangerous AGW to utilize deceptive and unethical tactics in an effort to garner the public‘s attention and to “sell” governmental policies that promote costly emissions mitigation.
He analyzes the public’s response to the “Fakegate” scandal — an instance in which an activist climate researcher named Peter Gleick admittedly stole documents and deceptively posed as a Heartland Institute member in a failed attempt to undermine climate change skepticism.
The results of the analysis reveal that AGW advocates (or, as Olson calls them, “believers”) tend to justify the unethical conduct of those on their side as long as the transgression is deemed to have been for a “good cause”.
Noting that the AGW paradigm is “difficult-to-sell”, Olson warns that the utilization of deceptive headlines, the unethical practice of manipulating temperature data to “hide the decline”, stealing documents and faking authorship . . . are not effective selling points when it comes to persuading an already skeptical public.
Instead, as a marketing tool, the utilization of deceptive and unethical tactics are destined to fail.