Denialist strategies

Section 1

  1. Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt once said “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” Discuss at least two common denialist strategies are reflected in these statements?
[Note: Current EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has been in the news much less than Pruitt, but the views of both are quite similar].
  1. An additional claim of climate deniers is that “climate has always been changing.” How has climate changed since 1800 (indicate conditions at 3-4 time points during this period)? How do these changes compare with historical patterns over the last ~ 1,000,000 years? Over the last 10,000-20,000 years? Has the rate of global temperature change been linear since 1800? List and briefly describe 5 measurable effects on climate (in addition to temperature per se) that have occurred over the last ~50 years. (Note: “briefly describe” = a couple of meaty sentences).

Section 2

This question is based on a Wikipedia article about the “Seralini affair”, as well as the original 2012 Seralini article (retracted) and the journal editor’s retraction. All of these are available in the Blackboard GMO folder.

  1. Summarize the findings of Seralini’s journal article.
  2. How was this article “rolled out,” that is, how was it presented to the public and the scientific community?
  3. Why was the paper retracted?
  4. A. Wallace Hayes was the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicol. Based on Seralini’s earlier publications, sources of funding, etc., do you agree/disagree with Hayes when he wrote: “Dr. Séralini deserves the benefit of the doubt that this unreliable conclusion was reached in honest error.” Why? Whatever stance you take, you must back up your arguments with evidence.
  5. What similarities are there between this incident and the Wakefield MMR-autism paper?

*Journal Editors Retraction is the attachment without the (2012) parenthesis and the original retraction is the one with (2012) parenthesiséralini_affair


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