Pseudoscience Discussion

Assignment: Total points: 25

View the following video clip and answer the 4 questions below. (Note, feel free to watch the

entire video. If you don’t have time to watch the entire video, make sure to watch the sections

noted below.)

PBS: Climate of Doubt http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/climate-of-…

 Watch from start to around 7:20 – background

 Watch from 15:20 to 21:50 – manipulation of data, “going down the up escalator” and the

Oregon Petition

 Watch from around 36:55 to about 44:45 – North Carolina climate change legislation on

sea level rise and discussion of use of tactics used by the tobacco industry in claiming

second-hand smoke is not harmful; oil industry ties

1. Give two examples from the Climate of Doubt video that illustrate how the media may help

promote or help refute pseudoscience. (4 points)

2. How do the skeptics “diminish the credibility of the scientific consensus” and “spread the

message of doubt?” Include analysis of “going down the up escalator” and the Oregon

Petition as pseudoscience. (6 points)

3. What do you think are the motivations behind climate denial, based on the video? Who are

the key players seen in the video and what are their credentials? What industries are cited as

being heavily involved, and who are some of the key players with ties to industries? (5

points) (5 points)

4. Discuss the failed North Carolina legislation to “legislate climate change out of existence.”

How did the skeptics win, even though the legislation was not passed (what is the next step)?

(5 points)

Clip #2: https://twitter.com/SenBrianSchatz/status/75549234…

This clip shows Senator Brian Schatz talking about the Web of Denial. (Cut and paste the link

into your browser). If that does not work, go to this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz-

72_kjsnI and watch from 1:19 to 4:16 to see the part from the twitter clip.

Then read the Senate Concurrent Resolution (found here) and answer the question below.

http://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/download/?id=14B7…

What is the Web of Denial? Why are US Senators taking action by supporting the Senate Web

of Denial Resolution? (5 points)

 

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