Stephen Lewandowsky has published an insightful piece on conspiracy theories on the ABC’s Drum website.
To summarise his points: despite all the evidence that contradicts the the belief that the US government orchestrated 9/11 or that scientists are engaged in a global conspiracy to fabricate data to manufacture “catastrophic global warming” (why, well…), many “believers” cling desperately to maintaining their belief.
The do so by expanding the players in the conspiracy. Lewandowsky makes reference to the HUN’s resident fantasist, Andrew Blog:
“…The scurrilous thinking of conspiracy theorists is best exemplified by an Australian tabloid blogger, whose “evidence” for a whitewash derived from the fact that Lord Oxburgh … rides a bicycle! Yes, Lord Oxburgh rides a bicycle. And being a cyclist clearly implicates one in a grand conspiracy designed to deny others the pleasures of life that are seemingly only attainable by emitting vast quantities of CO2.
The same tabloid scribe strayed close to psychiatric territory by hinting that the recent shut-down of European airspace after the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull was unnecessary because the decision relied on data from computer models which — what else! — were the same ones that predict global warming. Never mind that the recent ash clouds were traced by satellites and radar. And never mind that the last time a 747 flew into volcanic ash its four engines stalled and that only considerable skill and luck saved the lives of hundreds of terrified passengers. Never mind that a Finnish F-18 and a Belgian F-16 suffered engine damage from ash earlier this month. Never mind anything by way of actual evidence … never mind that countless lives might be put at risk by a conspiracy theory.”
I’d recommend the article.
For me, it’s the comments that are fascinating.
It’s here where the 9/11 Truthers and self proclaimed climate sceptics come out of the woodwork, and not only to defend their claims and heap abuse on Lewondowsky. Just as critically they heap their scorn on other conspiracy theorists.