Letter: People can sense manipulation | AspenTimes.com

Letter: People can sense manipulation

People can sense manipulation

Glenn Beaton had a second column about global warming in Sunday’s Aspen Times. His logic went roughly like this:

A lot of people didn’t like my earlier column about climate science, which expressed skepticism about the need to act on it; I can’t imagine why people would be upset; perhaps (deniable innuendo here) it’s because they worship the Earth and see others who doubt their beliefs as challenging their faith. How ironic, these people who claim to follow science behaving so unscientifically!

If that’s the kind of sophistry Glenn regularly employs, then I don’t blame people for giving him hell.

I don’t want to speculate on Glenn’s motives, but I will say that the effect of his writings is to sow confusion about climate change and thus prevent action.

This is the time-honored strategy of merchants of doubt. A leading practitioner of the art, secretly taped at a presentation to oil and gas executives last year, explained how subtle questioning of science tends to produce inaction. “People get overwhelmed by the science and ‘I don’t know who to believe’ … you get people into a position of paralysis on the issue.… People are not prepared to get aggressive in moving one way or another. I’ll take a tie any day if I’m trying to preserve the status quo.” (Google “Rick Berman New York Times” for lots more.)

I think people sense intuitively when they’re being manipulated, and they get upset. That might better explain the negative response to Glenn’s climate columns.

Dave Reed

Carbondale and Grand Junction

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User