How climate sceptics network more effectively than environmentalists

Details are emerging of how the networks of climate change sceptics operated in rapidly promoting the Climategate story – and how less effective the enironmental movement was in responding.
Left Foot Forward reports on how Oxfam commissioned a study from digital mapping agency Profero, presented this week at a closed meeting of campaigners.

After explaining how the Climategate story made its way from sceptic blogs to the Daily Telegraph blog written by James Delingpole, and on to other mainstream media, the Left Foot Forward report says:

The speed of information flow within the sceptic community, with its rapid publication of sceptical “research”, is far quicker than any scientist or NGO could hope to match – and handily unencumbered by peer review or sign-off processes.This meant that because almost no-one from the climate movement responded to or rebutted the sceptics’ arguments, they ended up owning the story.

The Profero study looked at the character of the online climate sceptic networks, and found it strongly inter-woven around a number of key hubs. Stuart Conway, the study’s co-author, is reported as saying that “there are no progressive networks” – just hubs of activity here and there, lacking interconnection.

Early indications of how the networks operate prompted discussion on the RSA Fellowship site about Communicating Climate Change, now being followed through here and here.

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