10 Most Deceptive PR Campaigns in History

Global Warming Is a Hoax
Ileene Anderson, dressed as Goofy, Valeria Love and Andrea Weber, dressed as a polar bear called Frostpaw, rally against the Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas pipeline project in Bel-Air, California in 2014. David McNew/Getty Images

The notion of climate change, or global warming, has been around for years now. Some think it's real, some say it's not. Even the scientific community is in turmoil, so how can we possibly figure out the truth? Actually, the scientific community isn't in turmoil over global warming. In 2013, a group of scientists looked over 4,014 abstracts on climate change and found an amazing rate of consensus. A full 97.2 percent of the papers assumed humans had at least some role in global warming.

And most Americans aren't on the fence, either. According to Scientific American, surveys show 89 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of independents think global warming is occurring, thanks at least in part to people. So why do we think the issue is still in such a flux?

The scientists who don't believe in global warming are a small group, but they're vocal. They also have a wealth of political connections. For decades, their supporters have run campaigns to mislead people about not only global warming, but about the ozone hole, acid rain and other well-established scientific knowledge. They do so by persuading the media to cover their views whenever their opponents' thoughts are cited. Climate change skeptics also work to create the illusion that there's much discord on the subject among climate scientists, which further confuses the public as to what's considered accepted science on the subject and what's fringe craziness. Sadly, their efforts have worked for many years [sources: Merchants of Doubt, Vaidyanathan].

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