In Hot Topic, I relegated discussion of climate cranks and their arguments to an appendix. In that section I look at the roots of denial, the influence of politics on scientific debate (or not-so-scientific debate, in most cases), and tried to highlight the irrelevance of sceptical views to our predicament today. UC San Diego historian of science Naomi Oreskes – already well known in climate circles for her paper testing the reality of consensus amongst climate scientists – gave a lecture titled The American Denial of Global Warming back in December last year, and it is well worth 58 minutes of anyone’s time. The first half deals with the history of climate science, and just how much agreement existed by the ’60s. In the second half she looks at how the George C Marshall institute developed the tactics of denial to defend Reagan’s “Star Wars” initiative, and then applied it to tobacco, the ozone hole, and, eventually, climate science. The roots of all the sceptic tropes used by our tame NZ CSC are laid out for all to see. Highly recommended.