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Fri, 2006-08-04 09:47Kevin Grandia
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Warning: Climate porn is bad for you

The Institute for Public Policy Research, a UK-based think tank, issued areport yesterday warning environmentalists and communicaters to stay away from alarmist language that may be causing more harm than good when it comes to getting the message across about global warming.

The IPPR report is just another in a series of reports and research urging envrionmentalists and those who want real action on climate change to re-think the way we communicate the issue to the public. In any public relations campaign, there is always a real danger of creating an unwanted or opposite effect from what is intended. If the PR program you design is not grounded in thorough research, usually in the form of such things as polling and focus groups, you will always be in the dark about what the actual effects are of your program are.

In the case of the IPPR report, the authors, a linguist and a textual analyst, make the sound argument that alarmist language can elicit an effect more akin to “climate porn,” than a call to arms by the citizenry to tackle global warming. In other words, many public interest groups assume that melting glaciers and heat waves will scare people to action, when in fact it has the opposite effect of people tuning out the message they are trying to get across. PR professionals have known this for years, but much like smoking, we all know that alarmism is bad for us, but many of us continue to do it anyways.
Wed, 2006-08-02 16:18Kevin Grandia
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California "skeptical" of skeptics

The National Post, Canada's second national newspaper, ran a column today written by Steve “the Junkman” Milloy. The guest editorial attacks the State of California's request for General Motors, DaimlerChrysler and the Association of Automobile Manufacturers to disclose financial payments made to many of the more notorious climate change “skeptic.”

Milloy, a climate change “skeptic” himself,  is appalled that such documents should be exposed, and it sounds like GM et al. will be this fighting this one tooth and nail.

While Milloy is trying to spin this as an attempt to “silence the skeptics,” reporting of funding sources by scientists is also a matter of full disclosure and allows a fuller context to the information the public uses to make decisions on important issues like climate change.
Tue, 2006-08-01 10:40Kevin Grandia
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Bush: forget climate change, I got breakfast with Jeb



Breakfast with Jeb

The State of California and the United Kingdom agreed to a pact yesterday to create a carbon trading market as a means of pushing the development of new green technologies and battling global warming. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Califonia's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will also look to enhance the sharing of knowledge in the areas of economic and scientific research as it relates to climate change.

As reported widely
, neither US President George Bush or his top enviro-advisor, James Connaughton, were able to attend due to “scheduling conflicts.”
Thu, 2006-07-27 08:54Kevin Grandia
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Leaked memo claims that GM, Ford financed pro-CO2 ad campaign

A leaked coal industry memo claims that General Motors and Ford are behind a controversial climate change-denial adBusted campaign currently being run by the the libertarian lobby group the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

(Both Ford and GM now deny this claim – see the comment string that follows.)

The DeSmogBlog team has received a copy of a leaked July 17, 2006 memo written by Stanley Lewandowski, General Manager of the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA). The memo states: 

“The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has been running two ads in ten states that were financed by General Motors and Ford Motor Company.”

Tue, 2006-07-25 11:15Kevin Grandia
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Busted: Climate change skeptic Ibbetson accused of misinformation

Climate change skeptic and former Kansas police chief, Paul Ibbetson, has been outed for spreading misinformation, by the American Geophysical Union, whose research he used in a recent opinion piece he penned.

The article, Behind the Curtain: revisiting global warming and the war on terror, which appeared on several websites yesterday, stated that:
Mon, 2006-07-24 16:26Kevin Grandia
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Oreskes hits back hard

Science History Professor Naomi Oreskes has written a blistering piece inCan we add weasel? the LA Times today. Her motivation is the barrage of criticism she has been taking lately from an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal as well the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Normally, we would advise against scientists  responding to this public misinformation because it only adds to the appearance of a debate, which is exactly what the skeptics aim to do. However, Oreskes piece is very well written and clearly reinforces the message that the debate on climate change has been over for a long time.

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