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Thu, 2011-10-27 16:11Graham Readfearn
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Lord Lawson's Global Warming Policy Foundation Mistaken On Actual Facts

Global Warming Policy Foundation

A UK-based climate change denial think-tank has been caught making serious misrepresentations on climate policy which go against the guidelines of the UK's charity regulator.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, set up as a charitable organisation by former UK Conservative finance minister Lord Nigel Lawson, has been gaining traction in some media outlets who are turning to the foundation in an apparent attempt to “balance” their stories on climate change.

But in providing balance, Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, shows those media outlets are also helping to spread mistruths.

Writing in The Guardian, Ward looked back on public statements and media interviews given by Lord Lawson since his foundation was launched in November 2009 and found at least five examples where the public had been misled.

Tue, 2011-10-11 23:08Graham Readfearn
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Australia Gets a Price on Carbon Despite Toxic Anti-Science Campaign

THEY paid millions of dollars for adverts on television, in newspapers and online. They flew in climate change deniers from across the globe. They held rallies, engaged prominent right-wing media personalities, threatened scientists and turned the cold non-partisan findings of peer-reviewed science into some kind of blood sport.

But despite what was surely the dirtiest and most dishonest campaign ever waged before the Australian public, from next July major industrial emitters of greenhouse gases (about 500 of them) will have to pay $23 for every tonne of their pollution under laws passed earlier today.

The torrent of self-interest, archaic so-called “free-market” ideology and unmitigated greenhouse gas pollution, will give way to modest payments for the right to continue to pollute, while placing billions into funds to finance clean energy projects.

Away from the propaganda, the bare facts read like this. The laws now pass to the Senate for a vote in early November.

The previous Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation also got this far but was voted down twice in 2009 before it was deferred permanently by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

This time though, the Greens who helped forge the bills which make up the Clean Energy Future package hold the balance of power in the upper house. Barring something extraordinary, which noone - not even the Opposition - is able to envisage, the laws will pass.

From 1 July 2012, Australia's largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions will have to pay a fixed price of $23 per tonne of pollution produced here. The price will rise to $25.40 per tonne in 2014/15. From 1 July 2015, an emissions trading scheme will be introduced where the government releases a fixed number of permits which major emitters will need to purchase through auctions. In the early stages, major industries will be given permits for free, but the assistance gets scaled back.  The number of permits released by the government will be capped to enable Australia to cut its emissions by five per cent by 2020, based on 2000 levels.

Thu, 2011-09-15 09:21Graham Readfearn
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How The Australian Newspaper Warps The World of Climate Science

Cover of Bad news, an essay by Robert Manne

THERE is a publication in Australia where for every one story you read which agrees society should take firm steps to combat climate change, there are four stories suggesting we shouldn’t.

When climate change is viewed through the pages of this publication, most of the world’s “experts” think it’s either not happening, not worth worrying about or not caused by humans.

Advocates for strong action on climate change are variously described as “prophets of doom”, “greenhouse hysterics” or “hair-shirted greenhouse penitents”. 

As extreme as these positions might appear, this publication is not a newsletter from a fringe group or a bulletin from the Tea Party.
 
This is the divisive state of climate change science in the pages of the nation’s sole national newspaper The Australian, according to a 115-page examination of the publication’s role in shaping how Australia thinks.
 
The essay – Bad News (paywalled) - is written by author Professor Robert Manne, one of the country’s leading political thinkers.
 
Wed, 2011-06-29 10:40Graham Readfearn
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Climate Sceptic Group Reveals Strategy Document to Win Hearts and Minds

International Climate Science Coalition

In December 2009 at a gathering of climate change deniers in Copenhagen, Dr Tom Harris** was shimmering with enthusiasm for his latest project.

Dr Mr. Harris, executive director of the Ottawa-based sceptic group the International Climate Science Coalition, explained how he had managed to gather “hundreds” of signatures from “climate experts” who wanted to challenge “supporters of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused climate change” to provide evidence.

Not only that, but it had taken him just “two weeks” to gather the signatures, which he then explained numbered 150 (so much for hundreds).

“This list is growing quickly,” he said, “and we are going to maintain it as something called the register. We expect it eventually to be thousands.”

With such a surge in supporters, how is the global register going a full 18 months on?

Wed, 2011-06-22 17:48Richard Littlemore
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Canadian Geologists Embarrass Themselves on Climate

The joint conference of the Geological Association of Canada (GAC) and the Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC) included a DenierFest sideshow worthy of the Heartland Institute, with guest speakers flown in from as far away as Australia and Europe in an effort to address one organizer’s concern about an “unbalanced debate.”

Notwithstanding the manipulations of the deluded University of Toronto geologist Dr. Andrew Miall, the conference featured a full helping of honest-to-goodness science. There were occasions galore during which knowledgeable people spoke about matters with which they have legitimate expertise.

Then there were the sessions that featured the likes of Australians Bob Carter and Ian Plimer, people who do no actual work in climate science but who are only too delighted to tell you that everything we understand about human influence on global warming is a carefully constructed fiction. Organizers even brought in the Danish astrophysicist Henrik Svensmark - a man who will clutch his chest and fall to the ground rather than offer a straight answer as to why he insists the sun is causing climate change when the sun has been in a long weak cycle even as the earth continues to overheat. (The “heart attack,” reported above, was later confirmed to be a stress reaction.)

Wed, 2010-06-02 12:47Brendan DeMelle
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Climate denial activists’ parallel to anti-relativity movement of 1920s

This is an excellent piece by friend of DeSmogBlog Joss Garman, cross-posted with permission from JossGarman.com:

“This world is a strange madhouse. Currently, every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation.”

So wrote Albert Einstein in a letter to his one time collaborator, the mathematician Marcel Grossmann in 1920.

Jeroen van Dongen of the Institute for History and Foundations of Science at Utrecht University in Holland, writing in a recent edition of the journal, ‘Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics,’ describes the effectiveness of the movement that grew up to oppose Einstein’s theory. There are some striking parallels with today’s climate debate.

At a time when The Guardian just reported another poll showing a drop in concern about climate change, and a New York Times front page this week described Britons’ growing doubts about the science, its worth taking a look at that anti-science campaign, which was waged by Einstein’s critics because like today’s climate denial movement, the anti-relativity movement had some success too.

Tue, 2010-02-02 12:57Kevin Grandia
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Monbiot rips Plimer and Plimer blames DeSmogBlog

In late December, Guardian columnist George Monbiot squared off on ABC Australia with the climate-change expert wannabe, Ian Plimer.

Monbiot rips Plimer, and it’s very amusing to watch Plimer pretend he’s an expert in climate science, despite the fact  that he has no academic background in climate change research and is on the board of directors of no less than three very large mining companies.

Regardless, I hadn’t had a chance to see the entire video and just had a chance to watch it in it’s entirety. Nobody had told me that near the end of the debate Plimer smears and lies about DeSmogBlog, saying that:

“Why does Mr. Monbiot use blog sites, where the bloggers are paid to smear scientists, this is DeSmogBlog which is paid for by the Suzuki Foundation.”

Sorry, Plimer, we don’t smear scientists, we simply point out the lack of expertise and fossil fuel industry ties of people like you who are spreading misinformation about the realities of climate change.

DeSmogBlog has never received a single penny from the Suzuki Foundation and Monbiot has never “used” DeSmogBlog.

Here’s the last 3rd of the debate, Plimer lies about DeSmogBlog at the 7 minute mark:

Mon, 2010-01-04 11:39Brendan DeMelle
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Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Also a Global Warming Denier

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey

Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey is not only delusional about healthcare, it turns out he’s also a first rate climate change denier.

Mackey upset many Whole Foods customers, employees and shareholders last summer with his Wall Street Journal op-ed trashing President Obama’s health care reform efforts.  Now he’s back with a new bone to pick – “hysteria about global warming,” will “raise taxes and increase regulation” and lead to “socialism.”  Boo!

Mackey, “a vocal libertarian, an orthodox free-marketer, an admirer of Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Ayn Rand,” spoke candidly with The New Yorker’s Nick Paumgarten about his climate change denial.  Wacky Mackey reveals that one of the books on his nightstand is “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming—the Missing Science,” a skeptic screed authored by Australian climate denier (and director of three commercial mining companies) Ian Plimer


Wed, 2009-12-16 08:43Kevin Grandia
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Ian Plimer exposed as a fraud

From Tim Lambert’s Deltoid blog:

“Ian Plimer’s performance in his debate with Monbiot has to be seen to be believed.

Rather than admit to making any error at all, Plimer ducks, weaves, obfuscates, recites his favourite catch phrase, tries to change the subject and fabricates some more. When confronted with the fact that the USGS says (backed with scientific papers) that human activities emit 130 times as much CO2 as volcanoes, Plimer claims that the USGS doesn’t count underwater volcanoes.

When told that the USGS specifically said that they do count undersea volcanoes, Plimer invented a story about how the nature of the rocks under the ocean proves that there must be unobserved emissions. Needless to say, this is not acceptable conduct for a scientist.”

Check out the rest of Lambert’s post here: Plimer exposed as a fraud

Here is our research database entry on Ian Plimer.

Tue, 2009-09-15 17:00Richard Littlemore
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Clumsy Denier Ian Plimer Limps AWAY FROM the Finish Line

The panicky Professor Ian Plimer appears to have run from the field of intelligent debate in his latest duck-and-dodge fest with UK Guardian Columnist George Monbiot.

Plimer is the author of Heaven and Earth, a terrible hash of logical misdirection, plagiarism and mistakes which was shredded into fine bits by people like our favourite Australian, Tim Lambert at Deltoid blog.

After Monbiot joined the public lashing, Plimer protested and demanded that Monbiot engage with him in debate. Monbiot agreed, but only on condition that Plimer first respond in writing to a handful of questions about the accuracy and source of material in his book.

Plimer has been hiding out ever since.

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