Tue, 2006-09-26 12:34Kevin Grandia
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Exxon's $2.4 million ventriloquist act

There are many opinions a coporation must keep to itself, that is if it's insterested in keeping a squeaky clean, or a squeaky “green” image. Sometimes, though, a corporation feels compelled to inject something unsavory into the public debate in order to protect the bottom-line - and the best way to do this is through the age-old art of ventriloquism.

When it comes to the issue of climate change, no corporation has done better with this tricky little PR technique than ExxonMobil, which was castigated this week by the UK's prestigious Royal Society for funding organizations that work to spread doubt about the scientific consensus on climate change.

Of course, this type of ventriloquism is not without precedent.

The classic example is The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), a front group that the PR firm APCO-Worldwide founded in 1993 on behalf of tobacco giant Philip Morris, specifically to question the health risks of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). TASSC then engaged experts to write papers in the industry’s defence.

So who are Exxon's ventriloquist dolls when it comes to the issue of climate change? In 2005 alone, ExxonMobil spent mjore than $2.4 million on organizations that say what Exxon hasn't got the credibility or the nerve to say itself.

Here's a list, as reported on ExxonMobile's 2005 Worldwide Giving Report:
Tue, 2006-09-26 11:45Richard Littlemore
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TV Science Expert Prerequisites Explained

Great spoof here from the onion.com - at least, I hope it's a spoof.
Tue, 2006-09-26 08:48Richard Littlemore
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Global Warming "Ended" In 1998: Two Views

Australian geologist Bob Carter, who teaches at James Cook University in Queensland, offers this view about the end of the warm era.

Now, try to reconcile Carter's self-satisfied claim with this graph.


Is Prof. Carter not aware of this information - i.e., not really an expert at all? Or is he somehow able to live with his conscience while saying things that are intentionally misleading?

For a more reasonable and informed view, check this Fox News story on the latest science, showing the world warmer than ever in, well, at least 12,000 years.
Tue, 2006-09-26 08:22Kevin Grandia
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Monbiot launches book and great YouTube video

With the release of his new book, Heat, UK journalist and author George Monbiot has been taking straight aim at the climate change “skeptic” movement. We found this 8 minute YouTube video done recently by Monbiot.

<embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/sghDI7CrXBs” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”
Tue, 2006-09-26 07:13Richard Littlemore
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Inhofe Offers "Major Speech" on Climate Change Denial

A smoggy InhofeGrist has a wonderful clause-by-clause report of a speech by Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe - very entertaining.
You should also click through to the Inhofe press release, which tends to read like more satire after you have finished the Grist version.
One potential typo, though, with the Grist version of the speech. Grist writer David Roberts believes that he heard Inhofe accuse Al Gore of promulgating one of the “sickest scientific propaganda films” ever. According to Inhofe's press release, his text read “slickest” - but, as they say, 'check against delivery.'

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