Happy Birthday to the DeSmogBlog!!!!

Tue, 2006-12-05 11:00Jim Hoggan
Jim Hoggan's picture

Happy Birthday to the DeSmogBlog!!!!

Today, December 1st, marks exactly a year since the DeSmogBlog went live, striking out to challenge those people who try to make climate change a political story – and not a scientific one.


They exist in abundance. Despite an overwhelming global consensus that human activity is causing climate change, there remains a small but well-funded core of deniers – people who will go to almost any length to cast doubt upon a scientific reality that grows more obvious, and more frightening, by the day.


A huge number of those people work for “think tanks” in the U.S. and Canada – organizations like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Centre for Public Policy Research, the Heritage Foundation, the George C. Marshall Institute; and the Cato Institute. These think tanks are often heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry or by donors like the Scaife Foundation, which derived their wealth from fossil fuels. Then they use that money to make arguments that would sound laughable coming from directly from a big self-interested spender like ExxonMobil. The best example, the most laughable, is the CEI ad campaign, “We Call it Life.”


But it’s not funny. It’s doing real damage, paralyzing the policy process in the United States, Canada and Australia and slowing action in other parts of the world. The prestigious Royal Society of London has become so concerned that it went public this fall, challenging ExxonMobil to stop funding this think-tank driven disinformation campaign. Exxon took the matter under advisement.


The bottom line, for us at the DeSmogBlog, is that this is not a scientific discussion, it’s a public relations war, and while we’re not scientists, we know a fair bit about PR.


That’s why we got involved, and we’re proud and delighted by our success in this first year, calling attention to some of the worst public relations abuses in the climate change debate. We rose quickly into the top two per cent of all blogs worldwide that are tracked by Technorati, which currently ranks the DeSmogBlog in the “high authority” category, a tribute to our reach and our credibility.


Credit for that must go to the DeSmogBlog team. Manager Kevin Grandia keeps the machine churning, writers Ross Gelbspan, Richard Littlemore and Bill Miller provide insightful and well-researched content, and Sarah Pullman maintains an essential link to the internet community.


We must save the largest share of praise, however, for our benefactor and my partner in creating the blog, John Lefebvre, a man who is using his goodly fortune to improve the fortunes of those around him. I am inspired by his example and always invigorated by his dedication, determination and intellectual input.


So, Happy Birthday to us. And to the deniers: brace yourselves. We’re just beginning to get the hang of this and we’re looking forward to an even more effective second year.

Comments

Way to go. I especially like the denier of the day bit. Very informative. Best of luck in your second year.
Happy birthday to you people at Desmog! And thank you for making that list of climate change deniers. For me they are heroes, people that regardless of an oppressive consensus climate in science dare to stand up for their ideas and convictions. These are the real men and women! A big hurray for them! Some of them may be paid by the oil industry. I see no problem there. Sure it is possible that industrial money influences findings, but I consider it just as likely that scientific findings are edited because they do not fit the ideals of the involved scientist (or of the funding agency). If you do not want to restrict your list to the original 60 deniers, , may I suggest you read the L.F. Khilyuk and G.V. Chilingar piece ‘On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved?’ (Environmental Geology Vol. 50, Nr 6 August, 2006.). It is peer reviewed, yes. To make your research not to time consuming, you might want to check Chilingars cv here http://www.usc.edu/dept/civil_eng/dept/assets/002/49389.pdf(about 500 articles and 60 books he wrote. You might wanna add a sneer that that quantity of paper alone shows his disregard for trees and the environment!) One last remark: while I interpret your list as a list of honor, others might react differently. When you look back at the recent debate in the blogosphere about climate change deniers as a sort of criminals that ought to be taken before a Neurenberg-style trial, are you not affraid that your list might incite hotheads, susceptible to your really professional PR, to take up arms? Here in the Netherlands we’ve had two killings, one anti-environmentalist-writer and one anti-muslim-writer after many months of so called ‘demonizing’. Is there a similar list where the Hansens and Mann’s of the consensus-side are listed and ridiculed? If I understand you right such a thing would be clever PR and according to you the money is no problem. So why do these skeptics not something similar. Would you encourage that or would you recommend that the climate debate sticks to science instead of degrading into ad hominem attacks. Best regards Theo Richel

These individuals nominated themselves for inclusion on the deniers' list. They inserted themselves into the political process by signing a document calling diurectly for a specific political policy (disregard) of climate change.

The DeSmogBlog feels it is relevant that people consider the credentials and corporate connections of any self-described “expert” who would stand up to affect government policy. We certainly to NOT advocate that any harm come to them. We just believe they should have the reputations that they have earned.

Thank you for this blog and keep up the great work!
That made my day …