Finally, in November 2012, Reuters revealed the name of the corporate consulting firm the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hired to produce a study on the prospective economic impacts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.
The firm: National Economic Research Associates (NERA) Economic Consulting, has a long history of pushing for deregulation. Its claim to fame: the deregulation “studies” it publishes on behalf of the nuclear, coal, and oil/gas industry - and as it turns out, Big Tobacco, too.
Dennis Avery at the Hudson Institute pushed out a story the other day claiming that: “The atmospheric CO2 levels at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa observatory have declined since 2004.” He’s totally wrong and admitted he was, but has failed to correct this mistruth and now the story is bouncing around the right-wing media echo chamber.
Here’s the graph from the Mauna Loa observatory:
First off, how could Avery, who claims to be an “environmental economist” get this so wrong?
I’m not a scientist or an economist, but it seems to me that this graph is pretty darn clear. This is far from an innocent mistake and Avery is doing nothing to stop the echo machine. If Avery had any sense of ethics he would make sure that every single outlet who carried this blatant misrepresentation corrected him on the record.
“From what I can tell, the list was compiled mostly from reviewed scientific articles in which authors proposed or identified various sources of natural variability in climate; in my case solar irradiance and cosmic ray flux. I’m not sure of the intent of the compilation of 500 names, but the supplied information seems to suggest 500 authors have questioned human induced variability. This does not hold in my case and probably does not in the case of many others.”
Notwithstanding these requests - and many more, as well - as of 4 p.m. EST on Friday, May 2, 2008, the offending article remained on the Heartland website with the names all still attached. There is no apology, clarification or correction. It's as if Heartland President and CEO Joseph Bast just doesn't care about the accuracy of his output or the credibility of his organization ….
“Bond, G., Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory;” “Bradbury, J. Pratt, USGS;” and “Keeling, Charles D., Scripps Institute of Oceanography” are all deceased and therefore unable to join the chorus of legitimate scientists who are demanding that their names be removed from the list.
The article, by Hudson Institute director and Heartland “Senior Fellow” Dennis T. Avery (inset), purports to list scientists whose work contradicts the overwhelming scientific agreement that human-induced climate change is endangering the world as we know it.
DeSmogBlog manager Kevin Grandia emailed 122 of the scientists yesterday afteroon, calling their attention to the list. So far - in less than 24 hours - three dozen of those scientists had responded in outrage, denying that their research supports Avery's conclusions and demanding that their names be removed.
The article is written by Dennis Avery, a “Senior Fellow” at the Heartland Institute. The article which was first published by another think tank called the Hudson Institute, where Avery is also listed as a “Senior Fellow,” has bounced around the internet as proof that there is great doubts about the realities of human-caused global warming.
We emailed 122 of the scientists and in less than 24 hours more than 35 scientists have responded in outrage.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.