The Global Warming Denial Lobby
The Global Warming Denial Lobby
Check out Donald Gutstein's piece (reprinted below), “The Global Warming Denial Lobby”, where he discusses the schemes of climate change skeptics.
Source: Donald Gutsein, The Tyee, May 2, 2006.The Global Warming Denial Lobby
The people out to 'poison the debate on climate change.'
May 2, 2006
TheTyee.ca In early April, the Financial Post published a letter addressed to
Begin a debate? What do they think has been happening since 1988, when US National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientist
The point of their letter is to deny “alarmist forecasts” of global warming and to attack “the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups” whose goal is to capture “sensational headlines.”
The letter is classic climate change denial and among the 60 signatories – only 19 of whom are Canadian – are the most prominent climate change skeptics, as they are frequently called.
The deniers' letter was followed two weeks later by one from 90 supporters of
These conclusions, they say, are supported by the vast majority of the world's climate scientists. Harper's assignment is to get on with developing an “effective national strategy” to deal with climate change.
More debate or action?
Financial Post editor
The problem with libertarians like Corcoran is that they can be so blinded by their ideology – anything government does is bad – that they don't see the problems a powerful corporate sector can cause. Call it a case of libertarian looneyism.
The 60 deniers had no Corcoran editorial accompanying their letter. A question Corcoran might have asked is how many of the deniers are funded by
It's a natural question to pose. The fossil fuel industry doesn't want mandatory limits on CO2 emissions because they would affect profits. It wants
To update his knowledge on this issue, Corcoran could read the works of
Corcoran could also check out the May/June 2005 issue of Mother Jones, which tabulated the organizations that received funding from
And he could look at the SourceWatch site created by
Using these sources, Corcoran could put together some interesting profiles of the skeptics.
That was the year
Skeptic in demand
Closer to home, one of the 19 Canadian signatories to the skeptics letter is
Ball's particular niche is the argument that since 1940, the world's climate has actually been cooling. The conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reached by over 2,000 climate scientists, that the world is heating up is wrong, he says, because it used “distorted records.”
Undistorted records in hand,
You could have found him and Baliunas at a conference in
APCO's assignment for Imperial Oil was to bring together a roster of climate change skeptics to reveal
An APCO specialty is supporting rogue scientists who are financed by industry and purport to challenge established scientific thinking. APCO organized The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, which was originally funded by the Philip Morris Company, to attack epidemiological studies which implicated environmental tobacco smoke in slightly increased rates of lung cancer in non-smokers. Such studies could not be allowed to stand, given the tobacco industry's claim that harm from smoking was regrettable but due to individual choice, not second-hand smoke. This work was essential in
And that makes
In December 2005, he set up his blog, which he calls deSmogBlog. In his personal manifesto, “Slamming the Climate Skeptic Scam,” he writes “it is infuriating – as a public relations professional – to watch my colleagues use their skills, their training and their considerable intellect to poison the international debate on climate change.”
It's powerful reading.
Hoggan recently broke the story that one of the 19 Canadian deniers had recanted, saying he was misled about the letter's content when he signed on.
True, the Hoggan firm does work for organizations that do not spring to mind when thinking about environmental protection – Delta Land Development and
And Hoggan has a large pro bono practice in which he represents clients like the David Suzuki Foundation, one of the most consistent targets of the deniers. He's also creating a market niche around the issue of sustainability.
In a recent post, Hoggan discusses a column by Globe and Mail columnist
His solution? Forget about global warming and instead work with the
It's called bait and switch. We're alarmed about the health of the planet our grandchildren will inherit. But (thanks to the lies and deceptions of the deniers) nobody can agree on what's happening, let alone what should be done. So let's do something that we can all agree on instead.
Ibbitson's column makes clear the political purpose of the deniers' letter – to help Harper out of a tight corner. His goal of capturing a majority government depends on winning seats in
These are people like
So obfuscate, confuse and divert attention to clean air is the order of the day.
Why would 41 foreign deniers be concerned about what happens in
There's a larger issue, too. In 2007, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to warn governments that global warming could drive the Earth's temperature far higher than previously forecast.
And thanks to deniers for hire and newspapers like the National Post that spread their baloney, their task will be made that much easier.
Click here to see the original article in The Tyee.