Richard Littlemore

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Co-author (with Jim Hoggan) of the award-winning Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, Richard has been Editor of the DeSmogBlog since its inception in 2005. Originally a newspaper reporter (the Ottawa Citizen, the Winnipeg Tribune, the Vancouver Sun), Richard has, since 1995, split his career between magazine journalism, activism and politics and corporate communications. On projects specific to climate change, he wrote the David Suzuki Foundation’s first public information package on global warming in 1996, was vice-chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District's Air Quality Committee in 1996 and 1997 and sat as a delegate to the Canadian government's (failed) Kyoto Implementation Process from 1997 to 1999. Richard is a regular speech writer for many business and academic leaders.

Fox News Director Demanded Bias in Climate Coverage

We’re “shocked” of course, but Media Matters has reported a leaked Fox News memo, quoting Fox Washington managing editor Bill Sammon scolding reporter Wendell Groler and on-air host Jon Scott for discussing actual evidence of climate change without inserting Fox bias into their report.

“…we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question,” Sammon wrote.

Sammon went on to say, “It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.” The “notion” on this occasion was an objective measurement of Earth’s global temperature.

GMU Paralyzed by Plagiarism Investigation

Update: A new verion of the Mashey report is attached, with a whole new section of juicy emails

Plagiarism charges against George Mason University statistician Edward Wegman have brought the university’s administration to an apparent standstill, according to the latest report from John Mashey (attached).

Wegman actually stands accused of having committed a host of infractions with the “AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORT ON THEHOCKEY STICKGLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION” that he presented to Congress in 2006. The worst, however (and the easiest to prove) is that he or his co-authors plagiarized a huge amount of material from a book by one of their targets, Raymond Bradley. In many cases, the only differences between Wegman’s lifted quotes and Bradley’s original material occurred when Wegman (or his assistants) changed the text to change the meaning.

Per Mashey’s report, Rice University received a similar complaint against one of Wegman’s co-authors, David R Scott. Rice responded immediately, investigating the charge and clearing Scott as the culprit in nine days. Nine MONTHS later, GMU has made no finding. We wait with interest ….

Monbiot: The Astroturf Threat To Democracy

Guardian columnist George Monbiot steps out with a great analysis of internet-based astroturfing and the very effective way that it disrupts the public conversation about important (and economically momentous) issues.

Encana: Creepy, manipulative PR with icing on top

Gas fraccing giant Encana has scripted a bunch of pre-schoolers to pretend to understand or care about shale gas and hydraulic fracturing. This creepy video shows the depths the oil industry will “drill” to in order to put a happy face on their efforts to spread pollution, above and below ground.

American diplomats anticipated Climategate hacks

Update: This story was reported earlier, in greater depth (and in English!) by the Guardian. Thanks to Damian Carrington.

Material that the French newspaper Le Monde has harvested from Wikileaks documents show that American diplomats were aware as early as the summer of 2009 that hackers were trying to break into climate scientists’ computers, Carrie La Seur of the Plains Justice environmental law center reports on her blog.

La Seur reports: “An article posted Dec. 12, titled Pirates informatiques contre climatologues (Computer pirates against climatologists), reveals a few American diplomats’ fears that cyberattacks on climate scientists might increase in the days leading up to the 2009 Copenhagen meeting. One email reveals an unsuccessful attack against the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science (OES) that has received very little coverage (none that I can find) in domestic press.”

COP16: Canada's blackened reputation

A member of the Lesotho delegation at the climate talks in Cancun sports an anti-Canadian shirt (yes, the photo is in color; and yes the little Canadian flags are all black). It’s another illustration that Canada will ultimately pay a price for the irresponsible position that it continues to promote on climate change: do only what has already been done in the United States (nothing, really), but try to do it more slowly.

(Thanks to Eloise Savoie from the Climate Action Network [CAN] for the photo.)

And if you doubt whether Canada deserves this reputation, read on to see an early draft of a CAN fact sheet on Canadian climate performance and policy:

Secretary Chu: US getting its high tech butt kicked

Check out this great Climate Crock of the Week video of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu talking about how the US is losing the high tech race to China - and what might be done to turn the tide.

Advertising Standards Council finds tar sands tasty

The Canadian Advertising Standards Council (ASC) thinks it’s just fine for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) to run advertisements describing tar sands as “essentially like yogurt,” dismissing a complaint by the Sierra Club of Canada.

Even though CAPP lost its nerve (or found some integrity) and withdrew the ad as soon as the Sierra Club lodged its complaint, the ASC still considered the Sierra Club’s objections and “the complaint was not upheld,” ASC Communications Manager Danielle Lefrançois said today.

Yet, if you look, feel or smell them in large or small amounts, tar sands don’t seem at all like a breakfast topping. “The recent deaths of ducks in (tar sand) tailings ponds clearly and accurately demonstrated the tailings are toxic and definitely not yogurt,” said John Bennett, Sierra Club Executive Director.

A-political ice: Climate Crock cracks down on whacky Watts

John Shimkus: Only God can change climate

Congressman John Shimkus (Rep-Illinois) is lobbying for the Chair in the House Energy and Commerce Committee partly on the basis of an argument that the actual “educated” guessers in the science community have no business telling him or his government whether human activity is hastening climate change.

The very idea that humankind is capable of changing the climate is “arrogant,” Shimkus says. Given the numerous instances in which human impact on climate has already been proved - through the effects of such things as deforestation or the lofting of so many aerosols into the air that it actually cools the planet (as we did in North America before the 1970s Republicans brought us the EPA) - you have to wonder how fiercely, how absolutely religiously determined Shimkus is to ignore evidence. Here’s a great taste from KTVI in St. Louis.

 

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