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  • The Denial Industry

    The denial industry
    For years, a network of fake citizens' groups and bogus scientific bodies has been claiming that science of global warming is inconclusive. They set back action on climate change by a decade. But who funded them? Exxon's involvement is well known, but not the strange role of Big Tobacco. In the first of three extracts from his new book, George Monbiot tells a bizarre and shocking new story

    George Monbiot The Guardian,

    ExxonMobil is the world's most profitable corporation. Its sales now amount to more than $1bn a day. It makes most of this money from oil, and has more to lose than any other company from efforts to tackle climate change. To safeguard its profits, ExxonMobil needs to sow doubt about whether serious action needs to be taken on climate change. But there are difficulties: it must confront a scientific consensus as strong as that which maintains that smoking causes lung cancer or that HIV causes Aids. So what's its strategy?
    The website Exxonsecrets.org, using data found in the company's official documents, lists 124 organisations that have taken money from the company or work closely with those that have. These organisations take a consistent line on climate change: that the science is contradictory, the scientists are split, environmentalists are charlatans, liars or lunatics, and if governments took action to prevent global warming, they would be endangering the global economy for no good reason. The findings these organisations dislike are labelled "junk science". The findings they welcome are labelled "sound science".
    Among the organisations that have been funded by Exxon are such well-known websites and lobby groups as TechCentralStation, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Some of those on the list have names that make them look like grassroots citizens' organisations or academic bodies: the Centre for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, for example. One or two of them, such as the Congress of Racial Equality, are citizens' organisations or academic bodies, but the line they take on climate change is very much like that of the other sponsored groups. While all these groups are based in America, their publications are read and cited, and their staff are interviewed and quoted, all over the world.
    By funding a large number of organisations, Exxon helps to create the impression that doubt about climate change is widespread. For those who do not understand that scientific findings cannot be trusted if they have not appeared in peer-reviewed journals, the names of these institutes help to suggest that serious researchers are challenging the consensus.
    This is not to claim that all the science these groups champion is bogus. On the whole, they use selection, not invention. They will find one contradictory study - such as the discovery of tropospheric cooling, which, in a garbled form, has been used by Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday - and promote it relentlessly. They will continue to do so long after it has been disproved by further work. So, for example, John Christy, the author of the troposphere paper, admitted in August 2005 that his figures were incorrect, yet his initial findings are still being circulated and championed by many of these groups, as a quick internet search will show you.
    But they do not stop there. The chairman of a group called the Science and Environmental Policy Project is Frederick Seitz. Seitz is a physicist who in the 1960s was president of the US National Academy of Sciences. In 1998, he wrote a document, known as the Oregon Petition, which has been cited by almost every journalist who claims that climate change is a myth.
    The document reads as follows: "We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."
    Anyone with a degree was entitled to sign it. It was attached to a letter written by Seitz, entitled Research Review of Global Warming Evidence. The lead author of the "review" that followed Seitz's letter is a Christian fundamentalist called Arthur B Robinson. He is not a professional climate scientist. It was co-published by Robinson's organisation - the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine - and an outfit called the George C Marshall Institute, which has received $630,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. The other authors were Robinson's 22-year-old son and two employees of the George C Marshall Institute. The chairman of the George C Marshall Institute was Frederick Seitz.
    The paper maintained that: "We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of the carbon dioxide increase. Our children will enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life than that with which we now are blessed. This is a wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial Revolution."
    It was printed in the font and format of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: the journal of the organisation of which Seitz - as he had just reminded his correspondents - was once president.
    Soon after the petition was published, the National Academy of Sciences released this statement: "The NAS Council would like to make it clear that this petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal. The petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy."
    But it was too late. Seitz, the Oregon Institute and the George C Marshall Institute had already circulated tens of thousands of copies, and the petition had established a major presence on the internet. Some 17,000 graduates signed it, the majority of whom had no background in climate science. It has been repeatedly cited - by global-warming sceptics such as David Bellamy, Melanie Phillips and others - as a petition by climate scientists. It is promoted by the Exxon-sponsored sites as evidence that there is no scientific consensus on climate change.
    All this is now well known to climate scientists and environmentalists. But what I have discovered while researching this issue is that the corporate funding of lobby groups denying that manmade climate change is taking place was initiated not by Exxon, or by any other firm directly involved in the fossil fuel industry. It was started by the tobacco company Philip Morris.
    In December 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency published a 500-page report called Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking. It found that "the widespread exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the United States presents a serious and substantial public health impact. In adults: ETS is a human lung carcinogen, responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually in US non-smokers. In children: ETS exposure is causally associated with an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. This report estimates that 150,000 to 300,000 cases annually in infants and young children up to 18 months of age are attributable to ETS."
    Had it not been for the settlement of a major class action against the tobacco companies in the US, we would never have been able to see what happened next. But in 1998 they were forced to publish their internal documents and post them on the internet.
    Within two months of its publication, Philip Morris, the world's biggest tobacco firm, had devised a strategy for dealing with the passive-smoking report. In February 1993 Ellen Merlo, its senior vice-president of corporate affairs, sent a letter to William I Campbell, Philip Morris's chief executive officer and president, explaining her intentions: "Our overriding objective is to discredit the EPA report ... Concurrently, it is our objective to prevent states and cities, as well as businesses, from passive-smoking bans."
    To this end, she had hired a public relations company called APCO. She had attached the advice it had given her. APCO warned that: "No matter how strong the arguments, industry spokespeople are, in and of themselves, not always credible or appropriate messengers."
    So the fight against a ban on passive smoking had to be associated with other people and other issues. Philip Morris, APCO said, needed to create the impression of a "grassroots" movement - one that had been formed spontaneously by concerned citizens to fight "overregulation". It should portray the danger of tobacco smoke as just one "unfounded fear" among others, such as concerns about pesticides and cellphones. APCO proposed to set up "a national coalition intended to educate the media, public officials and the public about the dangers of 'junk science'. Coalition will address credibility of government's scientific studies, risk-assessment techniques and misuse of tax dollars ... Upon formation of Coalition, key leaders will begin media outreach, eg editorial board tours, opinion articles, and brief elected officials in selected states."
    APCO would found the coalition, write its mission statements, and "prepare and place opinion articles in key markets". For this it required $150,000 for its own fees and $75,000 for the coalition's costs.
    By May 1993, as another memo from APCO to Philip Morris shows, the fake citizens' group had a name: the Advancement of Sound Science Coalition. It was important, further letters stated, "to ensure that TASSC has a diverse group of contributors"; to "link the tobacco issue with other more 'politically correct' products"; and to associate scientific studies that cast smoking in a bad light with "broader questions about government research and regulations" - such as "global warming", "nuclear waste disposal" and "biotechnology". APCO would engage in the "intensive recruitment of high-profile representatives from business and industry, scientists, public officials, and other individuals interested in promoting the use of sound science".
    .
    Last edited by gdillinjah; 03-06-2010, 06:37 AM.
    One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

  • #2
    By September 1993, APCO had produced a "Plan for the Public Launching of TASSC". The media launch would not take place in "Washington, DC or the top media markets of the country. Rather, we suggest creating a series of aggressive, decentralised launches in several targeted local and regional markets across the country. This approach ... avoids cynical reporters from major media: less reviewing/challenging of TASSC messages."
    The media coverage, the public relations company hoped, would enable TASSC to "establish an image of a national grassroots coalition". In case the media asked hostile questions, APCO circulated a sheet of answers, drafted by Philip Morris. The first question was:
    "Isn't it true that Philip Morris created TASSC to act as a front group for it?
    "A: No, not at all. As a large corporation, PM belongs to many national, regional, and state business, public policy, and legislative organisations. PM has contributed to TASSC, as we have with various groups and corporations across the country."
    There are clear similarities between the language used and the approaches adopted by Philip Morris and by the organisations funded by Exxon. The two lobbies use the same terms, which appear to have been invented by Philip Morris's consultants. "Junk science" meant peer-reviewed studies showing that smoking was linked to cancer and other diseases. "Sound science" meant studies sponsored by the tobacco industry suggesting that the link was inconclusive. Both lobbies recognised that their best chance of avoiding regulation was to challenge the scientific consensus. As a memo from the tobacco company Brown and Williamson noted, "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy." Both industries also sought to distance themselves from their own campaigns, creating the impression that they were spontaneous movements of professionals or ordinary citizens: the "grassroots".
    But the connection goes further than that. TASSC, the "coalition" created by Philip Morris, was the first and most important of the corporate-funded organisations denying that climate change is taking place. It has done more damage to the campaign to halt it than any other body.
    TASSC did as its founders at APCO suggested, and sought funding from other sources. Between 2000 and 2002 it received $30,000 from Exxon. The website it has financed - JunkScience.com - has been the main entrepot for almost every kind of climate-change denial that has found its way into the mainstream press. It equates environmentalists with Nazis, communists and terrorists. It flings at us the accusations that could justifably be levelled against itself: the website claims, for example, that it is campaigning against "faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas". I have lost count of the number of correspondents who, while questioning manmade global warming, have pointed me there.
    The man who runs it is called Steve Milloy. In 1992, he started working for APCO - Philip Morris's consultants. While there, he set up the JunkScience site. In March 1997, the documents show, he was appointed TASSC's executive director. By 1998, as he explained in a memo to TASSC board members, his JunkScience website was was being funded by TASSC. Both he and the "coalition" continued to receive money from Philip Morris. An internal document dated February 1998 reveals that TASSC took $200,000 from the tobacco company in 1997. Philip Morris's 2001 budget document records a payment to Steven Milloy of $90,000. Altria, Philip Morris's parent company, admits that Milloy was under contract to the tobacco firm until at least the end of 2005.
    He has done well. You can find his name attached to letters and articles seeking to discredit passive-smoking studies all over the internet and in the academic databases. He has even managed to reach the British Medical Journal: I found a letter from him there which claimed that the studies it had reported "do not bear out the hypothesis that maternal smoking/ passive smoking increases cancer risk among infants". TASSC paid him $126,000 in 2004 for 15 hours' work a week. Two other organisations are registered at his address: the Free Enterprise Education Institute and the Free Enterprise Action Institute. They have received $10,000 and $50,000 respectively from Exxon. The secretary of the Free Enterprise Action Institute is Thomas Borelli. Borelli was the Philip Morris executive who oversaw the payments to TASSC.
    Milloy also writes a weekly Junk Science column for the Fox News website. Without declaring his interests, he has used this column to pour scorn on studies documenting the medical effects of second-hand tobacco smoke and showing that climate change is taking place. Even after Fox News was told about the money he had been receiving from Philip Morris and Exxon, it continued to employ him, without informing its readers about his interests.
    TASSC's headed notepaper names an advisory board of eight people. Three of them are listed by Exxonsecrets.org as working for organisations taking money from Exxon. One of them is Frederick Seitz, the man who wrote the Oregon Petition, and who chairs the Science and Environmental Policy Project. In 1979, Seitz became a permanent consultant to the tobacco company RJ Reynolds. He worked for the firm until at least 1987, for an annual fee of $65,000. He was in charge of deciding which medical research projects the company should fund, and handed out millions of dollars a year to American universities. The purpose of this funding, a memo from the chairman of RJ Reynolds shows, was to "refute the criticisms against cigarettes". An undated note in the Philip Morris archive shows that it was planning a "Seitz symposium" with the help of TASSC, in which Frederick Seitz would speak to "40-60 regulators".
    The president of Seitz's Science and Environmental Policy Project is a maverick environmental scientist called S Fred Singer. He has spent the past few years refuting evidence for manmade climate change. It was he, for example, who published the misleading claim that most of the world's glaciers are advancing, which landed David Bellamy in so much trouble when he repeated it last year. He also had connections with the tobacco industry. In March 1993, APCO sent a memo to Ellen Merlo, the vice-president of Philip Morris, who had just commissioned it to fight the Environmental Protection Agency: "As you know, we have been working with Dr Fred Singer and Dr Dwight Lee, who have authored articles on junk science and indoor air quality (IAQ) respectively ..."
    Singer's article, entitled Junk Science at the EPA, claimed that "the latest 'crisis' - environmental tobacco smoke - has been widely criticised as the most shocking distortion of scientific evidence yet". He alleged that the Environmental Protection Agency had had to "rig the numbers" in its report on passive smoking. This was the report that Philip Morris and APCO had set out to discredit a month before Singer wrote his article.
    I have no evidence that Fred Singer or his organisation have taken money from Philip Morris. But many of the other bodies that have been sponsored by Exxon and have sought to repudiate climate change were also funded by the tobacco company. Among them are some of the world's best-known "thinktanks": the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Frontiers of Freedom Institute, the Reason Foundation and the Independent Institute, as well as George Mason University's Law and Economics Centre. I can't help wondering whether there is any aspect of conservative thought in the United States that has not been formed and funded by the corporations.
    Until I came across this material, I believed that the accusations, the insults and the taunts such people had slung at us environmentalists were personal: that they really did hate us, and had found someone who would pay to help them express those feelings. Now I realise that they have simply transferred their skills.
    While they have been most effective in the United States, the impacts of the climate-change deniers sponsored by Exxon and Philip Morris have been felt all over the world. I have seen their arguments endlessly repeated in Australia, Canada, India, Russia and the UK. By dominating the media debate on climate change during seven or eight critical years in which urgent international talks should have been taking place, by constantly seeding doubt about the science just as it should have been most persuasive, they have justified the money their sponsors have spent on them many times over. It is fair to say that the professional denial industry has delayed effective global action on climate change by years, just as it helped to delay action against the tobacco companies.
    · This is an edited extract from Heat, by George Monbiot, published by Allen Lane. To order a copy for £16.99 with free UK p&p (rrp £17.99), go to Guardian.co.uk/bookshop or call 0870 836 0875.
    · George Monbiot's film on this issue will be broadcast tonight on BBC2's Newsnight, starting at 10.30pm
    Part 2
    Last edited by gdillinjah; 03-06-2010, 06:40 AM.
    One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

    Comment


    • #3
      The denial industry case notes

      My Guardian Comment column this week is about how the climate denial industry achieves its aims. What follows is a list of footnotes and references to go with that article

      1 The public persuasion campaign
      In 1991 the Western Fuels Association, National Coal Association and Edison Electric Institute set up a group called the Information Council for the Environment (Ice). Its founding documents were leaked. The text has been made available online by the scientist Naomi Oreskes. The strategy was spelt out in a document produced by the Western Fuels Association: to "reposition global warming as theory (not fact)".

      Ice was given $510,000 to test its messages in key markets, all of which happened to be the homes of members of the energy and commerce or ways and means committees of the US House of Representatives. The purpose was to "demonstrate that a consumer-based media awareness program can positively change the opinions of a selected population regarding the validity of global warming." If it worked, Ice would "implement program nationwide".

      It identified "two possible target audiences": "Target 1: Older, less educated males". These people, Ice said, would be receptive to "messages describing the motivations and vested interests of people currently making pronouncements on global warming – for example, the statement that some members of the media scare the public about global warming to increase their audience and their influence … "

      "Target 2: younger, lower-income women" … "These women are more receptive ... to factual information concerning the evidence for global warming. They are likely to be "green" consumers, believe the earth is warming, and to think the problem is serious. However, they are also likely to soften their support for federal legislation after hearing new information …"

      Ice discovered that "members of the public feel more confident expressing opinions on others' motivations and tactics than they do expressing opinions of scientific issues." Here are some of the messages it tested:

      "Some say the earth is warming. Some also said the earth was flat."

      "Who told you the earth was warming … Chicken Little?"

      "How much are you willing to pay to solve a problem that may not exist?"*

      These messages must have worked, because they were later used by Ice in a wider media campaign.

      * James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore, 2009. Climate Cover-Up. Greystone Books, Vancouver.

      2 Undisclosed interests
      Dr Patrick Michaels is often used by the media on both sides of the Atlantic as one of the very few people who deny that manmade climate change is happening and who is also a practising climate scientist. Among many other outlets, he has written for the Guardian's website, which describes him as "a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know." But there's something Michaels doesn't want you to know: as far as I can tell, he has never voluntarily disclosed the following information.

      In 2006 the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (Irea) circulated a memo to electricity generators, transmitters and distributors[2]. The memo explained that most of the electricity its members provided is generated by coal plants, and Irea was intending to engineer a "considerable shifting from gas-fired generation" to coal. But the profits from this enterprise were now under threat. "A carbon tax or a mandatory market-based greenhouse gas regulatory system would erode most, if not all, of the benefits of the coal-fired generation."

      In the hope of averting this disaster, Irea had "decided to support Dr Patrick Michaels and his group (New Hope Environmental Services Inc). Dr Michaels has been supported by electric co-operatives in the past and also receives financial support from other sources ... In February of this year Irea alone contributed $100,000 to Dr Michaels. In addition we have contacted all of the G&Ts [generators and transmitters of electricity] in the United States and as of the writing of this letter, we have obtained additional contributions and pledges for Dr Michaels' group. We will be following up with the remaining G&Ts over the next several weeks."

      3 Science by petition
      The Heartland Institute is a lobbying group which has received $676,000 from ExxonMobil. In 2007 it published a list of "500 Scientists Whose Research Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares" (pdf). These people, it maintained, supported "the very important view that the Modern Warming is natural and no more dangerous than were the Medieval Warming, the Roman Warming and the Holocene Warming before it."

      But they didn't. Kevin Grandia of DeSmogBlog.com started contacting the people the Heartland Institute had listed. He asked them whether they endorsed the views the Heartland Institute said they held. Within 48 hours, 45 people responded, all outraged that they had been traduced. Here are some samples of their replies to Kevin and their messages to the author of the list, Dennis Avery:

      "I am horrified to find my name on such a list. I have spent the last 20 years arguing the opposite."

      Dr David Sugden, professor of geography, University of Edinburgh

      "I have NO doubts ... the recent changes in global climate ARE man-induced. I insist that you immediately remove my name from this list since I did not give you permission to put it there."

      Dr Gregory Cutter, professor, department of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences, Old Dominion University

      "Please remove my name. What you have done is totally unethical!!"

      Dr Svante Bjorck, Geo Biosphere Science Centre, Lund University

      "Because none of my research publications has ever indicated that the global warming is not as a consequence of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, I view that the inclusion of my name in such list without my permission or consensus has damaged my professional reputation as an atmospheric scientist."

      Dr Ming Cai, associate professor, department of meteorology, Florida State University

      "They have taken our ice core research in Wyoming and twisted it to meet their own agenda. This is not science."

      Dr Paul F Schuster, hydrologist, US Geological Survey

      "Please remove my name IMMEDIATELY from the following article and from the list which misrepresents my research."

      Dr Mary Alice Coffroth, department of geology, State University of New York at Buffalo

      None of these names have yet been removed from the institute's list.

      4 The Inside Track
      When George W Bush was president, White House staffers collaborated with the oil industry to fix government policies on climate change.

      In 2004, Harper's magazine published a leaked memo from Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute to Phil Cooney, the chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has been given more than $2m by Exxon. Ebell's memo showed that the White House and the institute had been working together to discredit a report on climate change produced by the Environmental Protection Agency, whose head at the time was Christine Todd Whitman.

      "Dear Phil,

      Thanks for calling and asking for our help … As I said, we made the decision this morning to do as much as we could to deflect criticism by blaming EPA for freelancing. It seems to me that the folks at EPA are the obvious fall guys, and we would only hope that the fall guy (or gal) should be as high up as possible. I have done several interviews and have stressed that the President needs to get everyone rowing in the same direction. Perhaps tomorrow we will call for Whitman to be fired[1]."

      The New York Times later discovered that Phil Cooney, who is a lawyer with no scientific training, had been imported into the White House from the American Petroleum Institute to control the presentation of climate science. He edited scientific reports, striking out evidence that glaciers were retreating and inserting phrases suggesting that there was serious scientific doubt about global warming. When the revelations were published he resigned and took up a post at Exxon.

      The oil company also had direct access to the White House. On 6 February 2001, 17 days after George W Bush was sworn in, AG (Randy) Randol, ExxonMobil's senior environmental adviser, sent a fax to John Howard, an environmental official at the White House[3]. It began by discussing the role of Bob Watson, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It suggested he had a "personal agenda" and asked: "Can Watson be replaced now at the request of the US?"[4]

      It went on to ask that the United States be represented at the panel's discussions by a Dr Harlan Watson[8]. Both requests were met. One Watson was sacked, the other was appointed, and went on to wreak havoc at international climate meetings.

      [1] Letter from Myron Ebell to Phil Cooney. Published in the May 2004 edition of Harper's magazine: White House Effect.

      [2] AG (Randy) Randol III, Senior Environmental Adviser, ExxonMobil, 6 February 2001. Memo to John Howard. Bush Team for IPCC negotiations. Facsimile, sent from tel no. (202) 8620268.
      One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

      Comment


      • #4
        March 5, 2010 - 3:07pm

        Making a mess of the message

        By Reusable Shopping Bag Princess


        Remember being a kid, sitting excitedly in a squirmy circle in the grass playing Broken Telephone, the whispered message striving to make it all the way through the circle unchanged? Inevitably, some devious munchkin would deliberately mess up the message for the laugh it would always elicit.

        Now imagine the kid in the circle who creates the message is speaking on behalf of the world’s leading climate scientists. He has a shocking message to share: Climate change is real. It is happening. And it’s a direct result of human activity.

        The last kid in the circle to receive the message is a journalist. His job: To accurately announce the message to the world, exactly the way the scientist phrased it.

        But a vast gulf exists between these two. The message has to filter through many other people before it reaches the world. And so, inevitably, the message will get muddled, mixed-up, altered, watered down.

        An honest mistake? If only. The meddling with the message is very deliberate. Why? Because the people sitting between the scientist and the journalist in this circle are special interest lobby groups with a very real and vested interest in presenting climate change as invalid. Big oil companies. Big coal companies. ExxonMobil. So-called "think tanks" whose members admit in private that their mandate is to "reposition global warming as a theory (not fact)." A theory is easy to dismiss. A fact? Not so much.

        And instead of messing up the message for a laugh, they’re doing it for money. They’ve got lots of it, so they can throw it around to make sure that the scientist’s original message never sees the light of day.
        How? By manufacturing confusion. By pouncing on the fallibility of scientists – climate change deniers had a field day with the “Climategate” episode at East Anglia University. By spinning the scientist's message to make it seem like climate research is unsound, uncertain, unreliable. By ignorantly and inanely pointing to Snowmaggedon as evidence that climate change is not happening (for the last time, climate is not the same as weather!). By arrogantly suggesting that our North American lives will be more comfortable if it gets warmer. (Great! Unfortunately, we in the first world are not the only people on the planet; many in poorer, vastly hotter countries are depending on predictable weather patterns for their livelihoods).

        All of this very sinister PR has ignited a real crisis of public confidence in the validity of climate science. As a society, we are right where they want us: Confused. Doubtful. Distrustful.

        So now we open the papers to gems like “The science isn’t settled. Now what?” (The Globe and Mail.) Or “Scientists should stick to science.” (The Toronto Star). Maxime Bernier, Canada’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs even said: "Every week that goes by confirms the wisdom of our government's modest position…There is, in fact, no scientific consensus. What's certain is that it would be irresponsible to spend billions of dollars to impose unnecessarily stringent regulations to resolve a problem whose gravity we still are not certain about. The alarmism that often characterized this issue is no longer at stake. Canada is right to be cautious."

        Remember when the link between cigarettes and lung cancer began to emerge, and how long it took tobacco giant Philip Morris to stop posturing and finally admit that there might be a connection? In a mind-blowingly slick PR campaign, Philip Morris added some mirrors to all its smoke, spending some serious cash to convince us all that the link between smoking and cancer was unproven at best
        One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

        Comment


        • #5
          Why did people buy it?! I mean, let’s think about this logically for a moment. Who’s going to know best about the intricate cell divisions and mutations that cause cancer – a tobacco company or a group of oncologists? Who has the most in-depth understanding of complex long-term climate patterns around the world and the effect of carbon output on the atmosphere – a columnist in a newspaper with no background in science whatsoever, or a group of climatologists who have spent decades examining those very issues? Why are we asking a real estate agent to explain open heart surgery to us when there’s a group of cardiologists standing right there, clamouring for our attention and concern?

          We buy it because we tend to believe what we want to believe. It is frightening to contemplate that an addiction and beloved social habit could give you a horrible disease and painful, premature death. It’s overwhelming and truly panic-inducing to accept that the earth is in serious danger – and it’s going to take a massive overhaul of our comfortable lifestyle to reverse the damage. When we’re faced with this level of threat, it’s often instinctual to attack the messenger. But what do the world’s best scientists have to gain from lying to us? As journalist John Moore recently stated in The National Post, “I’ve been fascinated with climate change because the evidence for it is so overwhelming and because the complexity of the conspiracy required for the theory to be false is not only implausible, but ridiculous.”

          When it comes to climate change, we need to learn how to read. Every time you read an article on the issue, it’s absolutely crucial to ask: What background and expertise does this writer have in what he is writing on? Is he truly disinterested and impartial, or is there some reason he might be advocating a certain stance on this issue? Does he call himself a climate skeptic? Why? Why would anyone call himself a climate skeptic in the face of such sound scientific evidence? Who is paying him to write? Yes, his publication – but who or what is funding the publication?

          Just as in Broken Telephone, scientists getting their message out to us intact depends on everyone listening very carefully. It depends on us being able to recognize when, why, and by whom a message is being intercepted.

          It’s too bad that as the general public, we can’t process complex scientific jargon for ourselves, and draw our own conclusions. If only we were able to cut out all the middle men and get the truth about climate change straight from the source, we would most likely walk away with the clean, simple message we so desperately need: Climate change is not a controversy. Nor is it a debate. Thousands of the world’s leading climate scientists are in agreement that anthropomorphic climate change is for certain. To hear people repeatedly say “I’m not convinced that climate change is real” is profoundly maddening, because if you ask the scientists, there is nothing to not be convinced about. Climate scientist Andrew Weaver said it best: "It's as if the Titanic is going down and we're all arguing about the colour of the deck chairs.”

          Green Party leader Elizabeth May stated bluntly in her opening remarks of last year’s Munk Debate: “With all due respect to this debate, I also wish to say that I am grieved that in the year 2009, we’re asking the question, should we act in response to the climate crisis, is it a defining issue for humanity? I would have wished that seven days before the opening of the Copenhagen meetings, the 15th conference of the parties of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, we would have accepted what most of the knowledgeable scientists all around the globe see as our top threat, the climate crisis, followed very closely by the water crisis, which will be exacerbated by ignoring climate.”

          Always read critically, and don’t get bullied by the Broken Telephone kids to get on the spinning merry-go-round instead. It’s a dizzying distraction, when right now, we need to simply stand still and listen.

          For a fascinating and disturbing exploration of the climate change denial movement, check out Climate Cover-Up by James Hoggan.
          Part 2
          One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

          Comment


          • #6
            Upping, because apparently people have not understood the message.
            One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

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            • #7
              i thought this said "the dental industry" but it didn't so nvm

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gdillinjah View Post
                Upping, because apparently people have not understood the message.
                It's not that they don't understand the message... it's just that the message is too long. I'll read and reply later.
                “Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.” - James Dean

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gdillinjah View Post
                  Upping, because apparently people have not understood the message.
                  No, just that you are a moron and most everything you post is retarded so no one gives a fruc.
                  Steelers|KU Jayhawks|USC

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                  • #10
                    Summarize in a nice readable format? Preferably 10 words or less?
                    I'm known to have a hottie open, I keep the shottie smokin
                    Front and get half the bones in your body broken

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                    • #11
                      if you believe and are afraid of global warming why would you give a fuck if other people don't and aren't? most governments believe in it don't they, isn't that what would matter the most
                      Originally posted by FunkySuicideGirl
                      Ima sucker when some suck my lip or bite in it
                      Originally posted by Syko Squidge
                      ^
                      fuck off you gay piece of cunt
                      Originally posted by Otto
                      That shit is fuck,

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Baydestrian View Post
                        Summarize in a nice readable format? Preferably 10 words or less?
                        Gdildo is getting defensive because of recent pro-global warming science being revealed as deceptive. Now he wants to convince everyone that we're all the victim of "big oil propaganda."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by D_Bokk View Post
                          Gdildo is getting defensive because of recent pro-global warming science being revealed as deceptive. Now he wants to convince everyone that we're all the victim of "big oil propaganda."

                          Im sure your logic of big oil sitting back and doing nothing while facing the greatest threat to their pocketbooks ever is much more logical in your non existent brain.....

                          And you keep forgetting that there is not one shred of data that shows global warming science to be deceptive. You cannot make shit up and expect people to debate about it.
                          One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Baydestrian View Post
                            Summarize in a nice readable format? Preferably 10 words or less?
                            Oil and coal corporations have hired the same groups of political spin doctors the tobacco companies used to reposition global warming as theory instead of fact.
                            One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Spec View Post
                              It's not that they don't understand the message... it's just that the message is too long. I'll read and reply later.
                              It is an important read. And there is case notes showing the debunking of the famous "petition" the younger people on this board like to throw around in their debating around here. And other notes to seperate the facts of global warming from the lies the government and oil companies have been feeding the public.
                              Last edited by gdillinjah; 03-12-2010, 01:54 PM.
                              One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

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