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Mon, 2005-12-05 08:21Jim Hoggan
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10 Things the Government Can Do ...

London’s Independent Online offers a thought-provoking list of actions for government, though the deSmogBlog team hates the idea of regulatory bodies intervening to make air travel more expensive. The suggestion that government should try to get the U.S. to take climate change seriously also assumes that the government in is itself taking the issue seriously – all evidence to the contrary in Canada. As for cranking up the cost of huge, gas-guzzling, space-consuming vehicles: if people want to consume conspicuously, they should be proud to pay a premium.
Mon, 2005-12-05 07:56Jim Hoggan
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... and 10 things you can do at home

This is less helpful. The idea that we must all wear hair shirts, drive sucky cars and live in cold, dark houses is … well, let’s say, unappealing. If this is the best PR pitch that we can conceive, global warming is here to stay.

There are two problems with this approach. First, there is a danger that people will make one or two personal sacrifices and then feel that they have done their part for the planet; that having accepted responsibility and taken some personal action, they will return to their apolitical lives with a clear conscience. The really big structural changes that only government can make will remain unmade for lack of public pressure.

Mon, 2005-12-05 07:09Jim Hoggan
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Former Environment Minister Sweettalks Exxon

Victoria Liberal Member of Parliament and former Canadian Environment Minister was asked on the CBC Radio show The House, on Dec. 3 whether he will be looking for a corporate gig after he leaves politics, perhaps with ExxonMobile.

His answer, for the record:

“No, I think of all the companies I would be least likely to work for, ExxonMobil would be it. They are definitely the sort of Darth Vader of my life. (Laughs) They fought bitterly to make sure that Canada did as little as possible on the environmental front with respect to Kyoto; they didn’t want to have any model in North America which people in the United States could look to; they did their damndest to discount the science and to discourage any activity here among the business community and the political people as well. I trust that in the future, when it is perfectly clear to everyone, including ExxonMobil, what a mess they made of the opportunity that we had to get in place climate change measures, I hope they recognise and make appropriate apologies for what I describe as a disgraceful performance by a major economic player.” 
Sun, 2005-12-04 10:03Jim Hoggan
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Frightful Crichton's Comeuppance

You may already have heard about novelist Michael Crichton’s ill-advised foray into what he believes is serious scientific prediction, but sometimes this kind of silliness is worth revisiting. Crichton’s latest novel, a highly fictional account of the current climate change debate, is called State of Fear. Though neither as readable nor as believable as Jurassic Park, this volume has won Crichton a surprising amount of time on the lecture circuit, where he has been peddling his imagined expertise in climate science.

The best counterpoints have come – consistently, thoughtfully, reliably and even humorously – from www.realclimate.org. But this post is particularly fun, and it includes a brief but useful description of scientific method. Would that Crichton would read it.

Sat, 2005-12-03 09:57Jim Hoggan
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Fun sites for conspiracy seekers

If you haven’t already, check out www.exxonsecrets.org, an entertainingly interactive site that draws together a host of names that grow increasingly familiar among those who would undermine the climate change consensus.
Sat, 2005-12-03 08:32Jim Hoggan
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Round up the usual suspects

Maclean’s magazine, which has a fresh, new right-winginess about it since the takeover by Conrad Black’s protege Kenneth White, offers “Three smarter ways to save the world” in its latest edition. The writer, Steve Maich, has rounded up some standard-issue “climate skeptics,” including the self-styled “Skeptical Environmentalist,” Bjørn Lomborg, but most of the article is about economics, not climate science.

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