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Wed, 2006-09-27 08:44Kevin Grandia
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Can Bjorn Lomborg walk AND chew gum?

Bjorn LomborgThe Guardian's Science Podcast this week features interviews with Bjorn Lomborg, the self proclaimed “Skeptical Environmentalist” and Tony Juniper of the Friends of the Earth environmental society.

Lomborg makes his same old argument against action on climate change, that the world's economic resources are finite and that we should dedicate them to his top priorities - a list that misses climate change.

To quote Lomborg, “We're  focussed very much on climate change, and we are not focussed very much on all the other issues in the world and quite frankly we don't have infinite resources.” Friend of the Earther, Tony Juniper retorts, “Lomborg's logic breaks down somewhat in trying to trade these things off against each other. I don't think the world works like that.”

Tue, 2006-09-26 12:34Kevin Grandia
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Exxon's $2.4 million ventriloquist act

There are many opinions a coporation must keep to itself, that is if it's insterested in keeping a squeaky clean, or a squeaky “green” image. Sometimes, though, a corporation feels compelled to inject something unsavory into the public debate in order to protect the bottom-line - and the best way to do this is through the age-old art of ventriloquism.

When it comes to the issue of climate change, no corporation has done better with this tricky little PR technique than ExxonMobil, which was castigated this week by the UK's prestigious Royal Society for funding organizations that work to spread doubt about the scientific consensus on climate change.

Of course, this type of ventriloquism is not without precedent.

The classic example is The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), a front group that the PR firm APCO-Worldwide founded in 1993 on behalf of tobacco giant Philip Morris, specifically to question the health risks of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). TASSC then engaged experts to write papers in the industry’s defence.

So who are Exxon's ventriloquist dolls when it comes to the issue of climate change? In 2005 alone, ExxonMobil spent mjore than $2.4 million on organizations that say what Exxon hasn't got the credibility or the nerve to say itself.

Here's a list, as reported on ExxonMobile's 2005 Worldwide Giving Report:
Tue, 2006-09-26 08:22Kevin Grandia
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Monbiot launches book and great YouTube video

With the release of his new book, Heat, UK journalist and author George Monbiot has been taking straight aim at the climate change “skeptic” movement. We found this 8 minute YouTube video done recently by Monbiot.

<embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/sghDI7CrXBs” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”
Mon, 2006-09-25 15:22Kevin Grandia
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Farewell Pruden, you'll be missed

Looks like Wes Pruden is on the outs as Editor in Chief of the Washington Times. Pruden has been a  regular climate change “skeptic” and did his personal best to confuse the public with his own pen and that of guest commentators spouting all sorts of junk science.

Of course, in the Nation report of Pruden's imminent ousting, there is no mention of Pruden's back-water stance on climate change, instead it was that he is alleged to be rampantly racist and sexist.

Goodbye Wes, you can retire knowing you did everything you could to delay action on global warming, and apparently make the world just a little more intolerant of women and minorities. Maybe someday it will keep you up at night.


Mon, 2006-09-25 10:40Kevin Grandia
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Smoking and asbestos okay for you, climate change doesn't exist. Ask around!

Australian Labour Party MP, Tony Burke, pens a great piece today in the  Daily Telegraph castigating “… a handful of sceptics willing to rail against the weight of scientfic opinion,” on issues ranging from climate change to tobacco to asbestos.

As MP Burke rightly states: “We should remember, when those with something to lose ignored the information about the dangers of smoking and asbestos, some very real victims emerged.”

Well said, and as regular DeSmog readers know full well, many of the same people who told us not to worry about tobacco smoke and asbestos are now telling us not to worry about climate change.

Here are a few examples:

Dr. S. Fred Singer
On Asbestos
“The US has spent billions of dollars removing asbestos from schools, and for no good health reason.” (link)

On Climate Change
“So, the global climate doesn't seem to be warming, causing considerable embararassment to scientists.” (link)

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