environment

Fri, 2009-12-18 03:51Brendan DeMelle
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Breaking: LEAKED final draft of Copenhagen treaty declaration

[Update: I’ve added in analysis of the key text]

With only hours left in the Copenhagen climate treaty talks we have obtained an early version of the final agreement’ draft text.

President Obama’s speech wrapped up a few minutes ago with nothing new announced. But as long as this session continues there remains hope that world leaders can deliver a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal.

Things continue to evolve and according to the draft version of the agreement, the major issue of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions cuts by what year, remains unanswered.

As it stands, the text states:

Annex I Parties to the Convention commit to implement, individually or jointly, the quantified economy-wide emission targets for 2020 as listed yielding in aggregate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of X per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 and Y per cent in 2020 compared to 2005…

Based on the best scientific research these numbers should be 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Mon, 2009-11-30 19:54Jim Hoggan
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Who’s Killing the Copenhagen Climate Treaty? The Chamber of Commerce

us chmaber of commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already done everything it can to kill the chances of a legally binding agreement emerging from the Copenhagen climate change summit.

Now it can sit back, relax and watch the action from a coffee shop outside the United Nations conference, content that its efforts to derail U.S. climate policy have effectively hamstrung the international negotiations.

As explained clearly in “The Global Climate Change Lobby,” an excellent new report from the Center for Public Integrity, corporate lobbyists and trade associations focus their attention on tampering with domestic legislative efforts, and then stand by and watch as their positions and talking points contaminate international negotiations indirectly.

Business interests (or BINGOs as they’re called in U.N. speak) “can have very little effect at these meetings,” according to Nick Campbell, a European industry lobbyist who has represented the International Chamber of Commerce at U.N. climate talks since the early 1990s when the global effort to fight climate change began with the Rio Earth Summit.

If the Chamber or other lobbying groups send any staff to international summits like the upcoming Copenhagen conference, their goal is to “loiter” in the coffee shops and collect business cards from delegates they can target later on legislative matters back home.

Fri, 2009-10-30 11:21Kevin Grandia
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Laurie David, will you marry me?

I really don’t know what to make of this video. At the least, it’s very entertaining, but I don’t know if it will woo the likes of Laurie David to the alter!

Wed, 2009-10-28 17:28Jim Hoggan
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Astroturf King Jack Bonner's Long History of Deceitful "Grassroots" Lobbying

As you’ll recall, Bonner & Associates – the D.C. Astroturf shop busted for mailing at least a dozen forged letters to Congress this summer prior to the House vote on climate and energy legislation – has found itself under the media spotlight lately, struggling to defend its sullied brand.

Tomorrow morning, Rep. Edward Markey’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing on the Bonner and Associates forged letter scandal and it can’t come soon enough.

But the forgery scandal is just one example in a long career of anti-democratic Astroturf jobs for which Jack Bonner’s firm is responsible.

Public relations firms like to try to shape the news, not appear in the headlines themselves. Jack Bonner knows this as well as anyone in the business, and is rarely quoted in news stories, preferring to keep a low public profile. But when his firm was caught sending forged letters to Congress this summer while working on contract for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and its parent company the Hawthorn Group, Jack Bonner ended up in the uncomfortable position of defending his own firm rather than the interests of his corporate clients.

The gaffe appears to have cost Bonner a great deal of business, including the lucrative contract with Hawthorn.

Sources close to Bonner’s operation say that the firm furloughed several key staffers in the wake of the ACCCE scandal, informing them that there is currently not enough business to keep them on staff. And Jack Bonner’s much-anticipated appearance before the Congressional committee to answer questions about his firm’s role in the forgery scandal will not likely help the Bonner firm’s portfolio, either.

Wed, 2009-10-14 21:39Kevin Grandia
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Reviews of Climate Cover Up Starting to Roll In

We’ve started to see some great online reviews of Jim’s book Climate Cover Up: the crusade to deny global warming so I thought I share a few of them with you.

If you have a blog and would like to do a review, drop me a line at: desmogblog@gmail.com and we’ll send you a copy.

If you don’t have a blog, but want to help spread the word, please consider writing a review on Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble, or sending around the summary page we have to your friends of email or Facebook

 

Here’s some of the reviews so far:

The Invention of Lying about Climate Change (Joe Romm @ climateprogress.com)

“Right now, I am happy to unhesitatingly recommend Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming by James Hoggan editor of  with Richard Littlemore, key figures behind the terrific Desmog.blog.”

Climate Cover-Up (Liz Veazey @ it’sgettinghotinhere.org)

“Although, I had some understanding of of this “climate cover-up” I liked to think of it as mostly over, too.  It was sobering and frustrating to learn more details about this ongoing campaign and its success in the minds of a majority of the public.”

The great Climate Cover-Up (Karl Burkart @ mnn.com)

Climate Cover-Up summarizes four years of investigative journalism into the inception of the campaign, how it was funded through Washington think tanks and how it used discredited “scientists” and partisan politics to marginalize the climate change issue.”

Climate Cover Up: The First Extract (Keith Farnish @ Unsuitablog)

“Chapter Four, from which this first extract is taken, largely concerns the formation and activities of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), a monstrous “Astroturf” which was created on the suggestion of the public relations company APCO (the same company that fought to promote tobacco in the face of virtually all medical advice). It also discusses at length the Astroturfing activities of The American Petroleum Institute (API). This section introduces a veteran of the anti-climate change lobby, Frederick Seitz, but most importantly “Mr Junk Science”, Steven Milloy. Enjoy.”

John Mashey recommends “Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming” (Tim Lambert @ Deltoid)

“So, if you wonder how and why so many people, especially in North America, are confused about the current state of climate science, this is an excellent introduction to the key players and tactics.”

Slamming the Climate Skeptic Scam (Nancy Tenney Naumer @ climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com)

Thanks again for those who’ve taken the time to highlight the book on their blogs!

Wed, 2009-09-30 15:08Kevin Grandia
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Toyota's Two-Faced Stance on Climate Change

As the old saying goes: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Or in the case of Toyota: “You can’t have your green and fight it too.”

With a well-earned reputation as a leader in the development of fuel efficient cars it boggles my mind that Toyota continues to be a supporter of the US Chamber of Commerce - an organization that is leading the charge against President Obama’s clean energy agenda.

Other big supporters of the Chamber of Commerce have been distancing themselves from the organization over their archaic standpoint on the issue of climate change.

Mon, 2009-09-07 08:38Peter Sinclair
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Climate Denial Crock of the Week/1998 Revisited

One of the enduring myths of climate denialism is that global warming stopped sometime in the last decade. I see it in the blaring headlines of pseudoscience websites, in comments on my videos, even some of our most “distinguished” journalists have been taken in.

 

Fri, 2009-08-28 10:48Kevin Grandia
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Maddow on Bonner and Adfero's Astroturfing for Coal

On her show last night MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lambasted the latest coal lobby astroturf campaign for using generic clip art stock photos for their FACES of coal campaign. I guess the coal lobbyists behind the campaign couldn’t find any real people willing to pose as pro-coal cheerleaders and instead had to rely on stock photo stand-ins instead.

This story was first uncovered by the hardworking folks at Appalachian Voices who are fighting to save the mountains of Appalachia from the hugely destructive and toxic industry process of mountain top removal.

Maddow also gave a quick shout-out to DeSmogBlog on her show presumably for our work to uncover the high-powered Washington, DC public relations company, Adfero Group, that appears to be working behind the scenes on the FACES astroturf campaign. 

Brad Johnson at the WonkRoom reported yesterday that Adfero Group also has significant ties to the Republican Party.

Thu, 2009-08-27 17:00Kevin Grandia
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Astroturf PR firm also a major Republican Party Player

It has now been revealed that a Washington, DC PR powerhouse that was recently exposed as being part of an anonymous “grassroots” pro-coal group also has significant ties to the Republican Party.

As regular readers will recall, earlier this week we exposed the ties between a new pro-coal “grassroots” group calling itself the “The Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security (FACES of Coal), and a Washington, DC firm called the Adfero Group. Adfero’s client list includes Koch Industries and the US Chamber of Commerce, two leaders in the fight to confuse, distort and deny the realities of climate change - and especially to block government action that might affect their bottom line.

Brad Johnson at the Wonk Room is reporting today that Adfero also has significant ties to another very powerful group in Washington, DC that would love nothing more than to see legislation on climate change blocked, the Republican Party.

Johnson writes: “A new “grassroots” fossil fuel front group, FACES of Coal, is employing a shadowy Republican-staffed company to spread its message. The Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security — a new pro-mountaintop removal campaign that refuses to reveal its “grassroots” members — is employing a GOP Beltway shop to promote its work.”

Tue, 2009-08-25 12:56Jim Hoggan
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New "Grassroots" Pro-Coal Group backed by K-Street PR Firm

“The Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security (FACES of Coal).” the latest “grassroots” organization to join the public conversation on behalf of the coal industry, appears to be a project of the K-Street public relations firm, the Adfero Group, one of industry’s most accommodating voices in Washington, D.C.

The FACES website, which includes no contact information, is registered to Adfero.

[Update: since we posted this article, the website registration for facesofcoal.com has been updated overnight and Adfero’s name has been wiped, however - thanks to research by one of our most loyal readers, Frank Bi, a cross-reference with Adfero’s IP address still shows facesofcoal.com running on their server.]

FACES describes itself as “an alliance of people from all walks of life who are joining forces to educate lawmakers and the general public about the importance of coal and coal mining.” But Adfero’s client list includes Koch Industries and the US Chamber of Commerce, two leaders in the fight to confuse, distort and deny the science of climate change - and especially to block government action that might affect their bottom line.

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