Okay, so I live in Vancouver and it hardly ever snows here at Christmas, anyway. And the nature of climate change – which increases the likelihood of unusual weather events – means a white Christmas may be more probably now than in the past. But we have a trend and the skiers aren't going to like it.
climate denial industry
In further pursuing “the truth about global warming,” (see next post), I've stumbled upon the Grinning Planet website which claims to be “saving the planet, one joke at a time.”
Alas, GP stumbled into the subject of climate change and found it, mostly, unfunny.
Okay, so we're just here with strong opinions or, through the links at the right, with evidence-based science. If you want “truth,” you have to go to people with a religious conviction – or, apparently, to people with really big funding from the energy industry.
Can we suggest Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling, whose latest Cato Institute - sponsored book is called Satanic Gases: Clearing the Air about Global Warming (which, we have to admit, is a terrific title).
Grab your sense of humour and run to Steven Milloy's most recent post on the “national conservative weekly” Human Events.
Touting a list of the “Top 10 Worst Moments for Free Enterprise in 2005,” Milloy opens by saying:
This annual list spotlights companies who have most egregiously abandoned their fiduciary and moral responsibilities to their shareholders and our free enterprise system, respectively, in favor of embracing the false and harmful social activist-promoted notion of “corporate social responsibility.”
This tart wrap of the UN climate change conference in Montreal comes from David Ridenour, husband of ”conservative” blogger Amy Ridenour and her correspondent at the COP/MOP climate shindig.
From the beginning, the official delegations to the U.N.'s Climate Change Conference were divided into two camps. One camp includes the United States, China, India, Japan, Australia and much of the developing world. This camp opposes strict greenhouse gas emissions caps on economic grounds.The other camp includes the hypocrites.”
Check out the South Asian view as reported by Sify, “India's pioneer & leader in Internet, Networking and e-Commerce services, and the first Indian Internet company to be listed on the Nasdaq National Market in the US.” In a story on their newswire Friday, Dec. 9, 2005, Sify said:
“Developing countries, gathered in a 132-nation group (at the UNFCCC climate change convention in Montreal), said responsibility for fixing global warming lay primarily with the rich countries that had caused it by their reckless burning of fossil fuels in the last century.
In columnist Margaret Wente's periodic rant (to which the Toronto Globe and Mail denies access unless you are an online subscriber), we are treated to the rhetorical question: “Why wreck a good story with the fine print?”
Why, indeed? Certainly, Wente is careful not to offend on that count.
Her general tack on climate change – an issue into which she regularly dips her toe, but no more – is to dismiss the issue as unknowable, and to castigate anyone who expresses concern as a wrong-headed enviro-whacko or a dupe. In a recent column, for example, she made fun of her uptown friends who have switched to driving hybrid SUVs, a gesture that Wente condemned as hollow. It turns out that fuel efficiency in a hybrid SUV, while an improvement, is still much worse than, say, a bicycle. Wente ridiculed her friends' unwillingness to make a bigger sacrifice as a show of insincerity. Really, if you're going to be cavalier, why not deny the problem altogether?
Have a look at this Guardian article, linked through our friend Ross Gelbspan's site.
The thrust is that a horde of oil industry-funded lobbyists are heading to Europe to try to undermine support for action against climate change. The operation is being led by Chris Horner, a Washington DC lawyer and senior fellow at the rightwing thinktank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has received more than $1.3m (£750,000) funding from the US oil giant ExxonMobil. (See also next post.)
Horner is quoted saying that Europe is “an untapped frontier,” albeit one that is hostile to Horner's gang of climate change dissemblers. In fact, Horner says: “It's just a den of thieves over there.”
We concur wholeheartedly with the words in that sentence, but leave it to you, dear reader, to infer the correct location of “over there.”
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.'s favorite industry-funded “environmental think tank,” offered up a definitive article on climate change in July of this year.
The CEI began by saying: “Global warming is happening and man is responsible for at least some of it.”
You can click here and read the entire, tortured, outdated 2,913-word argument about how that's really okay – how facing the problem might cause economic dislocation among CEI's major funders – but we think we have excerpted the most important part of the paper in those opening 14 words.
An e-mail correspondent sent these questions (with answers appended).What was your motivation?
Annoyance. I have often stood up to criticize sleazy and misleading PR campaigns in the past. I find it irksome to see people getting away with spreading disinformation and refusing to take responsibility, and I think it reflects badly on my industry. That said; this is a bigger issue than any I have tackled previously, and a more public forum.