On January 17, 1961, Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and United States President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Columbia River Treaty.
It was a landmark agreement that required...
It was a landmark agreement that required...
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports that Joe Bast and the Heartland Institute will discontinue the outrageous billboard campaign in a matter of hours. Bast issued the following statement to the Washington Post - notice the lack of an apology:
We will stop running [the billboard] at 4:00 p.m. CST today. (It’s a digital billboard, so a simple phone call is all it takes.) The Heartland Institute knew this was a risk when deciding to test it, but decided it was a necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate.
The Heartland Institute has stooped to new lows today with the release of a billboard campaign in Chicago featuring “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson and Fidel Castro. Heartland's intent with the billboards is to suggest that anyone who accepts the overwhelming evidence of manmade climate change is a radical on par with these murderers and madmen.
Leo Hickman, who was first to cover this shameful stunt at the Guardian, sums it up best:
It really is hard to know where to begin with this one. But let's start with: “What on earth were they thinking?”
Among other head-scratchingly stupid elements, Heartland's announcement about its outrageous billboard campaign includes this insane statement:
The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.
With a despicable stunt like this, it will be a miracle if Heartland retains financial support from any of the nineteen public companies that its internal documents revealed are fostering the group's work. Even Altria (a.k.a. PhilipMorris) should feel compelled to distance itself from Heartland after this. Who wants to sip Ste. Michelle wine (an Altria brand) knowing that the company funds this kind of extremism?
Who is funding the shadowy front groups that represent the interests of polluters by sowing doubt about climate change? One of the most aggressive climate denial “think” tanks spreading misinformation in Europe is the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), founded in 2009 by former British Conservative politician Lord Nigel Lawson, who chairs the organization.
British investigative journalist Brendan Montague argued today in a tribunal that the UK's Charity Commission should release documents regarding the GWPF’s early funding. Specifically, Montague seeks to persuade a judge to compel the release of a bank statement provided to the commission by Lord Lawson that would reveal the name of the “well known” secretive donor who furnished Lawson with the initial £50,000 seed donation to launch the GWPF.
In his appeal to the Information Rights Tribunal to fulfill his Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the financial document, Montague argued that the public has a right to know who has bankrolled the GWPF to assess possible conflict of interest. The GWPF has promoted doubt about manmade climate change ever since its founding in 2009. It is essential to the public interest because it will help to understand the foundation’s motivations for continuously promoting political inaction on climate change, Montague argues. He seeks to confirm whether this wealthy donor is connected to the oil or coal industry.
This is a guest post by Byron Kennard.
Late in 2010, I read Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand and, frankly, I almost wish I hadn’t. Reading Brand’s book convinced me that global warming is a threat that’s breathing down our necks right now. Until then, even though I am a stalwart environmentalist, it was just one of several worries that kept me awake at nights. Now it became Nightmare # 1.
But what the devil was I to do about it?
After decades in the trenches, I’d just about given up on conventional politics, especially now that “climate deniers” have managed to disable our national government’s capacity to respond to the threat – yet another reason to toss and turn all night long.
But then looking at the preposterous, anti-science claims these climate deniers are making I thought, “Gee, these guys are begging for ridicule.” And I remembered organizing guru Saul Alinsky’s observation that, “Ridicule is the most powerful weapon there is because it is almost unanswerable.”
It occurred to me that, while I personally don’t possess the political power to combat climate deniers, I do personally possess the power to ridicule them. Years spent writing, producing, and performing political satire in community theater weren’t wasted after all!
Finally, a vestigial government-funded program actually worth cutting gets taken out as Denmark's new regime change is opting to excise Bjorn Lomborg's $1.6 million in funding for his Copenhagen Consensus Center.
“It’s been very strange that particular researchers have received special treatment due to ideology. We’re going to run fiscal policy differently,” said Ida Auken from the Socialist People's Party.
Lomborg is notorious for touting economic woes pertaining to the costs of mitigating climate change. He has often suggested that it is either too expensive to tax carbon and cap emissions to solve climate change, except when he was advocating his 1900 robotic ship army idea to spray sea water and ameliorate warming through geoengineering.
Either way, the almighty free market that laissez-faire economists pray to has spoken (Lomborg's movie 'Cool It' raked in all of $62,713 in box office sales), and it's out with excessive climate-denier-mobiles. It's like the irony is killing…off his program. Literally.
In May 2011 the US National Academy of Sciences declared that “Climate change is occurring, is very likely caused by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems. Each additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted commits us to further change and greater risks…. The environmental, economic, and humanitarian risks of climate change indicate a pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare to adapt to its impacts.” One hundred other national and international scientific organizations agree with the NAS. How many disagreed? None. Zero. Zilch. As one scientist put it, “There’s a better scientific consensus on this than on any issue I know—except maybe Newton’s second law of dynamics.”
One organization that does dispute the NAS and the world consensus on global warming is the US House of Representatives. In April, the House took up a bill to remove the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases, opening a new front in the Republican War on Science (title of a great book by Chris Mooney). Rep Henry Waxman (D-CA) offered a countering amendment with language nearly identical to that of the Academy: “Congress accepts the scientific findings of the Environmental Protection Agency that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.” The amendment failed 184-240, with one Republican voting in favor and three Democrats against.
DeSmogBlog executive director Brendan DeMelle appeared on the Ed Schultz radio show earlier this week to discuss the Heartland Institute’s sixth International Conference on Climate Change - a.k.a. Denial-a-Palooza - and other aspects of the climate change denial machine. DeMelle was interviewed by guest host Mike Papantonio, who is co-host of Ring of Fire radio, which also ran the interview on its Saturday July 2 edition.
Listen to the Ring of Fire version of the interview below:
The Heartland Institute is convening a who’s-who of the global warming denial machine in Washington, DC over the next two days for the sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC6).
Seemingly content to let the world burn, the denizens of Denial-a-Palooza work year-round to sow doubt and confusion about climate change among the public - aided by Fox News and other friendly media outlets - so that no action is taken to limit heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere. This event is attended by the best corporate front groups that polluter money can buy, and this year is no exception.
As in past years, the speakers and sponsors lists are dripping with oil money, and comprise nearly the full roster of groups who share a common interest - greenwashing dirty energy sources like oil and coal while simultaneously attacking the credibility of the world’s top climate scientists. The presentations will misrepresent the state of climate science, while the real action will take place backstage, as these groups coordinate their ongoing efforts to smear the reputation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Note the intentional naming of this “ICCC” to sound like the IPCC.)
Let’s take a look at the funding of the sponsors of ICCC6:
17 of the 43 sponsors of the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, including the Heartland Institute itself, have collectively received over $46 million from either Scaife Foundations, Koch Foundations, or ExxonMobil and its foundation.
Most of these organizations, including many that choose not to disclose their funding sources, comprise the core of the industry attack on global warming science. See below for a complete breakdown of funding details:
DeSmogBlog is honored to be recognized by TIME magazine in the Top 25 list of The Best Blogs of 2011.
TIME reporter Bryan Walsh calls DeSmogBlog a “necessary corrective” and “the antidote” to the corporate smoke screen surrounding news coverage of climate change and energy issues.
Here is the full blurb about DeSmogBlog from Bryan Walsh at TIME:
A corporate smoke screen surrounds much of the coverage of climate-change and energy issues. Fossil-fuel companies have spent millions funding anti-global-warming think tanks, purposely creating a climate of doubt around the science. DeSmogBlog is the antidote to that obfuscation. Started in 2006 by James [Hoggan], a Canadian p.r. guru, DeSmogBlog dissects the half truths and outright lies around climate change, acting as an aggregator for smart research and opinion on green issues. If it sometimes goes too far — as with its jihad against gas fracking — DeSmogBlog is nevertheless a necessary corrective.