Henri A. Masson
- Ph.D., Chemical Engineering (Université Libre de Bruxelles) – ISE. 
The Peace Valley old-growth forest slated to be clear cut for the Site C dam is just as important, if...
“History,” the old adage goes, “repeats itself.” And this is precisely the reason why we learn it.
Jonas Yoder and Wallace Miller, both members of the Old Order Amish religion, and Adin Yutzy, a member of the Conservative Amish Mennonite Church, were prosecuted under a Wisconsin law that required all children to attend public schools until age 16. The three parents refused to send their children to such schools after the eighth grade, arguing that high school attendance was contrary to their religious beliefs.
The Court was tasked to answer the following question: Did Wisconsin's requirement that all parents send their children to school at least until age 16 violate the First Amendment by criminalizing the conduct of parents who refused to send their children to school for religious reasons?
How do you sell a rotten bag of goods? Rule number one of effective propaganda: repackage it into something seemingly less grotesque.
In that spirit, the Houston Chronicle recently reported the American Petroleum Institute (API) has created yet another front group, this one to promote tar sands crude, one of the dirtiest sources of fuel in the world, as a safe and secure energy resource.
It's name? “Oil Sands Fact Check” (OSFC).
CANADIAN blogger and climate science sceptic Donna Laframboise has flown off for a tour of Australia to tell anyone willing to listen that the world's foremost body on climate change, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is something resembling a shambling mess.
Laframboise's trip has been organised by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, which has a long history of promoting doubt about the science of human-caused climate change and the risks of the unmitigated burning of fossil fuels.
The blogger, who describes herself as an investigative journalist, gets to visit Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to promote her book “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken For The World's Top Climate Expert - IPCC Expose.”
The IPA describe's Laframboise as a “world renowned author” which is stretching credibility to breaking point. This “world renowned author” has written just two books. Her first was about feminism published in 1996. The Delinquent Teenager is her second, and is currently ranked #17952 in the book seller Amazon's Kindle store [#41,202 in the U.S. Amazon Kindle Store.]
Essentially the book makes three central claims. The first is that the IPCC has engaged several young scientists which Laframboise says goes against the IPCC's claims that they use the world's top scientists. A second is that some of the scientists working on some of the reports have links to environmental groups which are not always made clear. A third is that the IPCC reports use too much non-peer reviewed literature.
All of these arguments are used as a proxy to question the science. Yet the IPCC's main climate change reports (the latest being the 2007 Assessment Report 4, the next being AR5 currently being worked on by more than 800 authors and expected some time in late 2013 or early 2014) don't actually do any science.
They are reviews - albeit almighty ones - of research being conducted at institutions around the world and of scientific papers published in journals. This means that even if the IPCC was found to be run by a small group of mentally-challenged llamas, this wouldn't affect the science on human-caused climate change. In essence, Laframboise's book is one giant strawman argument.
Steven Goddard is a global warming skeptic and guest author at the climate change skeptic blog WattsUpWithThat (WUWT). The name “Steven Goddard” is a pseudonym used by Tony Heller, according to the Heartland Institute. 
Kallenberg also directed and produced the documentary film “Haynesville: A Nation’s Hunt for An Energy Future,” a film about the ongoing shale gas boom in the United States and a counterpart, of sorts, to Josh Fox’s Academy Award-nominated documentary “Gasland.”
Kallenberg, in a press release announcing the film series’ launch, stated,
Through our travels with 'Haynesville,' no matter where we were in the world, we saw a striking commonality from community to community: the need and desire for a balanced discussion about today's energy issues. We realized that more often than not, people wanted to leave behind the noise and extremes to build an energy future that is environmentally sound, economically viable and ensures energy security. The 'Rational Middle' is the starting point for a movement welcoming open discussion where everyone is invited to the table to find solutions to the most important energy challenges.
Taken at face value, the movie’s description sounds fairly innocent.
Yet, the questions to be asked as the film makes the rounds: Who is Gregory Kallenberg? Who is his family? And in general, who are the real characters behind the curtain here?
The answers to these questions say much more about the film than does the description offered in promotional pitches. As it turns out, the public relations firm tasked to do promotional pitches also speaks volumes about the filmmaker's agenda.
WHEN you think the news stories just aren't going your way - when parts of the media just refuse to tow your particular ideological line - what are your options?
For most people, the choices are limited. You could perhaps write a letter to the editor or maybe even pen an opinion piece or start your own blog.
But if you're the world's richest woman with a penchant for climate science denial and a coal and iron ore empire to maintain, then your options are considerably broader.
This week, the Australian oligarch Gina Rinehart took the logical step for someone with a personal fortune approaching $30 billion and bought the opposition.
The mining magnate now holds 19 per cent of all the shares in Fairfax - the Australian media organisation which owns the country's most respected newspapers the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age (Melbourne) and the Australian Financial Review.
IMAGINE coming in to work and opening your inbox to read an email asking you to “kill yourself” before another note reads “I hope someone puts a bullet between your eyes”.
How about another email where the sender describes themselves as a “one man swat team” telling you to “back the F*** off” or they will “smack the living sh** out of you”.
Another emailer says “I'd kill you in a second if given the chance” and another writes that you have been “blacklisted” and that “your children and family will know because we know where you live… expect us at your door to say hello.”
This is not an imaginary scenario, but is instead a sample from the inbox of climate scientist Professor Phil Jones, of the University of East Anglia in the UK, as revealed following a Freedom of Information request released this week.
Professor Jones wasn't alone in the halls of his university. The FOI reveals how a presumably US-based emailer warned that if Professor Edward Acton, the university's vice-chancellor, was to ever travel to America that “we will have plans for you as well. If you bring your family, all the merrier.” The Professor was also reminded of the emailer's Second Amendment rights to carry a gun.
All the emails are date between November 2009 and February 2010, the period immediately after thousands of emails were unlawfully taken from the university. Climate science deniers, commentators and bloggers claimed the “climategate” emails proved human-caused climate change was a hoax, but several high-level independent inquiries found the integrity of the science was intact and that the emails had been taken out of context and misrepresented.
Remarkably, the examples used here (the full release is here on a pdf) are not the worst, nor are they the nastiest.
This latest release of emails from UEA provide an insight - whether we want it or not - of the campaign of intimidation against Professor Jones which at one point, caused him to consider suicide.
The final Denial-a-Palooza was co-sponsored by dozens of organizations that have received over $67 Million from ExxonMobil, Koch, and Scaife family foundations.
There was tension in the air at this year's gathering in Chicago. In the past several weeks, Heartland's “Experts” have been jumping ship in the wake of Heartland's disastrous Unabomber billboard campaign, and some of Heartland's conference speakers even threatened not to show up.
More worrying to Heartland has been the sudden exodus of their corporate donors. Some suggested that this was cause for Heartland to cancel the conference, but it looks like they had one last hoorah left in them. (Barely, as Joe Bast admitted today.)
The sponsors and speakers who remained part of Heartland's Denial-a-Palooza network for this final conference are those who would choose to go down with a sinking ship rather than accept the scientific evidence of climate change driven by industrial pollution and other man-made impacts.
Below are links to DeSmogBlog's in-depth research on both the Sponsors and Speakers of ICCC7. This list of sponsor organizations is just a taste of the additions coming soon to the DeSmogBlog Disinformation Database.
Here is our comprehensive entry for The Heartland Institute.