climate denial

Hard to Handle: Trolling Denial vs Legitimate Skepticism

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup

In an interesting new paper, two pairs of authors bring their unique viewpoints to bear on a hard to handle subject – how should scientists and the public interact to ensure the accuracy of scientific studies? How can scientists tell the difference between politically motivated trolls (deniers) and genuinely interested non-academics (skeptics)?
 
Two of the authors are well known in climate circles: Dr. Michael Mann and Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky. They’re joined by Nicholas J. L. Brown and Dr. Harris Friedman, an outsider and an academic who worked together to upend a once-popular study in behavioral psychology. Together, the group provides a unique take on how to distinguish between the honest skepticism embodied by Brown and Friedman and the denialist abuse regularly hurled at Mann and Lewandowsky.

‘Climate Inaction Figures’ Campaign Launches To Combat Anti-Science Absurdity, Promote a Price On Carbon

The cloak of denial, an anti-science shield, the Koch Brothers’ chest full of money, and James Inhofe’s weapon of choice, a spiked snowball.

These are some of the accessories that come with the newly announced Climate Inaction Figures: Toy-sized likenesses of prominent political figures who claim, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that there is no reason to act on climate change. 

The figures and the campaign are the work of the team behind the Emmy-Award winning documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously.

Besides offering a much-needed laugh during these days of convention craziness, the project hopes to inspire people to learn more about — and take action — on carbon pricing policy work.

The campaign directs people to theclimatesolution.com, a website that explores the benefits and practicality of putting a price on carbon.

Because if you’re not part of the solution, well… then the Climate Inaction Figures win. 

Top Tweets from #WebofDenial Speech Blitz in U.S. Senate

On Monday and Tuesday this week, climate change denial is facing intense scrutiny as U.S. Senators take to the floor to speak out against the network of industry-funded climate denial organizations purposefully deceiving lawmakers and the general public about climate science and stalling action to tackle this critical issue.

On social media, the #WebOfDenial event captured the attention of the Twitterverse, quickly becoming a trending term on the social network. Throughout the event, DeSmog is capturing some of the top Twitter highlights for you.

Senators Launch Resolution, Speech Blitz Calling Out #WebOfDenial Blocking Climate Action

On Monday and Tuesday this week, at least 19 U.S. Senators who understand the need to clear the PR pollution that continues to block overdue climate policy action will speak out on the Senate floor in support of the Senate Web of Denial Resolution calling out the destructive forces of fossil fuel industry-funded climate denial.

Championed by Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Schatz, Boxer, Merkley, Warren, Sanders, and Franken, the resolution condemns what they are calling the #WebOfDenial — “interconnected groups – funded by the Koch brothers, major fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, identity-scrubbing groups like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, and their allies – developed and executed a massive campaign to deceive the public about climate change to halt climate action and protect their bottom lines.”

Joined in the House of Representatives by Congressman Ted Lieu (D- CA), these champions for climate action and accountability in the Senate are calling out the use of think tanks and denier-for-hire front groups to create doubt about climate science. Read the resolution [PDF].

Why Hasn't ExxonMobil Published 2015 Philanthropy Reports Yet? Might They Reveal Ongoing Climate Denial Funding?

This is a guest post by Cindy Baxter, originally published by Climate Investigations Center

For some reason, ExxonMobil has delayed publishing its corporate giving report this year, well beyond the normal timing.  Is the report undergoing new internal scrutiny due to the investigations launched by several states?

Description: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/climateinvestigations/pages/127/attachments/original/1467024723/Screen_Shot_2016-06-26_at_6.30.58_PM.png?1467024723Normally, by this time of year, Exxon has published what it calls its Worldwide Giving Report, as part of its Corporate Citizenship Report.  This report details to whom the ExxonMobil Foundation has given grants - everything from universities to health organizations to think tanks and corporate trade associations. 

This data has been the source of the running tally ExxonSecrets has kept since the late 1990’s on the company’s funding of climate denial.   The report (called “dimensions” in the early days) is a summary of the filings the ExxonMobil Foundation has to give to the IRS each year.  

ExxonSecrets looked carefully at the groups receiving Exxon funding under its “Public Policy and Information” section, selected those running climate denial campaigns, and tallied the funding, adding figures from “corporate” funding. 

The running total of ExxonMobil funding from 1997-2014 is $31,853,735.

Canadian Climate Denial Group, Friends of Science, Named as Creditor in Coal Giant's Bankruptcy Files

By Charles Mandel for the National Observer.

A Canadian climate change denial group has popped up in a U.S. coal giant's bankruptcy proceedings that have lifted the curtain on the funding of a sophisticated continent-wide marketing campaign designed to fool the public about how human activity is contributing to global warming.

document, nearly 1,000 pages long, lists the Calgary-based Friends of Science Society as one of the creditors expecting to get money from the once-mighty coal company, Peabody Energy.

Climate scientists and environmentalists have long suspected that the so-called “Friends” group was a front for fossil fuel companies trying to block government action to reduce carbon pollution, but Friends of Science members always declined to reveal their source of funding.

Exxon "Chose to Mislead": Granddaughter of Former Exxon Climate Scientist

Anna Kalinsky, the granddaughter of former Exxon climate scientist James Black, has berated the company for bankrolling climate change denial despite her grandfather's attempts to inform the company of the risks of burning fossil fuels for the global climate.

In 1977 my grandfather was a senior scientist at Exxon. He warned Exxon executives that the world was just a few years away from needing to rethink our energy strategy to prevent destructive climate change,” Kalinsky says.

“Instead, Exxon chose to mislead people about the risks of climate change – and continues to mislead people today. The company says they value their scientists and all the work they do, but that’s pretty hard to believe when they continue to fund organizations – both publicly and anonymously – that spread misinformation about the science.”

Kalinsky's comments came during a call with media prior to ExxonMobil's May 25 Annual General Meeting in Dallas, Texas, where shareholders will vote on a number of resolutions pertaining to climate change. 

Kalinsky is slated to address ExxonMobil's executives and speak about her grandfather's scientific findings which were featured in a September investigative article by InsideClimate News.

Houston Chronicle Business Columnist Calls for Exxon Climate Denial Investigation, Slams Paxton, Cites DeSmog Research

In case you missed this excellent article over the weekend, “Exxon Mobil documents call for a thorough investigation,” Houston Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson cites DeSmog’s research in a hard-hitting call for state attorneys general to continue investigating Exxon’s potentially fraudulent efforts to mislead the public and investors about climate change risks.

The Chronicle's business columnist also takes Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to task for his industry-friendly efforts to pour cold water on the important investigations underway by 17 state Attorneys General looking at Exxon’s history of climate denial. Tomlinson minces no words in slamming Paxton as “a man bold enough to remain in office while facing state and federal fraud charges. The former corporate lawyer has proved he's a political pawn who could care not less about law enforcement, because there is certainly enough evidence to warrant an investigation into Exxon Mobil.”

Tomlinson cites internal corporate documents recently uncovered by DeSmog’s investigative journalism team in which corporate officials claimed in the late 1970s that “there is no doubt that increases in fossil fuel usage and decreases of forest cover are aggravating the potential problem of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.”

Think Facts Matter? Try Attending a Friends of Science Event Headlined by Ezra Levant

We’re only a minute into watching a brief low-budget video — one that begins by alleging U.S. President Barack Obama is a bully because he suggests that climate change deniers should be “called out” — when Ezra Levant sits down in the chair next to me.

The Rebel Commander himself.

According to organizers, he’s the reason attendance of tonight’s $45-per-head fundraiser in Calgary — casually titled “Climate Leadership Catastrophe: Carbon Taxes, Job Loss, Freedoms Denied” and organized by the so-called “Friends of Science” — spiked from 200 to 445 people after he was announced as its keynote speaker.

And he’s the same intensely controversial pundit who I met in late November at another Calgary event called “Generation Screwed” which I covered for Vice Canada while wearing a “Dreamy Trudeau” sweater.

Hey James,” he says, reaching out his hand to shake mine.

Exxon's Lawyer in Climate Science Probe Has History Helping Big Tobacco and NFL Defend Against Health Claims

Ted Wells, an attorney hired by ExxonMobil to represent the company against accusations it lied about the climate risks of burning fossil fuels, also represented the tobacco industry in the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1999 under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, DeSmog has found. Wells also defended the National Football League (NFL) in the infamous “Deflategate” matter as well as in litigation over the far more serious issue of concussions. 

Wells has represented ExxonMobil since at least December 2015, following New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's announcement that his office would probe Exxon's role in funding climate change denial despite its long-held understanding and pioneering research into climate change.

Wells' name also appears on an April 13 legal filing Exxon submitted in response to a subpoena issued by the Virgin Islands' AG Office, a sign the “private empire” has retained him for the wider probe being carried out by a group pf Attorneys General.

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