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Wed, 2010-06-02 12:47Brendan DeMelle
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Climate denial activists’ parallel to anti-relativity movement of 1920s

This is an excellent piece by friend of DeSmogBlog Joss Garman, cross-posted with permission from JossGarman.com:

“This world is a strange madhouse. Currently, every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation.”

So wrote Albert Einstein in a letter to his one time collaborator, the mathematician Marcel Grossmann in 1920.

Jeroen van Dongen of the Institute for History and Foundations of Science at Utrecht University in Holland, writing in a recent edition of the journal, ‘Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics,’ describes the effectiveness of the movement that grew up to oppose Einstein’s theory. There are some striking parallels with today’s climate debate.

At a time when The Guardian just reported another poll showing a drop in concern about climate change, and a New York Times front page this week described Britons’ growing doubts about the science, its worth taking a look at that anti-science campaign, which was waged by Einstein’s critics because like today’s climate denial movement, the anti-relativity movement had some success too.

Wed, 2009-08-19 16:21Jim Hoggan
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Congress Should Expose or Outlaw Astroturfers

The venerable New York Times has reported the discovery of “More Fake Letters To Congress” by Bonner & Associates, the Astroturf specialists hired by Americans for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCE) to interfere with the vote on the Waxman-Markey bill.

As much as Bonner has tried to deny its involvement, the agency was clearly the source of forged letters, purporting to come from charitable organizations opposed to the climate bill. But then, Bonner’s record is well-recorded.

As William Greider described in his book, Who Will Tell the People, Bonner has operated a “boiler room” that featured “300 phone lines and a sophisticated computer system, resembling the phone banks employed in election campaigns. Articulate young people sit in little booths every day, dialing around America on a variety of public issues, searching for ‘white hat’ citizens who can be persuaded to endorse the political objectives of Mobil Oil, Dow Chemical, Citicorp, Ohio Bell, Miller Brewing, US Tobacco, the Chemical Manufacturers Association, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and dozens of other clients.”

Wed, 2008-09-17 09:19Richard Littlemore
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Big Government: Darn Handy in a Crisis

Slavish devotees to the free market must be mourning the news today as the U.S. government steps in to rescue the insurance giant AIG and (we're still hoping) to forestall a worldwide financial crisis.

This is what government does: it saves us from ourselves and from disasters we cannot anticipate. Good governments try to get ahead of that curve, setting policies and regulations that prevent totally stupid or predictable crises. I think its fair to say that this event suggests that good government has, recently, been in short supply.

Mon, 2008-07-28 13:09Kevin Grandia
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Is ExxonMobil following you on Twitter?

Seems even ExxonMobil is catching the micro-blogging fever on Twitter.

Julie a “Community Evengilist at ExxonMobil Corp.” writes:

Hi there, I'm Janet, one of a few Community Evengilist at ExxonMobil Corp. I'm here to answer any of questions from this twitter community.”

Thu, 2008-05-29 11:42Page van der Linden
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ExxonMobil Still the Bull in the Climate Shop

He was going to be smooth. Polished. Charming. The new face of ExxonMobil, presented to us back in March 2006:

“We recognize that climate change is a serious issue,” Mr. Tillerson said during a 50-minute interview last week, pointing to a recent company report that acknowledged the link between the consumption of fossil fuels and rising global temperatures. “We recognize that greenhouse gas emissions are one of the factors affecting climate change.”

That image completely fell apart at a news conference yesterday.

Wed, 2007-07-11 07:21Richard Littlemore
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An Astroturf group primer

Here , in a terse 219 words, is everything you need to know about Tom Harris , the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, the origin of fake grassroots organizations and the involvement of big oil. Nice one Jenny Carter.
Tue, 2007-06-19 14:22Emily Murgatroyd
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Viva Vivoleum

Well known culture jammers, the Yes Men, who practice what they call 'identity correction' by posing as representatives of well-known corporations and organizations and making outrageous comments on their behalf, pulled off their latest installation of genius at the Oil and Gas Exposition 2007 in Calgary.

Posing as members of the National Petroleum Council, they unveiled Vivoleum, an oil product derived from dead victims of global warming disasters.

We don't have any video from the event yet, but here's a photo slideshow we found on Flickr.  

Read more: Viva Vivoleum
Tue, 2007-06-19 13:51Kevin Grandia
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ExxonMobil slowly shedding its "skeptical" skin

ExxonMobil's chief spokesman, Kenneth Cohen recently stated that, “Exxon Mobil Corp. never in the past decade doubted the risk from climate change… [and] had simply firmed up, or “evolved,” its understanding of the threat.”

If by firming up the science, Cohen means spending an estimated $23 million on think tanks and associations that have spent the better part of the last decade attacking the scientific evidence for human-induced global warming, then we couldn't agree more.

Thu, 2007-05-31 06:45Ross Gelbspan
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Rex, We Know About 3,000 Scientists You Might Ask

ExxonMobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson continued his company's history of questioning the causes of climate change. Talking to shareholders, Tillerson said: “We don't have a difference of views that it's an important issue. We have differences about what we know and what we don't know.”
Thu, 2007-05-17 21:03Ross Gelbspan
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eXXon caught with fingers crossed, new report

Despite ExxonMobil's denials, a report released today by Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets.org project, reveals that the largest oil company in the world continues to spend millions on a stealth public relations campaign aimed at discrediting global warming science.

According to the report, Exxon provided $2.1 million in 2006 to 41 “think” tanks and associations that actively sow doubt about the realities of climate change. Since 1998, ExxonMobil has spent a staggering $23 million on this climate disinformation.

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