What’s Fuelling The Media’s Climate Coverage?

You might have noticed the age old barrier separating advertising and editorial in your news weakening recently.

The Guardian’s Rugby World Cup coverage is sponsored by Heineken, The Telegraph’s is brought to you by Dove Men Care.

We’ve also seen the rise of something called native advertising, where brands work with media organisations directly to produce content. Hailed by some as the saviour of the media industry, Interactive Advertising Bureau report that in the US it will generate $21 billion in ad spending by 2018.

Diageo: Liquor giant backs away from science-dissembling Heartland Institute

The London-based liquor giant Diageo has joined the companies that are criticizing or cutting off the Heartland Institute in protest over its campaigns to confuse people about climate science and to cast prominent climate activists as “murderers, tyrants and madmen.”

As Leo Hickman reports in the Guardian, a Diageo spokester said: “Diageo vigorously opposes climate scepticism and our actions are proof of this. Diageo's only association with the Heartland Institute was limited to a small contribution made two years ago specifically related to an excise tax issue. Diageo has no plans to work with the Heartland Institute in the future.”

This news came a day after Microsoft also criticized Heartland, (although the world's second-richest computer company has not indicated that it will STOP supporting Heartland in the future). Auto giant General Motors cut off its funding of Heartland in March in apparent embarrassment over being associated with the Chicago-based “think” tank's anti-science activism. (Heartland is a big promoter of tobacco as well as a dissembler about climate science.

Look here for an excellent compilation of all the public corporations that have or continue to support Heartland (and hat's off to Brad Johnson and

Exxon Emission Projections: Up, Up and Away

In a report that is bullish for the oil industry and horrifying for the people of the planet, the Guardian reports that  Exxon predicts carbon dioxide emissions to rise by 25 per cent over the next 20 years.

“According to the company’s annual Outlook for Energy report – due to be published in the next few weeks – demand for power will increase by nearly 40% in the next 20 years, lifting emissions by around 0.9% a year at least until 2030.”

Which is to say that all the optimistic (!?) international predictions of anthropogenic CO2 emissions levelling off anytime soon are a fiction. Exxon, apparently, is paying attention to the pathetic efforts that world governments are making to rein in increases (and paying a fortune to ensure that platitudes outpace policy for as long as possible).

China Condemns "Conniving" Canadians

Canada’s (Trash-the-)Environment Minister Prentice Denies Charge

The Guardian has turned up a leaked document from a Chinese think tank that condemns Canada for being “devoted to conniving” at the international climate conference in Copenhagen last December.

According to The Guardian, the Chinese text says that Canada spent the conference trying, “to convince the world that its pledge of a 3% emissions reduction between 1990 and 2020 is significant, while having no intention of meeting its Kyoto protocol target of 6%.”

Canada’s “Environment” Minister Jim Prentice took issue with that characterization:

“Canada has always been completely open, completely transparent and we have been constructive,” Prentice told Canwest News Service. “We have not been conniving.”

That said, Canada has indeed abandoned its Kyoto commitments and recent reports suggest that it has no plan to reach the 3% target (20% below 2006) that it has been promising more recently.

Clean Coal? Just say no

“Coal is about acid rain and peasouper smogs, asthma and mercury contamination, radioactive waste emissions and ripping apart mountains, killing trees, lung cancer and, of course, global warming.

“Coal emits more carbon dioxide for every unit of energy generated than any other fuel. Sure you can clean it up a bit – though the toxins you've taken out of the ground have to go somewhere. But clean coal? Just say no.”

Excerpted from an excellent “clean coal” article in the Guardian

Climate Change Deniers Deluded: UK Met Office

“Anyone who thinks global warming has stopped has their head in the sand. The evidence is clear, the long-term trend in global temperatures is rising, and humans are largely responsible for this rise. Global warming does not mean that each year will be warmer than the last.”

- UK Met Office, as quoted in The Guardian

UK Scientist Dismayed by Media Misrepresentation

As reported in Ben Goldacre's Bad Science column in the Guardian and previously on the DeSmogBlog, there was a media stampede last month to misrepresent a new piece of research as evidence that climate change is not happening - a bit of truth twisting that left the researcher in question aghast.

Population growth, increasing wealth join climate change as threat to food supplies

Rampant population growth and rising wealth in developing countries are driving up demand for food, a UK official says, while global warming also imperils food stores through decreased rainfall and crop failures.

The agriculture industry is going to have to double food production, but with less water than today. Another big threat to food supplies is biofuel production.

EU credibility on climate-change fight at stake; UK’s Blair calls for leadership

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has made global warming one of the main challenges of his last months in office, has called on fellow European leaders to show real leadership on climate change when they gather Thursday in Brussels. Blair is especially keen on securing the framework of a post-2012 agreement on climate-change goals at the G8 summit in Germany this summer. Simultaneously, the European Commission has insisted on binding targets for future renewable energy reliance.

Tim Ball: Ad hominems ad nauseum

How do you criticize politely someone who just doesn't mind whether or not he tells the truth?

The tireless Dr. Tim Ball, who will apparently go anywhdre on earth to deny climate change, has washed up on a UK television program called The Great Global Warming Swindle. Ball is heralded in the promotional material as a “Climatologist and Prof Emeritus of Geography at the University of Winnipeg.”


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