Thu, 2006-08-17 16:47Richard Littlemore
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Canadian Climate Change Censorship Revisited

The DeSmogBlog has reported the federal Conservative Party's revisionism on climate change before, but this piece by the InterPress News Service's Bill Berkowitz adds some interesting material. Look especially at the “I-was-only-giving-orders” defence offered by the king of linguistic manipulation, Frank Luntz:

“When asked about the advice about climate change that he had been giving for years, Luntz said it was fair when he gave it. He added that if the Bush administration is still questioning the science, “That's up to the [them]. I'm not the administration. What they want to do is their business. And it's nothing to do with what I write. And it's nothing to do with what I believe.””

Thu, 2006-08-17 14:18Richard Littlemore
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Climate Chill Settles Over Fictional Straw Man

Here's a weird piece that suggests wild-eyed environmentalists are lying in wait to do violence to Dr. Richard Lindzen, one of the few climate change denying scientists who has a shred of credibility in the science community.

In this fictional letter to Lindzen, the imaginary author claims that there is a worldwide conspiracy to silence any scientist who would challenge the climate change consensus. The letter paints a picture of scientists as sheep (and not very smart sheep, at that), who read tea leaves in order to find out what kind of grant applications to submit.

Thu, 2006-08-17 14:08Kevin Grandia
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UK climate change video shows us how it's done

Check out this video (windows media version) produced as part of the UK's “Climate Change Communications Initiative.” They sure nail down all the elements of a successful climate change action campaign; they begin by first explaining in very simple terms what climate change actually is, they then highlight (but don't dwell on) the possible consequences of inaction and finally, they wrap up with the fact that there are available solutions and tailor that message with a call to action.

Great job. What do all the other PR pros out there think about this one?

Thu, 2006-08-17 10:11Kevin Grandia
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Hoover Institute and the art of slander

You know you're winning the PR battle when your adversary switches from attacking the message to attacking the messenger. Here's an example that also includes the common spin tactic of cherypicking: removing information from its context in an attempt to mislead. 

In a recent USA Today opinion piecePeter Schweizer, (a “Senior Fellow” at the oil money-laden Hoover Institute) tries to undermine Al Gore's efforts to enhance public education on climate change. Specifically, Schweizer pattacks Gore's personal committment to the reduction of green house gas - fair game as long as the accusation is accurate.

But Gore staff members criticize Schweizer's claims as either misleading or outright falsehoods.

For example:

Thu, 2006-08-17 06:57Richard Littlemore
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Solutions: Yes to Conservation; No to Freezing in the Dark

Here's a Reuters wrap-up of easy-to-implement ways for individuals to address climate change.

Some of these suggestions have that self-righteous, anti-comfort tone that is, frankly, counterproductive in the battle to get people to take action. For example, the European Commission urges that we should all turn down the thermostat; why not suggest instead that we all go out and buy really stylish sweaters in a warm, comfortable, renewable fabric?

Still, there are good ideas here, and everything that doesn't hurt helps.


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