Report: How to Manufacture Public Doubt about Global Warming

With the Heartland’s Institute’s “International Climate Change Conference” (aka. Denial-palooza) we thought it would be a good time to launch our new report: “How to Manufacture Public Doubt - analysis of the public relations techniques used by the climate denial industry.”

So please grab a copy, enjoy and consider emailing the link on to your friends, blogging on it, Tweeting it and/or sending to your friends of Facebook.

You can donwload the PDF version here: “How to Manufacture Public Doubt - analysis of the public relations techniques used by the climate denial industry.”

Here’s an excerpt:

There is a long and well-documented history of the development of very effective public relations techniques that are used to create doubt about the realities of scientific conclusions that threaten to impose government regulation on corporations. Most of these techniques were developed and honed by public relations professionals working on behalf of the tobacco companies to downplay the harmful health effects of cigarettes in the late 80’s and early 90’s. For the last ten years or so, these same PR techniques have been used very effectively by free-market think tanks and fossil-fuel funded organizations to sow public doubt about the realities of climate change in the hopes of delaying government action on the issue.

- 1969 internal Brown and Williamson strategy document

Video: Climate Skeptic Twilight Zone Meets the Real World

While the Heartland Institute and the rest of the climate change fringe met inside the Marriot Times Square hotel we hit the streets and asked everyday Americans what they thought about global warming. We also asked them what they thought about the Heartland Institute’s conference. 

Seems that the Heartland conference is more than just a little out of touch with where people are at on the issue.


Earth to Jacoby: I Got Your Global Warming Right Here

Not to let himself be outdone by his skeptic colleague in good standing, George Will, The Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby has penned an equally vacuous and misinformed column posing the thought-provoking question: “Where’s global warming?”

It’s hard to know where to start. From the outset, I was tempted to just rehash my previous post about “global cooling” and climate variability or to mine Mitchell’s George Will debunking posts for some good material. (This line, in particular, answers his question rather well: “In other words: if you want to see climate change, look out the window.”) In light of some of his other claims about global temperatures and Arctic sea ice, however, I thought I’d do some of my own snooping.

Wanted: Coal Industry Spin Doctor - Ethics Not Required

Looking for lucrative gig as a coal monger? The dirtiest industry in the world may have a job for you.

At top public relations firm working on behalf of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is looking for a “Vice President, Paid and Digital Media” to increase the public’s “appreciation for the use of coal”.

And do they have money to burn… Big Coal is blowing more than $20 million for a massive on-line propaganda effort to spread their message  that coal is “clean”. More than $3 million is dedicated to “digital media programs” and another $17 million is being shoveled towards “media placement” in mainstream outlets.

That is just a small part of the media onslaught pushing the notion that its possible to apply an unproven and expensive technological band-aid to an industry that is pushing the world towards dangerous atmospheric tipping points.

This latest PR blitz is on top of the $45 million that Big Coal spent last year, including a whopping $10.5 million just to lobby Congress

It is not often that public gets to gaze this far into the maw of the mighty media machine of the coal lobby. Our good friends at Think Progress broke the story when a senior staff member at Center for American Progress was bizarrely approached by head hunting firm for the position, and was sent this confidential job description. It’s not confidential anymore…

Big Coal is looking for someone who will:

Work with ACCCE’s senior staff to prepare recommended strategies and tactical plans for engagement in shaping public attitudes and in support of public policy advocacy goals.

They will judge their success on the “Effective expansion of the America’s Power campaign in digital media formats (including, but not limited to, on-line/display, social media, and other digital formats).

Heartland Institute trying to make the old new

I’m here again at the Heartland Institute’s climate change conference in New York - or as I like to call in DenialPalooza Take 2 - and what really strikes me so far is that it’s the same people attending and talking about the same things they did last year.

I’ve been to a lot of different conferences over the years and there’s always excitement in the sharing of new studies published and hearing the lastest discoveries. After all that’s what conferences are about, a time to share and advance knowledge. You wouldn’t go to a mainstream conference one year and then go the next just to be presented the same information by the same people you heard last year.

That is, unless there’s really nothing new to share. And that appears to be the case with this year’s climate chage DenialPalooza. The schedule of speakers and the panel topics are almost a carbon copy of last year.

Take a look at the 2008 schedule and compare it to the 2009 one - same people, same topics, nothing really new.

So what’s this conference about?


Subscribe to DeSmogBlog