Sat, 2006-11-04 08:44Richard Littlemore
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Prime Minister Harper Cowering from Climate Change Scrutiny

Hats off to columnist John Ibbitson for this scoop in today's Globe and Mail. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has cancelled a Canada-EU summit in late November, apparently for fear of having to stand up in a room full of Europeans and account for Canadian climate change policy.

Aside from adding to Canada's ongoing international humiliation on global warming, you have to be a little bit optimistic about this development: At least the prime minister has the wit to be embarrassed about his government's shameful performance.
Sat, 2006-11-04 08:14Richard Littlemore
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A Newspaper that's Proud to be Provincial

This editorial is a couple of days old and, frankly, I have been trying to ignore it, but people keep writing to me about the Vancouver Province newspaper's insistence on keeping a vacant mind on climate change.

This most recent editorial makes two points:

1. Complicated stories are difficult for editorial writers to understand; and

2. “… crying wolf too loud (sic) and too often may be as bad as doing nothing at all.”

On the first point, I have to agree. As a former editorial writer at the Province's sister newspaper (The Vancouver Sun), I know that opining on every newsworthy issue is a daily grind. The complex stories are, of course, more difficult. And I imagine it must be more difficult yet when you refuse to, say, read a book or consult a a reputable expert on the matter at hand. So much easier to rely on that old editorial cop out: one the one hand … and on the other ….
Fri, 2006-11-03 13:11Ross Gelbspan
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Meanwhile, The Heat Goes On . . .

Heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a

record high in 2005 and are still increasing, the U.N. weather agency said Friday. The global average concentrations of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide reached record levels last year and are expected to increase even further this year, said a climate specialist at the World Meteorological Organization.

“There is no sign that N20 and Co2 are starting to level off,” the specialist said, adding: “It looks like it will just continue like this for the foreseeable future.”

 

 

Thu, 2006-11-02 15:11Kevin Grandia
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The "JunkScience" Coup d'etat

Let's trash the junkman A lot of public relations technique rests in language. It is built in the nuanced choice and combination of
words that are developed and tested through public opinion research - through polling and focus groups.

For example, Republican pollster Frank Luntz has made a career of massaging language to his clients advantage. In Luntz's now infamous enviro-speak memo (pdf) to the republican party, he advises the following:


Thu, 2006-11-02 14:59Richard Littlemore
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On Chris Essex, Politics, Accountability and Climate Change Denial

University of Western Ontario statistician Dr. Christopher Essex, previously an energetic campaigner in the battle to deny climate change, has apparently decided to take the reward for his political lobbying and head for the hills.

Essex,  appointed Tuesday to the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), has distinguished himselves in certain circles as one of the climate “experts” who deny the international consensus that humans are causing climate change. He co-authored a book, Taken by Storm, with the notorious climate change denier Ross McKitrick (he of the anti-hockey stick campaign) and he has been touted from the beginning as one of the Friends of Science, the oil-industry funded front group that lobbies against climate change policy. Essex has been a featured speaker at Fraser Institute Kyoto-bashing sessions, and he was one of 19 Canadians who signed the Letter of 60 to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, again urging inaction on the climate file.

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