The questionable tactics that McIntyre and McKitrick have used to discredit excellent scientists like Penn State Michael Mann have been on the record for some time. But DC is a tireless researcher, whose patience and hard work are amply demonstrated in this new post. It becomes increasingly clear that while scientists have been building an un undeniable case for the science of global warming, M&M have been working hand-in-hand with people like the denier PR guru Tom Harris to deny it all, anyway.
This post should be mandatory reading for any mainstream media reporter who wants a fair briefing on the integrity of the various voices so often quoted on this story.
The Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has forced the University of Calgary to re-release part of an audit report, overruling censored information about a university payment to a PR firm that helped prepare and distribute a climate change denial video.
The audit report - censored and uncensored versions of which are attached - states that the University of Calgary paid APCO Worldwide more than $170,000 for “advice regarding video production, promotion of the video, distribution of the video, media relations services and other services.” These payments violated university policy on several levels and are also suspected of having broken federal tax laws.
There are few parties in the public realm that are more credible than a “grassroots organization” - a group of citizens who rise up with no agenda other than to speak frankly about a public issue. Politicians are inevitably suspect and businesses are clearly self-interested, so reporters are always searching for the “common man” - the “person on the street” - or from impartial experts. No news source wraps up those characteristics more efficiently than the true grass roots organization.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.