(The following is a response to a recent op-ed in the Vancouver Sun.)
I am not a scientist. I am not a climate change expert. I’m a PR guy; I have been in the business for more than 25 years. So I know a public relations campaign when I see one, and lately, Canadians have been treated to a stunning example.
It began, in earnest, a month ago with wide release of a letter from 60 “experts” taking issue with the current consensus on climate change. That petition was repudiated by a second letter, signed by 90 of the top climate scientists in the country, but it didn't stop those in the first group from flooding the country's opinion pages with “climate skeptic” reports and, most recently, from hitting the talk circuit.
Also interesting is this piece from the Kitchener Waterloo Record. It would seem we're not being terribly creative with our approach – read on to find out how Environment Minister Ambrose is using Luntz's tactics almost to the letter these days.
Tory Kyoto strategy mirrors U.S. plan May 15, 2006
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.