From a certain angle and with a sympathetic camera positioned just right, a triumphant Marc Morano emerges from a stretch white limo and raises his hand to an out-of-shot Paris crowd as he hits the red carpet for the world premiere of his new movie Climate Hustle.
Behind him comes a gaggle of suited climate science deniers, the stars of a film that producer Morano promised would “rock the climate debate”. To many, the big night appears to be a roaring success.
But just like many of the arguments from professional climate science denialists, what at first might appear a cinematic coup d'état turns out to be little more than fakery and stage management.
How do I know? I was there.
An undercover investigation by environment group Greenpeace has found some of the world’s most vocal climate science denial groups were willing to accept cash from fossil fuel interests in return for writing articles and reports that reject the impacts of greenhouses gases.
Greenpeace operatives posing as representatives of coal and oil companies were told that while the reports could be produced, there were ways that the sources of funding could be hidden.
Academics affiliated with leading US academic institutions Princeton and Penn State universities are implicated in the Greenpeace research.
In a blockbuster story, The New York Times reported that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has subpoenaed oil and gas industry giant ExxonMobil to “determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how those risks might hurt the oil business.”
ExxonMobil, now also the subject of U.S. congressional and activist group calls for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, knew about the risks of climate change since the 1970s and studied those risks internally for decades.
But the company subsequently funded climate change denial and disinformation efforts to the tune of at least $31 million.
This is a guest post by Dan Zegart of Climate Investigations Center
No one who reads this space regularly would be surprised to hear that the big utility companies employ front groups to further their political agendas in the states in which they operate.
After all, we’ve reported here on a scientist who was little more than a pseudo-scientific front for a big power company — Willie Soon, whom Southern Company, which is heavily-dependent on carbon dioxide-rich coal for its power plants, clandestinely funded to do research pointing away from human-produced CO2 as a cause of global warming.
Now an investigation by two Environment & Energy (E&E) reporters has traced a network of industry fronts and astroturf grassroots organizations spreading across the southeastern United States, all united in attacking state laws or regulatory or other efforts to make rooftop solar panels economical to use by allowing customers to sell any surplus electricity back to the grid.
Willie Soon is gathering with his Heartland Institute friends this week in Washington, DC for their latest Denial-a-Palooza stunt designed to mimic a science conference.
WHEN the facts on climate change become inconvenient or they start to rub your ideology or vested interest up the wrong way, then there are really only two options available.
Option one is to change your mind. Option two is to try and change, distort, misrepresent or just outright ignore the flood of scientific studies over decades showing the serious impacts of loading the biosphere with fossil fuel emissions.
Mark Steyn is a prominent conservative polemicist and writer in the United States and Canada who has chosen option two.
Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post examines the troop of climate sceptic scientists funded by ExxonMobil to attack Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph.
Neoliberal think tanks saw a significant boom period in the 2000s thanks to ExxonMobil’s continued spending to fuel the fire against the climate science consensus.
As per the Climate Action Plan – written in 1998 as a blueprint for sceptic industry action – the think tanks gathered together a group of hand-picked “independent” scientists who were “not usually published in the mainstream journals”.
More than $470 million of cash flowing into a key funding arm of the climate science denial movement in the United States is untraceable, a DeSmog investigation has found.
But a DeSmog analysis of the sources of DT and DCF income finds that some $479 million of the income is “dark money” coming from individuals or groups who do not have to declare their donations.
Our DeSmog UK epic history series continues with a look at the creation of Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph and the counter-attack launched by the climate deniers.
Michael Mann was “still relatively fresh” out of graduate school when his work demonstrating the rise in global temperatures caught the attention of senior climate scientists. He was quickly selected as lead author for a new report on climate change.
The paper by Mann, and Professor Raymond Bradley and Professor Malcolm Hughes was titled Global-Scale Temperature Patterns and Climate Forcing Over the Past Six Centuries. It introduced into the scientific literature what would soon become known as the ‘hockey stick’ graph.