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"It's Just a Den of Thieves Over There"

Absolutely.

Have a look at this Guardian article, linked through our friend Ross Gelbspan's site.

The thrust is that a horde of oil industry-funded lobbyists are heading to Europe to try to undermine support for action against climate change. The operation is being led by Chris Horner, a Washington DC lawyer and senior fellow at the rightwing thinktank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has received more than $1.3m (£750,000) funding from the US oil giant ExxonMobil. (See also next post.)

Horner is quoted saying that Europe is “an untapped frontier,” albeit one that is hostile to Horner's gang of climate change dissemblers. In fact, Horner says: “It's just a den of thieves over there.”

We concur wholeheartedly with the words in that sentence, but leave it to you, dear reader, to infer the correct location of “over there.”

Last Word from the Competitive Enterprise Institute

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.'s favorite industry-funded “environmental think tank,” offered up a definitive article on climate change in July of this year.

The CEI began by saying: “Global warming is happening and man is responsible for at least some of it.”

You can click here and read the entire, tortured, outdated 2,913-word argument about how that's really okay – how facing the problem might cause economic dislocation among CEI's major funders – but we think we have excerpted the most important part of the paper in those opening 14 words.

The following is an unpaid political announcement ...

Will Ferrell as G.W. Bush on climate change.

From the mail bag: an early round of questions

An e-mail correspondent sent these questions (with answers appended).

What was your motivation? 
Annoyance. I have often stood up to criticize sleazy and misleading PR campaigns in the past. I find it irksome to see people getting away with spreading disinformation and refusing to take responsibility, and I think it reflects badly on my industry. That said; this is a bigger issue than any I have tackled previously, and a more public forum.

Parsing Propaganda

Philip Young, a senior lecturer in Journalism and Public Relations at the University of Sunderland, says on his blog:  

“One of my favourite questions when teaching PR ethics is to try and establish whether or not an ethical PR practitioner can represent the Flat Earth Society (I would argue that there is no easy answer to this question)? Jim Hoggan tackles a rather more serious version of the debate in this interesting post, Clearing the air on climate change (thanks, Trevor).

A Dilettante's Guide to the Climate Change Conference

Say what you will about the United Nations, no one in the world produces acronyms with the same dedication and enthusiasm. At the conference in Montreal, everyone refers to the COP, the MOP, the UNFCCC – if you’re not in the club, there would be no hint that they were even talking about climate change.

So, here’s a very top-level look. The UNFCCC is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the underlying agreement negotiated in at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Parties to that agreement have reconvened regularly in Conferences of the Parties (COPs). The Kyoto accord was conceived in the third of these meetings, or COP 3. Now that Kyoto is in effect, but many parties (most abhorently the United States) are not signatories, the UN has decided to call this (COP 11) the Conference of the Parties serving as a meeting of the Parties, or COP/MOP. (You begin to understand why it takes everyone two weeks to disagree on issues of such obvious importance.)

Buying the full line from a carpet salesman

Interface Inc. CEO Ray Anderson was the “inspirational speaker” at a Montreal business breakfast this morning (Dec. 6, 2005). organized by Claridge Investments Chair Stephen Bronfman and sponsored by the David Suzuki Foundation. In a break from tradition at these events, Anderson was, well, inspirational.

One of the world’s most successful carpet merchants, Anderson told the story of an environmental epiphany that led him to try to reduce the environmental footprint of his operation to zero. He also explained how his company cut greenhouse gas emissions by 52 per cent in the 10 years between 1994 and 2004 and made more money.

It's only Vanuatu, but I like it ...

There’s always a problem in PR trying to reconcile what your client says with what people choose to hear. People’s attitudes are informed by their biases; their ability to listen is affected by their preconceptions.

So, let’s use this to our advantage. Have a look at this World News Australia link describing the oceanic inundation of the island nation of Vanuatu. Then, the next time a politician or business leader says “it’s too expensive to make even the slightest effort to forestall climate change,” you can hear, “and who cares about Vanuatu, anyway?”

Junk Scientist simpers again

In a shockingly fatuous Fox News post from Dec. 1, Junk Science promoter Stephen Milloy heralds the death of global warming, as proven in the earlier reported Nature magazine story about the decline in the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Current.

Climate: in every detail and from every angle

An exhausting, if not exhaustive list of web-based resources on climate change, including some self-style skeptics to reinforce deSmogBlog.com’s reputation for open-mindedness.

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