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Public Opinion Pushes Action on Climate Change, Usually

Jack Sparrow's compassWhy is it that California is able to take such a strong lead on  climate change, while the U.S. federal administration stands around questioning the science and refusing to undertake any real action on the issue?

It's tempting to blame the polls. While there are many altruistic and economic reasons Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California legislators are taking such a strong stance on climate change, it would be naïve to overlook the importance of public opinion polls showing that Californians are concerned and want action.

BP: climate action or damage control?

BP announced today a new program that will allow drivers to maintain carbon-neutral without changing their driving habits or make of car. The program, called “Target Neutral” is a web-initiative that allows drivers to cancel out their carbon emissions by funding renewable energy and green technology ventures out of their own pockets. While emission trading is nothing new, it is always encouraging to see industry leading the way.

DeSmogBlog in Edmonton

This feature piece appeared in the Edmonton Journal on the weekend outlining the more-questionable-by-the day “Friends” of Science and their efforts to sow doubt about the realities of climate change.

Arnie and Gore in 2008!

Between Gore's Inconvenient Truth and Arnie set to push through an unprecedented US State climate change initiative, are we seeing the makings of a 2008 climate change bi-partisan presidential run? With climate change on America's mind and everyone sick and tired of the same political rhetoric dividing important issues on partisan lines, who knows… it's politics, stranger things have happened.

Below is some not-so-good footage of Schwarzenegger talking about California's Global Warming Solutions Act that will cap C02 emissions and aim to reduce green house gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. And below that is some footage of Gore out on the hustings in a chat with Letterman.

Make a good pair don't they?

Now I know Arnie can't run for prez, and this a pretty tongue-in-cheek post, but it's Friday and I say Gore and Arnie in 2008!

California carbon cap bill good for economy too

As California's widely supported Global Warming Solutions Act, gets set to pass this summer, a new University of California study finds that the new Act could create as many as 17,000 new jobs.

Author of the report, David Roland-Holst, concludes:

“Our study demonstrates that meeting the 2020 [green-house gas] limits under debate in Sacramento can stimulate the state economy… Climate action can be profitable.”

The report also finds that the annual Gross State Product (GSP) could see a $60 billion increase as California aggressively moves on its proposed new carbon emissions cap program.

UK climate change video shows us how it's done

Check out this video (windows media version) produced as part of the UK's “Climate Change Communications Initiative.” They sure nail down all the elements of a successful climate change action campaign; they begin by first explaining in very simple terms what climate change actually is, they then highlight (but don't dwell on) the possible consequences of inaction and finally, they wrap up with the fact that there are available solutions and tailor that message with a call to action.

Great job. What do all the other PR pros out there think about this one?



Hoover Institute and the art of slander

You know you're winning the PR battle when your adversary switches from attacking the message to attacking the messenger. Here's an example that also includes the common spin tactic of cherypicking: removing information from its context in an attempt to mislead. 

In a recent USA Today opinion piecePeter Schweizer, (a “Senior Fellow” at the oil money-laden Hoover Institute) tries to undermine Al Gore's efforts to enhance public education on climate change. Specifically, Schweizer pattacks Gore's personal committment to the reduction of green house gas - fair game as long as the accusation is accurate.

But Gore staff members criticize Schweizer's claims as either misleading or outright falsehoods.

For example:

Behavioral evolution of polar bears due to climate change

It seems there is now unequivocal evidence that behavior in polar bears is evolving due to environmental changes caused by global warming.

Water power the future?

Check out this video. 100 mile car trip uses only 4 ounces of water. Can't wait to the industry-backed PR spin for this one: “If we use water for our cars, oceans will be depleted and fish will die!”


China goes solar

The China Daily reported late last week that all new residential construction in the massive powerhouse city of Shenzhen must install solar powered water heating system. While we applaud this gesture to renewable energy, it is worth noting that there is an exemption for buildings over 12 storeys. For those who have been lucky enough to have visited this dynamic and vibrant city, you will quickly get my point, in that there are very few, if any, new buildings under 12 storeys!

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