Brad Johnson over at The WONK ROOM reports:
The American Energy Alliance (AEA), a new polluter front group, is touring the nation to smear President Barack Obama’s clean energy reform agenda. Employees riding the “American Energy Express” bus are spreading the conservative lies that the American Clean Energy and Security Act will “cripple our sluggish economy.” AEA is the 501 c(4) offshoot of the Institute for Energy Research, a right-wing oil-industry think tank run by Robert Bradley, a former speechwriter for Kenneth Lay. E&E News reports that AEA’s “Energy Town Hall” bus tour pictures workers in hard hats:
The American Energy Alliance, which is affiliated with the conservative Institute for Energy Research, has begun a four-week bus tour to county fairs, sporting events and public meetings in several coal-reliant states. Representatives of the group will travel in a large blue bus carrying the slogan “Stop the National Energy Tax, Save American Jobs” and a picture of workers in hard hats. They will cross Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Virginia. Yesterday, AEA officials participated in a rally with another group, Americans for Prosperity, in Zanesville, Ohio; a day earlier, they visited a county fair in western Pennsylvania.
In fact, by attacking legislation that addresses climate change and our national dependence on fossil fuels, AEA is preventing a clean-energy economic boom. Laughably, AEA claims it has “no ties to any political party“:
AEA has no ties to any political party, and it has no interest in supporting the agenda of any particular political party.
Outgoing United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer sent an urgent message to wealthy industrialized nations on Tuesday reminding them about previous promises to help the world’s poorer nations to adapt to a changing world due to global warming. Without a firm show of funds, he said the pursuit of a global climate agreement would remain a question mark for many as the December COP-16 talks in Cancun grow closer.
de Boer urged the industrialized nations to quickly present the $30 billion in aid they have pledged to deliver over the 2010-2012 period to help poor nations fight climate change impacts such as increasingly severe droughts and floods.
“Times are harsh, especially in Europe, but $10 billion a year for three years from all industrialized countries is not an impossible call,” he said.
The U.S. House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the recent string of politically-motivated attacks against climate scientists.
Several prominent climate scientists will testify and field questions at the hearing, entitled “Climate Science in the Political Arena,” including some who have been targets of such political attacks themselves.
Look for plenty of questions from the GOP minority about the Climategate non-scandal that deniers remain obsessed with, despite the exoneration by the British House of Commons of the CRU scientists at the University of East Anglia targeted by the hackers.
The magazine New Scientist has devoted a special issue to the “Age of Denial,” including a lot of examples of climate deniers’ efforts to distort and attack climate science.
DeSmogBlog’s own Richard Littlemore has an essay in the issue entitled “Living in denial: How corporations manufacture doubt,” which discusses how polluting industries have followed the tobacco playbook in order to confuse the public about climate change.
“The doubt industry has ballooned in the past two decades. There are now scores of think tanks pushing dubious and confusing policy positions, and dozens of phoney grass-roots organisations created to make those positions appear to have legitimate following.”
In a scathing rebuke of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s witch hunt relating to the work of climatologist Michael Mann, the highly-regarded journal Nature this week published an editorial called “Science subpoenaed” that condemns the latest political attack on a climate scientist and calls into serious question Cuccinelli’s motives.
AG Cuccinelli, a former Republican state Senator, earlier this month launched a ridiculously over-the-top inquiry demanding that the University of Virginia turn over a massive number of documents and personal communications related to Professor Mann’s work and government contracts. Cuccinelli demands to see eleven years’ worth of Mann’s emails and other correspondence with climate scientists, and all available documents, computer code and data relating to Mann’s research on five different state and federal grants.
Echoing The Washington Post, which published a similar editorial lambasting Cuccinelli’s “witch hunt” of Professor Mann, the Nature editorial similarly slammed the AG.
In what has become an annual non-event, the Heartland Institute will gather the who’s-who of the global warming denial network together in Chicago this weekend for the fourth International Conference on Climate Change.
As in years past, the event is expected to receive very little mainstream media coverage. The deniers like to think the reason is some liberal media conspiracy. In reality, the lack of interest stems chiefly from the fact that this denial-a-palooza fest is dripping with oil money and represents a blatant industry effort to greenwash oil and coal while simultaneously attacking the credibility of climate scientists.
Despite the lack of press interest, the show must go on. After all, the Chicago meet-up will provide deniers and industry front groups a chance to coordinate their ongoing efforts to smear the reputation of the IPCC, and they can reminisce about the Climategate non-scandal like boys in the schoolyard kicking around a rusty old can.
For insight into the underlying aim of the Chicago denier conference, let us take a look at the funding sources for the sponsoring organizations.
255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including 11 Nobel laureates, have penned a letter in Science slamming the disinformation campaign orchestrated by a small network of climate deniers that has confused the public about the real danger of climate disruption.
The scientists’ letter, published in the May 7th issue of the journal Science (subscription req’d), says:
“We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular.”
The scientists note that the fundamental science of climate change is sound, despite the extensive campaign by deniers and skeptics to confuse politicians and the general public:
“There is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.”
House Republicans have chosen Lord Christopher Monckton, a non-scientist with a penchant for outrageous remarks, as its sole witness at tomorrow’s hearing in front of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) called the hearing in an effort to further restore public confidence in climate science, and to set the record straight that ‘Climategate’ was not the scandal climate deniers and the right-wing media tried to portray in the wake of the theft of private emails from scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia.
A press release announcing the hearing states that the scientists “will address the claims of deniers head-on.”
The Washington Post this week launched a new politics homepage, PostPolitics.com, with a helping hand from the dirty coal industry.
According to the press release announcing the launch,
“The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is the Washington Post’s exclusive launch sponsor of PostPolitics.com.”
While PostPolitics.com itself is an exciting new tool for fans of political news, it is unfortunate that the Post had to partner with coal polluters to fund the launch.
The U.S. Senate’s latest attempt to introduce climate legislation has been dogged with uncertainty and delay, continuing the worrisome trend of U.S. inaction to address the most critical issue facing humanity.
As word spread through Washington over the past few days that yet another attempt at a climate and energy bill appeared doomed to the legislative dustbin, the rest of the world continues to wonder if the U.S. is ever going to overcome its deadlock on climate legislation.