Jim Hoggan

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Jim Hoggan is one of Canada’s most respected public-relations professionals and the president and owner of the Vancouver PR firm Hoggan & Associates.

A law school graduate with a longstanding passion for social justice, Jim also serves as chair of the David Suzuki Foundation—the nation’s most influential environmental organization—and as a Trustee of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.

Jim is the co-founder of Stonehouse Standing Circle, an innovative public-engagement and communications think-tank, and the former chair of The Climate Project Canada—Al Gore’s global education and advocacy organization. He also led the Province of British Columbia’s Green Energy Advisory Task Force on Community Relations and First Nations Partnerships.

Jim is the co-founder of the influential website DeSmogBlog and the author of two books, Do the Right Thing: PR Tips for Skeptical Public, and Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. He speaks, writes, and presents widely on public attitudes toward sustainability, climate change, and the environment.

All Hail Elizabeth Kolbert

The New Yorker contributor Elizabeth Kolbert, whose three-part series was the smartest and scariest thing written about climate change in 2005, has started 2006 with another installment, an article entitled “Butterfly Lessons” (which, woefully, the magazine has failed to make available online).

Kolbert follows a trail of butterflies, mosquitoes and frogs to show how much our climate has changed already and how dramatic the coming change may yet be. Her writing style is brisk and informative, devoid of hysterical language but filled with anxiety inducing facts. She also allows herself the odd twist, just to keep you alert (and entertained).

Lies, Damned Lies and "Sound Science"

Let's get up a great big hand for one of the best European climate change dissemblers, the previously unremarked Scientific Alliance.

The Alliance appears to be one of those “intellectual” sweatshops that industry cobbles together in the guise of a think tank. In these vacuous vessels, said intellectuals-for-hire produce dogma on demand – questionable “scientific” material designed to excuse their industrial financiers from taking any responsibility for the environmental costs they are dumping on society.

Hot (Down) Under the Collar

The Melbourne Age reports that Australia's Bureau of Meteorology shows the average national temperature in 2005 was 22.89, 1.09 degrees hotter than the average between 1961 and 1990 – and the hottest year on record. The Bureau further reported that:

Planet Earth: A Resource that is Oversubscribed

An Independent Online article quotes a Professor Chris Rapley, the director of the British Antarctic Survey, who says that the rise in human population may be a more pressing issue even than climate change. Rapley estimated that the earth can sustain around 2-3 billion people at a good standard of living over the long term – a pessimistic view when you consider that the current population is 6.5 billion and that it is expected to rise to 8 billion by mid-century.

Climate Change: A Cycle Not a Trend?

Those who deny the reality of climate change like to point out that dramatic weather events have occurred in the past; they argue that we may be in the midst of a cycle we don't understand, rather than a trend caused by human activity.

New research from the U.S. National Science Foundation looks at a previous “cycle” – one that occurred 55 million years ago and that resulted in warming-induced changes in sea circulation that appear similar to what are currently occurring in the northern hemisphere.

For those who would take comfort in the cyclical argument, consider that on the earlier occasion, the “cycle” took 20,000 years to reverse itself – a little beyond our current planning horizon.

Outing the Federal Funding Conspiracy

In the midst of a radio interview the other day, on Vancouver’s CFAX, a thoughtful caller phoned in to suggest that I was being taken in by a conspiracy of scientists, all of whom are promoting the notion of climate change because it’s a fertile area of research. The caller suggested that the “consensus” in climate science is limited to researchers who take money from government; he said they’re all touting a climate crisis because that’s the best way to keep the research funds flowing.

Bobby "Not-in-My-Back-Yard" Kennedy; or Clay Feet on Cape Cod

Woefully, it appears that Bobby Kennedy Jr., so fulsomely quoted a few posts on, has clay feet when it comes to his environmental convictions. That is, he's all for saving the world, as long as it doesn't interfere with his favourite sailing grounds.

Climate Change = Tough Sledding

There are days, in some states and provinces, when peddling concern about global warming is a tough sell; in North Dakota, or Manitoba, a little winter warmth sometimes sounds like a good thing. But things start to look more real when the snowmobiles have to stay on the trailer for a whole season. Check out the attached Canadian Press story on the state of prairie weather this winter.

The Slippery Slope of Climate Change Denial

A great post at www.OpEdNews.com asks – and answers – the question of whether we dare ignore the debate on evolution.

The principal argument is that we should not allow habits of thought that invite or facilitate deception and manipulation. WriterAndrew Bard Schmookler says:

“It matters whether people follow their authorities blindly or they develop the critical capabilities to think for themselves. Perhaps it’s fine to give the Bible unquestioning credence, but unquestioning trust in the declarations of political authorities can be dangerous.”

The Great U. S. of A. -- Where Weather is Hot and Policy is Not

Check this attachment for one round up of extreme weather events in 2005.

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