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.

Former Environment Minister Sweettalks Exxon

Victoria Liberal Member of Parliament and former Canadian Environment Minister was asked on the CBC Radio show The House, on Dec. 3 whether he will be looking for a corporate gig after he leaves politics, perhaps with ExxonMobile.

His answer, for the record:

“No, I think of all the companies I would be least likely to work for, ExxonMobil would be it. They are definitely the sort of Darth Vader of my life. (Laughs) They fought bitterly to make sure that Canada did as little as possible on the environmental front with respect to Kyoto; they didn’t want to have any model in North America which people in the United States could look to; they did their damndest to discount the science and to discourage any activity here among the business community and the political people as well. I trust that in the future, when it is perfectly clear to everyone, including ExxonMobil, what a mess they made of the opportunity that we had to get in place climate change measures, I hope they recognise and make appropriate apologies for what I describe as a disgraceful performance by a major economic player.” 

Frightful Crichton's Comeuppance

You may already have heard about novelist Michael Crichton’s ill-advised foray into what he believes is serious scientific prediction, but sometimes this kind of silliness is worth revisiting. Crichton’s latest novel, a highly fictional account of the current climate change debate, is called State of Fear. Though neither as readable nor as believable as Jurassic Park, this volume has won Crichton a surprising amount of time on the lecture circuit, where he has been peddling his imagined expertise in climate science.

The best counterpoints have come – consistently, thoughtfully, reliably and even humorously – from www.realclimate.org. But this post is particularly fun, and it includes a brief but useful description of scientific method. Would that Crichton would read it.

Fun sites for conspiracy seekers

If you haven’t already, check out www.exxonsecrets.org, an entertainingly interactive site that draws together a host of names that grow increasingly familiar among those who would undermine the climate change consensus.

Round up the usual suspects

Maclean’s magazine, which has a fresh, new right-winginess about it since the takeover by Conrad Black’s protege Kenneth White, offers “Three smarter ways to save the world” in its latest edition. The writer, Steve Maich, has rounded up some standard-issue “climate skeptics,” including the self-styled “Skeptical Environmentalist,” Bjørn Lomborg, but most of the article is about economics, not climate science.

Cooler Heads

One of our favourites among the climate change deniers is www.globalwarming.org, not least because it is “a project of the Cooler Heads Coalition. We love that sense of sage reserve, that conservative caution, even if we’re frightened at the prospect that Cooler Heads might prevail.
Here’s a nice example of their work:

“The 60 Plus Association
Senior citizens will be the ones really burnt if this foolish Kyoto Treaty is implemented - burnt with higher energy costs for fuel in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, both of which are essential for their health.”

Another Saintly Skeptic

Blogger Bob Webster presents the perfect case for scientific skepticism in a recent post challenging the link between hurrican activity and climate change. Webster complains that his earlier climate change posts have garnered criticism from “students who were clearly being taken in by the steady drumbeat of disinformation.” He goes on, “I cautioned them to think for themselves and not simply swallow the diet being forced upon them. Scientific inquiry involves sufficiently questioning assumptions of theories in order to intelligently assess their credibility.”

Isn't Sequestering Uranium also an Issue?

The Times online gives us a sense of what happens when the global warming debate goes nuclear. This is a reminder that PR people and their policymaking political compatriots are always ready to take advantage of a new opportunity.

Kyoto Kombatants

Embassy,Canada’s Foreign Policy Newsweekly, has run a two-part who’s who in Montreal this week. Part 1 and Part 2 are both worth a look for a quick sense of the major players, as long as you’re willing to forgive the Canadian bias.

The dirty lowdown about Canada's commitment to Kyoto

If anyone hasn't already read Jeffrey Simpson's Globe and Mail column today, it's worth a look.

Simpson points out that while the U.S. has been thumbing its nose at Kyoto and flagrantly ignoring the climate change crisis, it has still outperformed Canada, where everyone apparently drives single-occupancy SUVs to their environmental awareness meetings.

Transcendental Medication

The on-line Investors.com, puts the lie to the notion that investors are long-term thinkers with a piece entitled The EU’s Global Warming Fantasy. The article hammers away at Europe for having tried, but so far failed, to meet its Kyoto commitments. Much better the American way to not try at all.

If you start reading this piece looking for a cogent argument on what will happen if everyone takes the American path, you’ll be disappointed. But it’s worth forging on to the columnist’s last line: “The U.S. doesn’t need to ‘sign on’ to a new Kyoto deal — especially if, through technology and common sense, it can transcend it.”

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