Kevin Grandia

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog and DeSmog Canada.

Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Mulitculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groudbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

Top Man in Washington Slams Canada's Tar Sands

This a piece I wrote last week on Huffington Post, don’t know why I didn’t cross-post here on DeSmog.

When former US President Bill Clinton went for an “unofficial” visit to North Korea to negotiate the release of two imprisoned American journalists he asked John Podesta to accompany him.

When current US President Barack Obama needed someone to head his transition into the role of president, it was John Podesta who he asked.

In other words, John Podesta is a very powerful man when it comes to US politics and while he does not speak on behalf of the Obama administration in an official capacity - he runs a major think tank called the Center for American Progress - his public statements on policy are something to pay attention to.

Canadian oil lobby trying to kill US clean energy policy

Who knew the tentacles of the Canadian oil lobby could reach all the way down to Washington, DC?

And who knew they were so powerful?

I am sure many Americans will find it rather disturbing that a foreign entity (no matter how friendly they may be - full disclosure: I am Canadian) is holding so much sway over the clean energy future of their country.

In a lengthy and well-researched new expose on the Canada oil sands industry’s lobbying activities in Washington, DC, reporter Geoff Dembicki untangles a complicated web that includes former Republican insiders, dirty energy front groups and powerful politicians on both sides of the border that are doing their best to kill US clean energy legislation.

Take former Republican Congressman Tom Corcoran for instance. Ironically, Corcoran was born in Ottawa, Illinois which shares its name with Ottawa, Ontario the capitol of Canada. It seems a little Canadian patriotism has rubbed off on Corcoran because he is now working on behalf of that country’s oil sands lobby and against clean energy for his own country.

Help save oily US Senators from themselves [funny video]

This is a copy of a funny, and what I suspect will be very successful, TV ad campaign targeting US Senators opposed to the new proposed clean energy and climate change legislation. No surprise that those politicians most opposed to the legislation are paid the most by the oil and coal companies.

Check it out and pass it around:

Who are the spindoctors behind the attack on Gasland?

Last night the award-winning documentary Gasland got a big bump in profile when it was aired on HBO.

And by the looks of the PR attack campaign launched today, it looks like Gasland is starting to get under the skin of the oil and gas industry.

I guess the dinosaurs in the dirty fuel lobby don’t like videos of people who can light their tap water on fire after their wells are contaminated with methane gas, like this:

The Inside Scoop on the "Climate War"

The first question I had for author Eric Pooley after I finished reading his new book, The Climate War, was whether he had set up hidden cameras all over Washington, DC.

He didn’t of course, but the insider information he weaves into his story about the ongoing battle for effective climate policy both in the United States and internationally will make even the insiders feel inadequate.

The Climate War puts you at the power-broker’s table, with much of the book following two main characters who have been at the center of the debate and the controversy around climate policy for more than a decade - Fred Krupp, Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund and Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy.

Both Krupp and Rogers are polarizing figures within the climate advocacy community, with Krupp being accused of “selling out” to the big corporate machine and willing to accept inadequate policy fixes and Rogers being accused of greenwashing the company he heads which is one of the largest electrical generation companies in the United States.

Krupp and Rogers act as the central characters and around them Pooley wraps the history of how we have gotten to where we are today on the issue of climate change, ending with the failure to come to an international climate treaty in Copenhagen, Denmark in late December, 2009.

We learn more about the “deniers” and the corporate flaks that back them, like Myron Ebell at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who toasted a crowd with Fiji Water because,

“It comes to you direct from Fiji, so it’s very energy inefficient: the only thing that could improve it would be to carbonate it.

Fossil Fuel Industry's 65-Page Strategy to Sell Carbon and Capture Technology

A report shows how the coal, oil and tar sands industry, along with government plans to sell carbon and capture and storage technology to a skeptical public.

The 65-page report titled, Communication of carbon capture and storage: outcomes from an international workshop to summarize the current global position [pdf], was produced by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage (GCCS) Institute, an organization formally launched by US president Barack Obama and Australian president Kevin Rudd at the 2009 G8 summit.

Communications recommendations for selling carbon capture and storage in the report include:

“…when multiple stakeholders join forces to communicate a message the message is more likely to be well received and trusted, particularly if those communicating the messages are generally known to have opposing views. For example, when NGOs team up with industry partners…”

“Within each community there are various audiences that need to be considered, particularly for targeting engagement processes and key messages.”

Members of the GCCS Institute include major coal producers and Canada tar sands operators who have the most to gain by selling the idea that carbon capture and storage can work on a commercial scale, including Enbridge, ConocoPhilips, Duke Energy, Arch Coal and the Integrated CO2 Network.

While billions of dollars continue to be invested in carbon capture and storage technology, it remains little more than a pipe-dream that industry will find a way to capture and store greenhouse gases at the level needed to significantly reduce worldwide emissions and avoid the most devastating effects of climate change.

H/T to Geoff Dembicki at The Tyee for this story.

The video most likely to make you want to take a shower

I am not sure if we ever posted this on DeSmog, but here is the interview Rachel Maddow did with Tim Philips on MSNBC.

Here’s our backgrounders on Tim Philips, Americans for Prosperity and their major donor Koch Industries that just so happens to be the largest private oil company in the United States:

Americans for Prosperity: history, background and research

Koch Industries and George Mason University

Koch Industries holdings and investments

Koch Industries lobbying activities

Once you’ve read all of that you can watch this video Smile

Climate Cover Up Wins Book of the Year!

Climate Cover Up, the book written by DeSmogBlog co-founder James Hoggan along with Richard Littlemore has been named Non-Fiction Book of the Year by the Green Book Festival.

The award honors books that, “… contribute to greater understanding, respect for and positive action on the changing worldwide environment.”

It’s always great to get recognition for all the hard work we do here at DeSmog, but none of it is possible without all the support from our thousands of supporters from around the world.

UPDATE: DeSmog Weekly Live on Climate TV Today

UPDATE: due a technical glitch DeSmog weekly didn’t air yesterday and has been rescheduled for today at 4pm pacific. See revised schedule below.

Check out this week’s segment of DeSmog Weekly on Climate TV with yours truly.

I will be online to take questions and comments, so tune in!

The show runs at 4pm pacific/7pm eastern time, today (Wednesday, May 5th Thursday, May 6th).

Webby Votes for Climate Change

Three top climate change campaigns of last year are up for prestigious Webby Awards in 2010.

The TckTckTck campaign is nominated for Best Activism website.

Greenpeace International is nominated for Best Green Site for their “Love Letters to the Future” project.

The 350 campaign is nominated for Best Video in the Public Service and Activism category.

Voting closes on Thursday, April 29th, so please if you have a minute, go there right now and cast your votes! 

Full disclosure: I was a consultant on the TckTckTck campaign and darn proud of it!

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