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.

Comments on DeSmogBlog now tightly moderated

People have been emailing over the last few weeks about DeSmogBlog’s comment section.

Most are wondering why their comments are not posting even if they’re registered as a user. A few, from people I am sure you can guess, are accusing us of censorship, and a few more (sure you can guess those too) are saying its indicative of a drop in visitors.

Of course, the conspiracy theorists in the latter two categories are wrong as they usually are.

The truth of the matter is that the comment sections on DeSmog were turning into useless flame wars that did little to advance the dialogue we want to have here on the site. So, for the time being comments will remain tightly moderated and we will turn them back on to allow registered users to post directly to the site after an adequate cool down period.

We are also developing new functions that will hopefully help the community self-moderate the comments.

So stay tuned.

Breaking: Penn State inquiry finds no evidence for allegations against Michael Mann

Penn State University has concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims made against climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann surrounding the emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University.

An inquiry panel was set up earlier this year to look at allegations made by right-wing bloggers and media outlets against Penn State University climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, relating to the contents of emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in London.

On all 4 of the allegations made against Dr. Mann the panel has concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims. 

However, the panel has recommended that the allegation that Dr. Mann “engaged in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities,” be further investigated.

Dr. Mann issued a statement today on the findings, saying that:

I am very pleased that, after a thorough review, the independent Penn State committee found no evidence to substantiate the allegations against me.

Three of the four allegations have been dismissed completely. Even though no evidence to substantiate the fourth allegation was found, the University administrators thought it best to convene a separate committee of distinguished scientists to resolve any remaining questions about academic procedures.

This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong.

I fully support the additional inquiry which may be the best way to remove any lingering doubts. I intend to cooperate fully in this matter – as I have since the beginning of the process.

The full report of the inquiry panel can be found here: Concerning the Allegations of Research Misconduct Against Dr. Michael E. Mann

Monbiot rips Plimer and Plimer blames DeSmogBlog

In late December, Guardian columnist George Monbiot squared off on ABC Australia with the climate-change expert wannabe, Ian Plimer.

Monbiot rips Plimer, and it’s very amusing to watch Plimer pretend he’s an expert in climate science, despite the fact  that he has no academic background in climate change research and is on the board of directors of no less than three very large mining companies.

Regardless, I hadn’t had a chance to see the entire video and just had a chance to watch it in it’s entirety. Nobody had told me that near the end of the debate Plimer smears and lies about DeSmogBlog, saying that:

“Why does Mr. Monbiot use blog sites, where the bloggers are paid to smear scientists, this is DeSmogBlog which is paid for by the Suzuki Foundation.”

Sorry, Plimer, we don’t smear scientists, we simply point out the lack of expertise and fossil fuel industry ties of people like you who are spreading misinformation about the realities of climate change.

DeSmogBlog has never received a single penny from the Suzuki Foundation and Monbiot has never “used” DeSmogBlog.

Here’s the last 3rd of the debate, Plimer lies about DeSmogBlog at the 7 minute mark:

Why Climate Gate is bogus and based on lies

Writing for the UK’s Gaurdian news today, Fred Pearce has a very in-depth analysis of how the ‘climategate’ scandal is bogus and based on climate sceptics’ lies.

Pearce explains that,

“Almost all the media and political discussion about the hacked climate emails has been based on brief soundbites publicised by professional sceptics and their blogs. In many cases, these have been taken out of context and twisted to mean something they were never intended to.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. The so-called ‘climategate’ has been hyped by an over-the-top right-wing press and an over-excited gang of bloggers who use everything other than actual scientific research to prove their point.

The Commonwealth Foundation's Favorite Strawman

When it comes to the art of political rhetoric there is nothing more effective then the straw man technique.

It’s simple: instead of using sound logic and evidence to discredit an idea or policy, just brand an individual as representative of the idea and then knock them down.

On the issue of climate change, you can see this technique in action with the right-wing Commonwealth Foundation trying to discredit the work of a single climate expert, Dr. Michael Mann, as a means of discrediting the entire body of climate change science.

The Commonwealth Foundation recently published a “policy brief” called Climategate & Penn State, a 12-page attack that tries to frame Dr. Mann as the orchestrator behind some grand conspiracy, which is the key to a good stick man attack.

The NY Times' Case for a Climate Bill

The New York Times’ lead editorial today is The Case for a Climate Bill and it’s well worth the read.

While chances of a clean energy bill in 2010 were damaged by the major upset last week in the Massachusetts special election, all does not seem lost. That is, according to the New York Times’ editorial board at least. They conclude that the only way we’ll see a climate bill in 2010 is if President Obama gets out and sells its virtues to everyday Americans.

It’s time for a road trip Mr. President.

Nature takes on stolen emails

There’s a great editorial in the most recent edition of the scientific journal Nature Geo Science that takes on the illegal hacking of emails at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.

The editorial is behind a firewall, so here’s a few of the main points for those who don’t have a subscription:

Amidst the calls for more caution in communication, it must be remembered that e-mails are an essential scientific tool when research groups span continents and schedules are tight. Yes, there is a limit to what should be put in writing. But in messages that are not meant for the public eye, there must be room for an open-minded and opinionated discussion, for example, of the quality of papers published by other authors. And when writing to someone who is familiar with the context, there is generally no need to choose every word quite so carefully.

And this:

“The alternative — making every private e-mail between scientists unambiguous and fit for public consumption — would seriously hinder the progress of science.”

Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts will put the chill on climate legislation

Republican candidate Scott Brown has won the race to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts and, as I wrote earlier today, this does not bode well for the clean energy and climate change legislation currently being considered in the Senate.

Up until a couple of weeks ago this was seen as an easy win for the Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, but as the polls began to tighten, the political punditry began to speculate what a Republican win would mean for President Obama’s health care reform package. In a nutshell, and without getting into wonky talk about super-majorities and the like, a Brown win in the Bay State most likely means health-care-for-all is dead in the water.

While the ramifications for the health care package have rightly been the talk of the town and the cable news talking heads, there are other parts of Obama’s plan that will also suffer. One of the biggies is the American Clean Energy And Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey bill or the green jobs/clean energy bill.

ACES proposes, among other things, to invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency incentives for homes and buildings, grants for green jobs and a cap-and-trade program that aims to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020.

Republican Candidate Scott Brown's Flip Flopping on Climate a Loser for Clean Energy and Green Jobs

What a difference a year makes for Republican candidate Scott Brown. Just last year Brown voted to support a regional greenhouse gas emissions trading plan and now he saying he’s not even sure climate change is a problem.

While uncertainty remains about what a Republican win in Massachusetts means for health care reform, there seems little doubt that it would be bad for the clean energy package making it’s way through Congress.

Just over a year ago Brown voted in favor of a regional greenhouse gas cap-and-trade initiative in his capacity as a state legislator.

The wacky land of Amy Ridenour

From time to time we hear from a small DC group with the impressive sounding name: the “National Centre for Public Policy Research” (NCPPR). Their president Amy Ridenour takes a jab at DeSmogBlog yesterday with this strange sentence - obviously crafted to incite controversy:

“Kindness is not usually a term one associates with the anti-Holocaustglobal warming denier website DeSmogBlog, but its staff has made an exception today.”

I am assuming that much like her friend Christopher Monckton, Ridenour has not heard of the Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies. The basic point Godwin makes is that as a conversation online progresses, the likelihood of someone mentioning Nazis or the Holocaust becomes more likely.

I sent an email to Ridenour assistant, David Almasi, the other night asking for an explanation and also pointing out that in the four years I have managed the DeSmogBlog I have never used a Nazi analogy in an attempt to bolster an argument or discredit an individual. So far they haven’t responded and I think they’re silence is telling.

It is a stupid and useless means of making a point that only creates division and hate.

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