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 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.

Massey Energy running attack ads against "tree hugging extremists"

Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE), the 4th largest coal producer in the country is running political-style attacks in West Virginia claiming that “tree hugging extremists and self-serving politicians” are killing jobs, while the coal industry is “fighting hard for Appalachian jobs” and “what’s right.”

I am assuming that when Massey talks about fighting for Appalachian jobs they aren’t referring to the fact that earlier in 2009 they cut employee pay by 6% and then recently increased the performance bonus for Massey’s CEO, Don Blankenship, by $600,000.

And I think it’s also safe to assume that when Massey talks about fighting for “what’s right” they aren’t talking about the major environmental violations over the years culminating in a record $20 million settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA stated that Massey had violated its Clean Water Act permits “… more than 4,500 times between January 2000 and December 2006.”

Scientist hits back at Daily Mail's "global cooling" claim

An article over the weekend in the UK’s Daily Mail titled The mini ice age starts here, is being refuted by the scientist whose research was used in the story to back the claim that global warming is nothing to worry about because we are entering a phase of “global cooling.”

Mojib Latif, a Meteorologist at the Leibniz Institute at Kiel University in Germany, told the Guardian newspaper that:

“”It comes as a surprise to me that people would try to use my statements to try to dispute the nature of global warming. I believe in manmade global warming. I have said that if my name was not Mojib Latif it would be global warming.”

The Daily Mail is prone to publishing attention-grabbing stories on climate change. Most recently the newspaper claimed that Chinese hackers in league with Russians may be behind the leaked emails from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University.

No correction has appeared on the Daily Mail article yet, so I have emailed the correction and a link to the Gaurdian article to the Sunday editor here: [email protected]

Government of Canada's Hidden Tar Sand Truths

Canwest Newspaper reported late last week that new documents have been uncovered showing a pro-industry bias in Government of Canada studies on the environmental and economic impact of Alberta’s tar sands projects.

According to Canwest:

“Officials from Environment Canada who reviewed the original package, warned that it reflected the views of oil companies instead of the facts.

“The package should deliver neutral, balanced and factual information,” said the analysis. “Currently, much of the language is too pro-industry, and would make the government to be perceived as bias and thus not credible or serving the public good.”

Want the facts on the Alberta Oil Sands? Check our Top 10 Facts About the Alberta Oil Sands  section.

Climate Change a Bigger Threat to Canadians than Terrorists

A new poll commissioned by the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute on “Threat Perceptions” [pdf] finds that climate change is perceived as the most “critical threat” to Canadians.

49% of Canadians rank climate change as a critical threat, while only 28% (down from 49% in 2004) say that international terrorism is a critical threat to the vital interests of their country.

All regions report high levels of concern with Quebec the highest at 62% and Alberta the least concerned at 28%.

The poll was conducted by the Innovative Research Group between December 22, 2009 and January 4, 2010. The weighted total sample included 1,229 responses eligible for inclusion in our analysis. There were over samples in BC, Alberta and Ontario which bring the total sample of 1,877.

An earlier poll by Innovative conducted after the Copenhagen climate conference found that half of Canadians disapproved [pdf] of the Canadian government’s position at the international summit, but 44% said it would not make a difference on whether they were more or less likely to vote for the governing Conservative party.

The Daily Mail's Distracting ChinaHack Theory

The Daily Mail is reporting that it might be, “Chinese hackers linked to ‘Warmergate’ climate change leaked emails controversy.”

The Mail’s revelation came about after they tracked a convoluted trail of IP (internet Protocols) addresses, through to a, ” Chinese environmental institute, the Research Institute of Forest Ecology and Environment Protection, based near Beijing.”

“‘Because this is an open relay mail server, the emails could have been sent through it from anywhere in the world. It is just as likely to be someone outside Malaysia as someone within the country.”

Christian Science Monitor reviews Climate Cover Up


Global warming skepticism is fueled by public relations, author says

In the book ‘Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming,’ James Hoggan says the campaign to create skepticism about climate change is ‘by far and away the biggest public relations campaign that I’ve ever seen.’

Climate Cover Up still topping the charts in Canada and the US

If the best-seller catgories on Amazon are any indication, it looks like our book Climate Cover Up is going to be showing up in a lot of people’s stockings this year.

Right now Climate Cover Up is the number one bestseller for Amazon Canada in the category of Public Policy and the second best seller in Media Studies.

On, Climate Cover Up is a top ten bestseller in the categories of Media Studies and Meteorology.

Thanks to everyone who continues to help us spread the word. And for those who are looking for a last minute gift for that ever-skeptical uncle or brother-in-law, wrap up a copy for under the tree!

Here’s a screenshot of one of the rankings:

Our Politicians Failed Us in Copenhagen and Will Soon Regret It

World leaders failed to deliver a legally binding deal in Copenhagen that will begin to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions that are the cause of climate change.

It’s that simple.

While we can point to the attempted happy face that politicians are trying to put on the so-called “Copenhagen Accord” that came out of this two-year negotiating process, the bottom line is that what has been delivered here is a promise to do something later on down the road.

Politicians love to make commitments to commit to action later. This “let’s strike a committee” technique allows them to look like they’re doing something while doing nothing at all.

Outside of anything politicians did over the last two years in this negotiating process, there were a few bright lights.

Breaking: leaked climate talks text makes disturbing conclusions

Cross your fingers that this latest revelation is another Yes Men hoax. [update 1: I’ve confirmed that this was NOT a Yes Men hoax]

[update 2: Guardian is now reporting the story]

A draft copy of a confidential memo to the UNFCCC Secretariat has surfaced here at the Copenhagen climate talks that has some pretty disturbing analysis. The memo dated December 15, concludes that at this point in the climate talks:

“Unless the remaining gap of around 1.9 to 4.2 Gt is closed and Parties commit themselves to strong action prior and after 2020, global emissions will remain on an unsustainable pathway that could lead to concentrations equal or above 550ppm with the related temperature raise around 3 degrees Celsius.”  [my emphasis]

Here’s a screenshot, you can download the 4MB PDF version here: leaked UNFCCC secretariat document.

In layman terms this means that if the developed nations, like the US, Canada, Germany and France don’t commit to deeper emissions cuts at the talks underway in Copenhagen we’re screwed.

Based on the best scientific research, experts in the field have concluded that in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, we need to stabilize carbon emissions at or below 350 parts per million.

Inhofe's 3 hour island tour to Copenhagen

The great leader of the Copendeniers, US Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), showed up on the Danish island of Copenhagen for a fly-by press event here at the international climate treaty.

If the lack of significant media coverage is any indication, it was a waste of time for the lonely fringe Senator from Okalahoma,

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the press conference, as it was organized very last minute. But if I had, these are the questions I would have asked:

1. Given that you are one of the largest recipients of funding from the oil and gas industry in the Senate, I am interested in knowing who paid for your flights over to Copenhagen?

2. Is your former assistant Marc Morano and/or CFACT providing support for your trip here?