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.

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.

Antarctica is Losing Ice Quickly, Melting Away Another Climate Skeptic Myth

Two popular climate skeptic “facts” which are claimed to disprove anthropogenic global warming are:

1.  Surface ice melting on Antarctica is decreasing.

2.  Sea ice around Antarctica is increasing.

Despite what climate skeptics assert, neither of these arguments disprove global warming.  Actually, they highlight quite the contrary:  Antarctica is in fact losing mass (ice).  Even more, ice is melting and breaking away from the continent at an incredibly accelerating rate. 

This isn’t opinion, there is data to prove it.

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

Nice!

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.’

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