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.

Startling Graph Shows Donors Trust the New 'Dark Money' in Climate Denial Funding

Have you heard of Donors Trust?

Most DeSmogBlog readers have heard for years about how the likes of the billionaire Koch Brothers, and major energy companies like ExxonMobil, have pumped tens of millions of dollars into industry front groups that are paid to attack and deny the scientific realities of climate change.

But the landscape has taken an abrupt change today, with the most stunning report so far by the UK's Guardian newspaper, on a little known organization called Donors Trust. 

Here's the Guardian's graph showing that in and around 2006, Donors Trust began to support climate science attack groups, like the Heartland Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, to the tune of more than $20 million a year:

Why Canadians Should Care about Keystone XL Pipeline Protests at the White House

This weekend, thousands of people will be out front of Barack Obama's White House to protest the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline – a 1,879 kilometer length of pipe that will allow oil to be pumped all the way from Northern Alberta to refineries in Texas.

It isn't the XL pipeline itself that is at the heart of the matter though. It is the 500,000 barrels of Canadian tar sands crude that will be pumped through the pipe that has so many Americans upset. And it should upset Canadians too. 

One Question John Kerry Should Ask John Baird To Gauge Canada's Sincerity on Bilateralism

Newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet on Friday with his Canadian counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. In any such bilateral meeting, it is paramount that each participant trust the words of their counterpart. After all, when it comes to the world of diplomacy, where wars are settled and treaties are signed, there's little more than words and trust. 

New Video: Keystone XL the "Lynchpin" for Tar Sands Growth

A new video featuring four energy experts, outlines the issues surrounding the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the Alberta tar sands and climate change.

The video describes the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline as a “lynchpin enabling the climate intensive tar sands industry to grow unimpeded.”

Watch it:

Harvard Report Sets Path Towards US Climate Change Law

A new report released by renowned Harvard political scientist, Theda Skocpol, provides the most clear and unbiased analysis so far on the failure of recent efforts to pass legislation to address climate change in the United States.

Skocpol's report proposes a critical pathway that leads to a nationwide cap on climate pollution that the federal government could pass in the near future.

The report will not be without its critics, as Skocpol does place blame on specific stakeholders for the failure to pass federal climate pollution laws since the election of President Obama in 2008. Skocpol lays equal amounts of blame between proponents of climate change legislation and its opponents.

Conservative Carbon Tax Attack on Mulcair Based on an Expert "Tweet"

Right now, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative party are blanketing the airwaves with a US-style attack ad campaign against NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.

In one of the ads the very serious voice-over tells us that “according to experts Mulcair's carbon tax will raise gas by 10 cents a litre.”

A little research finds that the “experts” in the ad, are in fact a singular expert named Jack Mintz, who in a news release correcting a tweet he made in April of last year estimated that the NDP carbon tax plan, put forth by the now-deceased NDP leader Jack Layton, not Mulcair, would result in a gas price hike of 10 cents a litre.

Interestingly enough Jack Mintz sits on the board of directors of Imperial Oil Canada, which is owned by ExxonMobil. Regular readers of this site know that ExxonMobil has a long and sordid history when it comes to attacks on climate change science and policy.

FreedomWorks' Pro-Coal Lobbyist Tom Borelli is Former Professional Pro-Tobacco Scientist

Tom Borelli, a former science director at Philip Morris who fought claims that secondhand tobacco causes lung cancer and respiratory illness in children, is now touted on Fox News as an expert on the cleanliness of the coal industry. Borelli was busy this election season fighting Obama's “war on coal” on behalf of his new employer, FreedomWorks.

Borelli has a long history of attacking the EPA on behalf of Big Tobacco. Serving in his role as Philip Morris' Director of Corporate Scientific Affairs, Borelli appeared in a notorious 1992 film produced by Philip Morris attacking the Environmental Protection Agency for declaring secondhand tobacco smoke a known cancer causing agent. Borelli states that:

“Based on careful review of the science we believe that environmental tobacco smoke has not been shown to be a risk factor in the development of lung cancer, respiratory disease in children or heart disease.”

Watch it:

Rep. Markey Raises Big Questions About Shell's Containment Dome Fail

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass), has penned a letter to Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, looking for answers about a Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) containment dome that “crushed like a beer can” in tests earlier this Fall.

Markey, who is the Ranking Member of the US House Committee on Natural Resources, is referring to a story first broken by Seattle radio station KUOW investigator John Ryan, revealing that in September Shell performed tests on a containment dome that was to be deployed as part of the company's controversial Arctic offshore oil drilling operations.

Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute's 5 Most Offensive Attacks On Science and Public Health

With the ultra-conservative Heartland Institute completely discredited in the US, they are taking their climate change Denial-a-Palooza circus act over to Germany this week.

The Heartland Institute has a long history of attacking conventional science on behalf of their corporate funders, whether it be the link between human activity and climate change or the link between cancer and tobacco smoke.

Covering Heartlands' activities over the last 7 years has been like watching a very, very slow train wreck.

Here's some of the highlights of Heartland's head scratchers:

1. Unabomber Billboard:

In May 2012, Heartland launched a billboard campaign comparing people who acknowledge the scientific reality of manmade climate change to serial killers like the infamous Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.

There was a huge uproar over the ads, and while Heartland's president Joseph Bast thought it could help raise his organization's profile, there was instead a massive exodus of corporate funders.

Denial-a-Palooza Hits Germany and DeSmog is There... Kind Of

The ultra-conservative Heartland Institute is kicking off their climate change Denial-a-Palooza gathering in Germany today. DeSmog has managed to get top billing on a major German website with an article describing the 50 shades of crazy we have witnessed over the years from Heartland.

The website Klimaretter.info is running a German translated version of this article I wrote earlier in the week: Denial-a-Palooza: Does German Media Really Believe There is No Link Between Cigarettes and Lung Cancer?

I don't know German, but for those who do you can check out the article here: EIKEs neuer Freund.

The Heartland Institute is taking their climate denial message overseas likely because they have been so discredited here in North America. But thanks to our friends and Klimaretter, Heartland's reputation will precede them!

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