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.

Denying Dan: Exxon's Corporate Giving Explained

Exxon's $2.4 million ventriloquist act

There are many opinions a coporation must keep to itself, that is if it's insterested in keeping a squeaky clean, or a squeaky “green” image. Sometimes, though, a corporation feels compelled to inject something unsavory into the public debate in order to protect the bottom-line - and the best way to do this is through the age-old art of ventriloquism.

When it comes to the issue of climate change, no corporation has done better with this tricky little PR technique than ExxonMobil, which was castigated this week by the UK's prestigious Royal Society for funding organizations that work to spread doubt about the scientific consensus on climate change.

Of course, this type of ventriloquism is not without precedent.

The classic example is The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), a front group that the PR firm APCO-Worldwide founded in 1993 on behalf of tobacco giant Philip Morris, specifically to question the health risks of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). TASSC then engaged experts to write papers in the industry’s defence.

So who are Exxon's ventriloquist dolls when it comes to the issue of climate change? In 2005 alone, ExxonMobil spent mjore than $2.4 million on organizations that say what Exxon hasn't got the credibility or the nerve to say itself.

Here's a list, as reported on ExxonMobile's 2005 Worldwide Giving Report:

Monbiot launches book and great YouTube video

With the release of his new book, Heat, UK journalist and author George Monbiot has been taking straight aim at the climate change “skeptic” movement. We found this 8 minute YouTube video done recently by Monbiot.

<embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/sghDI7CrXBs” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”

Farewell Pruden, you'll be missed

Looks like Wes Pruden is on the outs as Editor in Chief of the Washington Times. Pruden has been a  regular climate change “skeptic” and did his personal best to confuse the public with his own pen and that of guest commentators spouting all sorts of junk science.

Of course, in the Nation report of Pruden's imminent ousting, there is no mention of Pruden's back-water stance on climate change, instead it was that he is alleged to be rampantly racist and sexist.

Goodbye Wes, you can retire knowing you did everything you could to delay action on global warming, and apparently make the world just a little more intolerant of women and minorities. Maybe someday it will keep you up at night.


Smoking and asbestos okay for you, climate change doesn't exist. Ask around!

Australian Labour Party MP, Tony Burke, pens a great piece today in the  Daily Telegraph castigating “… a handful of sceptics willing to rail against the weight of scientfic opinion,” on issues ranging from climate change to tobacco to asbestos.

As MP Burke rightly states: “We should remember, when those with something to lose ignored the information about the dangers of smoking and asbestos, some very real victims emerged.”

Well said, and as regular DeSmog readers know full well, many of the same people who told us not to worry about tobacco smoke and asbestos are now telling us not to worry about climate change.

Here are a few examples:

Dr. S. Fred Singer
On Asbestos
“The US has spent billions of dollars removing asbestos from schools, and for no good health reason.” (link)

On Climate Change
“So, the global climate doesn't seem to be warming, causing considerable embararassment to scientists.” (link)

Governator gives up Hummers????

Our friends at Ecorazzi are reporting that Cali. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to give up his fleet of GM-built Hummers. However, over at the San Francisco Chronicle, it is being reported as bunk. The story was first reported at ContactMusic.com and pronounced on the news site and den of climate change denial news, Drudge Report.

Sounds like their is a lot of wishful thinking this Friday afternoon. Hopefully the rumours are true, as it would only make sense given California's recent global warming lawsuit against auto-makers and their recent climate change legislation.

Come on Governor, practice what you preach!

Ball preaches to the converted

Climate Skeptic Tim BallAfter his recent media pummeling, it seems that climate change skeptic Tim Ball isn't sticking his neck out too far into the public realm. The only upcoming presentations by Ball that we can find is one to the Victoria Chapter of the Conservative Party of Canada and one at the upcoming BC Oil and Gas Conference being held the first week of October in Dawson Creek.

I am sure Ball's slap-stick humour and fringe science will go over well with the two remaining demographics that, for the most part, refuse to pull their heads out of the sand.

Hummer to have its day in court, California sues auto giants

California State Attorney Bill Lockyer filed a global warming suit today against  auto-giants Ford, GM and Toyota, claiming that green-house gas emissions have done significant damage to the Sunshine State's resources, infrastructure and environmental health.

AG Lockyer states: “Vehicle emissions are the single most rapidly growing source of the carbon emissions contributing to global warming, yet the federal government and the automakers have refused to act.”


Maybe Gov. Schwarzenegger will finally trade in that Hummer for a Tesla electric.

White House Officials muzzle hurricane/climate change expert

In their continuing battle to obfuscate on the issue of climate change, a series of e-mails has been uncovered that shows White House officials successfully barring the public appearance of a NOAA hurricane expert who, along with most of the scientific community, believes that increased hurricane intensity is attributable to climate change. Here is a copy of the letter from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez that describes the muzzling. And here is a copy of the e-mail that Rep. Waxman uses as evidence.

A big hat tip to ThinkProgress.org for revealing this. When will the US administration pull it's head out of the sand and start dealing with this issue? Until they do, no amount of this osrt of PR spin will make up for  their lack of credibility. The best PR always begins with doing the right thing.

Consumer Report Mag debunks the "ethanol myth"

We have had some requests recently from DeSmog readers for more information on ethanol fuel and its effect on climate change, energy consumption etc. We stumbled across a great an in-depth analysis of the economic and environmental viability of ethanol fuel, or E85, in this month's edition of Consumer Reports magazine. The article debunks the myth that ethanol fuel will do much of anything to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and goes further to make the argument that E85 may be adding to overall emissions. The arguments they make are interesting and  relevant considering that much of the US government's self-proclaimed “action” on climate change has come in the form of ethanol fuel alternatives.

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