Richard Littlemore

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Co-author (with Jim Hoggan) of the award-winning Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, Richard has been Editor of the DeSmogBlog since its inception in 2005. Originally a newspaper reporter (the Ottawa Citizen, the Winnipeg Tribune, the Vancouver Sun), Richard has, since 1995, split his career between magazine journalism, activism and politics and corporate communications. On projects specific to climate change, he wrote the David Suzuki Foundation’s first public information package on global warming in 1996, was vice-chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District's Air Quality Committee in 1996 and 1997 and sat as a delegate to the Canadian government's (failed) Kyoto Implementation Process from 1997 to 1999. Richard is a regular speech writer for many business and academic leaders.

Monckton in Utah: Hitlerian hyperbole and deviations from the truth

Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of BullTwaddle, has been enriching himself on the speaker circuit in the last couple of days, enteraining a rump of science “skeptics” in the sparsely populated halls of Salt Lake City.

Monckton, who likes to scream out slanderous Nazi accusations, was at it again, accusing the world’s foremost climate scientists of “wanting to impose the same kind of tyranny as Hitler.”

At least some of the local media were not taking the bait. Salt Lake Tribune columnist Peg McEntee pointed out that Monckton began his speech with a fair warning, saying: “Do not believe a word I say.”

She then closed her column by noting that the man continues to misrepresent himself as a member of the British House of Lords, a banal matter of fact that is easily debunked and establishes his (lack of) credibility beyond doubt.

But then, Robert Ferguson and his secret funders at the SPPInstitute aren’t paying Monckton to tell the truth. They’re paying him to deny global warming.

Crying "Wolf!" over Climate Change

In which it is revealed that

Aesop wasn’t paying attention

even if the ill-fated shepherd was

It was a warm spring evening the first time the wolf emerged from the bushes, casting a long shadow and a ravenous glance toward the oblivious sheep. The boy, the young shepherd, only chanced to look up from his homework in time to raise the alarm, sending a quick text to his abusive older brothers and his lazy lout of a father who were, at that moment, lolling at home in an after dinner torpor.

But the home troops were as good as their word. They had all promised the boy’s mother that they would rise to his defense if he ever called for help, and rise they did, clamoring out the back door and up into the field. Still, they found it disappointing when they arrived to see the sheep grazing peacefully and the boy returning to his studies, saying only: “It’s okay, you guys. The wolf’s gone.”

DeSmogBlog one of Mother Nature's favourites

Thanks to Mother Nature Network for naming the DeSmogBlog one of the web’s most influential environmental blogs. Aside from calling DeSmogBlog manager Kevin Grandia “smart and insightful,” MNN went on to say this about us:

“DeSmogBlog is one of THE best places to go to online to find hard-hitting news and analysis on climate change, pollution and environmental policy. The site has a science and fact-based approach, but is written for the general public. They try to elucidate complex and often confusing issues while retaining an accessible and readable style. DeSmogBlog should be on the reading list of everyone who is concerned about the future of our planet.”

Wow. Usually when the people around here turn red in the face it’s driven by apoplexy not flattery. Thanks Mother Nature.

Monckton Denial Circus Booked into Utah

The Prevaricating Peer, Christopher Monckton, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, is back on the road, taking his climate denial circus to Utah, where there is a raging state legislative battle over how to back off from responsible action against climate change.

Monckton, who in this Salt Lake Tribune story, adds architecture to the fields in which he pronounces himself an expert, is promising to take a fiercely non-partisan role, even while attempting to throw doubt on the science of climate change on behalf of his oily funders.

On that latter issue, however, Monckton remains proudly ignorant. Regardless of the Exxon connections of his benefactors, Robert Ferguson and the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPinstitute.org), when asked who is bankrolling his denier tours, Monckton told the Salt Lake Tribune, “I have no idea.”

If he was going to break policy and start answering questions with full forthrightness, the good Viscount might find that to be a useful answer to most questions.

John Mashey: Crescendo Climategate Cacophony

A new paper by the computer scientist and entrepreneur John Mashey, (attached) digs ever deeper (and in an increasingly well-organized way), into the morass of deception and disinformation that has characterized the recent climate conversation.

Mashey never uses the word “lies,” but somehow it seemed an appropriate illustration of what he finds underlying the recent campaign against climate science, scientists and anyone who respects their work.

This and Mashey’s previous paper point an unflinching finger at corporate front groups and free market think tanks that have worked so hard in the last two decades to spread confusion about climate science and to block public policy that would regulate the use of fossil fuels.

Mashey makes a compelling case that Congress has been misled in the process - which is an offense against the democracy that think tankers claim to love (in addition to being a felony).

For a visual reckoning of the kinds of think tanks involved, Mashey has populated a Google Map locating the major and minor players - although care should be taken to sort out those tanks that have the worst record in all of this - say, the George C. Marshall Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute and the Heartland Institute - from some that are just going along with the pack.

Lorne Gunther: Denial (and dumb analogies) are us

In a wonderfully silly update of the (Canadian newspaper the) National Post’s campaign of climate change denial, columnist Lorne Gunther (picked up here in the Edmonton Journal) argues that global warming has ended - and to prove it, he imagines the earth as an out-of-control Toyota which he decides has run out of gas.

What good fortune that might be (running out of gas in time to stop before you hit the cliff). But how can we think that our careering planetary heating system - which appears to have it its top speed and has been holding steady for more than a decade - is “out of gas” when we’re pumping the stuff into the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate?

New Naomi Oreskes Talk Available

University of California (San Diego) science historian Naomi Oreskes has a new lecture on line, promoting her upcoming book: Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

Cannibalizing Environmentalism: Tzeporah Berman under attack

Updated March 9, 2010 to take note of Oil Sands Truth

There’s nothing mainstream media loves more than the spectacle of environmentalists ripping one another limb from limb. Witness, for example, the CBC Vancouver Early Edition interview this morning (starting at 1:23:21) in which a little-known activist (Macdonald Stainsby) was invited to slag Tzeporah Berman, co-founder of Forest Ethics, founder of PowerUp Canada and, soon, the chief climate campaigner for Greenpeace International.

Stainsby was all fired up, questioning Berman’s environmental bona fides and calling her “a Trojan horse” whose true purpose was to “hand all power over to corporations.” As proof, Stainsby said that “Ms. Berman actually gave an award to (BC Premier) Gordon Campbell at the Copenhagen talks. While hundreds of thousands of people were in the streets being tear-gassed and arrested, she was on the other side of the picket line giving an award over on the basis of the carbon tax.”

How could you not be outraged? Well, easy enough if you look past Stainsby’s rhetoric.

Is AccuWeatherGuy Joe Bastardi Stupid or Dishonest?

Joe Romm at Climate Progress does a wonderful job here of deconstructing the insensible blathering of AccuWeather long-range forecaster Joe Bastardi, a man who dismisses climate change as “this red herring of an issue.”

Amid his ravings, Bastardi complains that “many of the high circles out there with alphabet soup in front of their names” consider him “stupid,” a contention that Romm generously refutes, saying:

“For the record, I don’t think he’s stupid.  Stupid people rarely rise to a position of influence necessary to cause as much damage as Bastardi does.”

Romm is right about so much, it seems churlish to argue with him on so trivial a point. But read Romm’s post and ask yourself: If Bastardi doesn’t suffer from terminal stupidity, what other pathology could explain his twisted position on climate science?

Denial Campaign's Success Evident in Two New Polls

New polls in the U.S. and in the U.K. show a continuing collapse in public conviction that climate change is a serious and urgent issue - a result that can only be interpreted as an unprecedented measure of success for the campaign to deny global warming.

A poll by Anthony Leiserowitz Climate Project at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies shows that the number of people who are “dismissive” of climate change has doubled and the number of people who are “alarmed” has dropped by half in the last two years.

The Guardian reported that an IPSOS Mori poll shows the number of Britons who believe that climate change is “definitely” a reality has dropped 30 per cent, from 44 per cent to 31 during the last year.

Such results demand that we look back over the past year to figure out what’s causing these huge shifts in public opinion. It can’t be the scientific evidence, which by virtually every measure gets more alarming by the day. Ice is retreating in the Arctic and the Antarctic. An unprecedented drought persists across southern Australia, the global average temperatures continue to edge dangerously higher, and other wierd weather seems to persist everywhere.

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