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.

Tim Ball: Wilful Disregard for the Truth

The events of the last few weeks have inspired us to go back to the podcast of Dr. Tim Ball's meeting with the Ottawa Citizen editorial board.

Dr. Ball began by complaining about ad hominem attacks on him and his fellow climate change deniers, even to the extent of suggesting that the very word “denial” was intended to invoke images of the Holocaust.

(For the record - for the DeSmogBlog - you can be “skeptical” of something that is seriously in debate…

Energy Industry Tiresome on Climate Change

Here's a great little story with a funny Freudian slip. The first part of the story carries baleful complaints of an industry that says (rightly) that addressing climate change will take time. Canadian Electricity Association President, Hans Konow, is quoted saying, “It's not a 10-year game. It's a 25 to 50-year game.''

Of course, if his industry had not been stalling for the past 15 years, it would be a 10-year game ….

Which leads to the slip: A sentence later in the story reads,

Chaff in the Atmosphere: the Danger of Quick Fixes

Thanks to Ruben for pointing us to this excellent piece by Guardian columnist George Monbiot.

Monbiot offers a little sober second thought on the notion of broadcasting particles into the stratosphere to reflect enough solar energy to keep the world temperature manageable, despite the increased warming effect of rising CO2 levels.

There is something elegantly simple about the proposal to set up a particulate sunscreen; I found it reassuring when I first heard of a variation on this engineered solution from Gregory Benford at the Skeptics Society conference at CalTech. But as Monbiot points out, by implication at least, human - nd even moreso, our governments - seldom get into trouble for the things that we do on purpose. It's the unintended, and usually unanticipated, consequences of our actions that always create the biggest problems.

GM, Canadian Government Bet Jobs Against Environment

… and then they arrange to lose on both counts.

Per this column from the Globe and Mail’s Jeff Simpson, Canadian auto workers were celebrating this week with the announcement that GM will spend three quarters of a billion dollars refurbishing an Oshawa, Ontario auto plant to build the come-back Camaro. It’s cool. The Camaro’s cool (or it was a quarter century ago), the jobs are cool (3,900 times over) and the local investment is cool.

Oily Chorus Includes Everything But Science

A recent piece by the Business and Media Institute (BMI) raises the question: have these oil-money backed “think” tanks finally run out of accommodating “scientists”?

The BMI is an arm of the Media Research Centre, founded in 1987 by right-wing activist Brent Bozell. BMI and MRC tout themselves as watchdogs of the “liberal-bias” media, in which pursuit they receive generous support from oily backers such as the Scaife family of foundations ($1.6 million).

In this most recent article, Ken Shepard discusses an interview in which CBS failed to challenge “alarmist” author Mike Tidwell on his contention that climate change has increased the intensity of hurricance activity.

Scientist Slams National Post's Accuracy

In a hysterical piece in the National Post today (see next post), business page Editor Terrance Corcoran rails at the Globe and Mail  for “distortions, errors, untruths and omissions.”

His outburst attracted this riposte from University of Victoria Professor Andrew Weaver:

Dear Mr. Corcoran,

I read the article today that you wrote in the National Post. I thought I would correct a number of factual errors in your piece.

1) I am neither a government of Canada employee nor have I ever been (except back in 1983 when I had a student summer job with DND). I am not a civil servant and do not work for a division of Environment Canada. (a quick google search would have revealed that I am a Professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria).

2) I do not lobby for more climate funding. If you ask anyone who has actually interviewed me, they will say that what I say is “We don't need more research money to deal with the issue as to what needs to be done.

National Post's Corcoran Defends His "Friends of Science" - Libels Everyone Else

Corcoran claims Desmog is "al Jazeera of climate science"It’s tough dealing with facts as a journalist, but not that much of a problem if you can also lard your work with smears, innuendo, fabrications, distortions, errors, untruths and omissions gross and minor.
With that promise, the National Post's Terence Corcoran - Canada's premiere anti-climate change journalist - began a 3,000-word screed today, savaging the Globe and Mail and freelance reporter Charles Montgomery for a climate change story that ran last week.

Double Dipping Pat Michaels Told to Choose Sides

Bravo to the Ranoake Times for this editorial on the “Virginia State Climatologist” Pat Michaels.

It has recently come to public attention that Michaels' title is somewhat ceremonial and dates back to 1980. The Ranoake Times points out that Michaels seems to have two paymasters: the University of Virginia (which holds the paperwork on his state appointment) and the energy industry financiers that pay him consulting fees as he wanders about the country quibbling about climate change.

The Global Cooling Myth

This link popped up in an earlier comment, but I think it's worth highlighting. The the-used-to-talk-cooling-and-now-they-talk-warming refrain is becoming more common. Till now, I thought it reflected an evolution in scientific thinking. Clearly, though, it's just another bogus pseudo-science claim intended to muddy the climate change waters.

Penn and Teller: Uncontested Experts in Bullshit

Thanks to Wacki for tipping us to this Penn and Teller edition slamming the science behind climate change - in fact, slamming science behind pretty much all environmental concerns.

For my part, I thought Penn and Teller were those guys who got mauled by their own tiger, but it turns out they aren't quite so courageous. All their work is conducted from behind the protective glass of a camera that somebody else carries into the real world.

Pushing “experts” like Patrick “Gobs of Money” Moore and Bjorn “The Skeptical Environmentalist” Lomborg, and relying even more on the cheap exploitation of ditzy environmental campaigners and on opportunistic film cuts, Penn makes fun of pretty much everybody and everything environmental. He also recruits a disinformation specialist of phenomenal ability to push an anti-dihydrogen monoxide petition (without ever offering that dihydrogen monoxide is water). It's reminiscient of every high-school gotcha pulled by a SMARMY smart kid who was trying to prove that he was a smarmy SMART kid.

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