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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.
The DeSmogBlog has reported the federal Conservative Party's revisionism on climate change before, but this piece by the InterPress News Service's Bill Berkowitz adds some interesting material. Look especially at the “I-was-only-giving-orders” defence offered by the king of linguistic manipulation, Frank Luntz:
“When asked about the advice about climate change that he had been giving for years, Luntz said it was fair when he gave it. He added that if the Bush administration is still questioning the science, “That's up to the [them]. I'm not the administration. What they want to do is their business. And it's nothing to do with what I write. And it's nothing to do with what I believe.””
Here's a weird piece that suggests wild-eyed environmentalists are lying in wait to do violence to Dr. Richard Lindzen, one of the few climate change denying scientists who has a shred of credibility in the science community.
In this fictional letter to Lindzen, the imaginary author claims that there is a worldwide conspiracy to silence any scientist who would challenge the climate change consensus. The letter paints a picture of scientists as sheep (and not very smart sheep, at that), who read tea leaves in order to find out what kind of grant applications to submit.
Here's a Reuters wrap-up of easy-to-implement ways for individuals to address climate change.
Some of these suggestions have that self-righteous, anti-comfort tone that is, frankly, counterproductive in the battle to get people to take action. For example, the European Commission urges that we should all turn down the thermostat; why not suggest instead that we all go out and buy really stylish sweaters in a warm, comfortable, renewable fabric?
Still, there are good ideas here, and everything that doesn't hurt helps.
Donald J. Boudreaux , chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., says, “It's a perfectly legitimate stance for truly reasonable people to conclude that the best policy regarding global warming is to neglect it - and let capitalism continue to make us healthier and wealthier.”
Actually, no. There is nothing legitimate or reasonable about this position, and it's a continuing problem that mainstream media outlets keep buying this bunkum on the basis that the writer has a PhD in a field unrelated to climate change (or to common sense, apparently).
Here, from the distinguished Royal Society, is an exhaustive, point-by-point response to the 12 most commonly used arguments that deny climate change.
And here are five essays by Royal Society members who are addressing everything from questions of controversy (the difficulties of extracting the effects of man-made climate change from naturally occuring fluctuations) to upleasant certainties (the earth will continue to warm even when we control emissions).
Further to an earlier post about Canada's poor environmental performance, here are some (slightly different) numbers on the top 10 worst CO2 emitting countries in the world. These are from the United Nations 2005 Human Development Report
The top 10 emitters, on a per capita basis, are:
1. Qatar 53.1 metric tonnes per person per year
2. Trinidad and Tobago 31.9
3. Bahrain 30.6
4. United Arab Emirates 25.1