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The DeSmogBlog is CanadaChanging

Be sure to head over to WorldChanging.com this week – they've got a whole “CanadaChanging” series going on, and it's full of interesting stuff.

Most interesting, of course, if we may toot our own horn, is the piece about what we're up to here at the DeSmogBlog.
The only answer, the DeSmog team decided, is to go after the credibility of those attempting to create confusion around climate change, something they have done with relish and great effect, doing investigations into the backgrounds of prominent skeptics, pointing out how often they are in the employ of industry, or lack climate credentials, or are known extremists ideologically (“some of these guys are very… unusual people, so to say”), and then sharing that information with the media through outreach and Google-bombing campaigns. They've been doing an increasingly effective job of destroying the credibility of denialists, helping to defang what may be one of the most morally criminal PR campaigns in world history.

We've got an audio interview to go with this piece – the actual conversation between Alex Steffen (editor of WorldChanging) and Jim Hoggan, which will be posted here shortly. I'll update this post when I've got the link!

In the meantime, enjoy… and don't forget to check out the rest of their great coverage at WorldChanging. They've got a veritable treasure trove of stuff about climate change for your reading enjoyment, along with many other issues too.

UPDATE: The audio file can be found here.

Get Ready for McFuel!

We came across this great campaign video this week. Slightly on the cheesy side, perhaps, but a great little thing to watch if you want some tingly inspirational feelings for a pick-me-up.

It's a video set 50 years down the road, looking back at 2006 as the year that the tide turned for renewable energy. The highlight for me was the idea of MacDonald's completely remaking themselves into a biofuel company.

It was created by RenewUS – a group that “intends to stimulate enactment of broad non-partisan high-impact political and industrial policy to reduce and sequester greenhouse gases. Over the coming months and years, a variety of initiatives will engage a wide range of constituencies in a constructive program of economic, political and industrial endeavors.”

Check it out. Think we can do it?

Compiled Info on the Friends of Science

We've been working hard over the past few months to gather lots of information on the Friends of Science, a Canadian group who have been stirring up quite a storm in the media recently with their attempts to spin the public opinion about climate change.

They describe themselves as “a non-profit organization made up of active and retired engineers, earth scientists and other professionals, as well as many concerned Canadians, who believe the science behind the Kyoto Protocol is questionable.” Here at the DeSmogBlog, we're inclined to believe that it's the Friends of Science who are questionable - in what they say and in how they say it.

Great Comment in the ContraCostaTimes

From deep in sunny California comes a guest editorial in the ContraCostaTimes. Edward D. Kukla Jr. has a few things to say about climate change and the question of whether there is a true scientific consensus about it.

Kulka is “a scientist and engineer with advanced degrees in biology and mathematics, and I currently engineer machines designed to measure the concentrations of atmospheric gases, including but not limited to: CO, CH, oxides of nitrogen and virtually every other greenhouse gas.”

His commentary is quick and concise, but the quick and dirty is as follows:

Since the overwhelming majority of climate scientists (greater than 99 percent) hold these as verified facts, then you should accept anthropogenic global warming as reasonable, logical, scientific fact.

Hear, hear.

Jim Hoggan and DeSmogBlog on The Tyee

Be sure to pop on over to The Tyee this morning, to read the front page coverage of the DeSmogBlog. It's a great piece resulting from a conversation that Jim Hoggan had with David Beers on June 13, 2006, talking about the PR industry, climate change, and the DeSmogBlog, among other things. You can listen to the actual audio interview here.

One great highlight, talking about why the scientific consensus isn't reflected in the news media:
[That] is a testament to the power of public relations. Most people have heard it said that you shouldn't believe everything you read in the newspaper. Well, let me tell you, if you've spent your time with PR people, you'd feel that very, very strongly. Most public relations people spend far more time on a story than a reporter can. And many of those stories, particularly as they relate to climate change, are manufactured, basically. There is actually a group of people who are out there trying to confuse the public about climate change, and they are very skilful at it. These people are good communications people.
The Tyee is a great source of forward thinking online journalism, based right here in Vancouver. Their site is also home to a buzzing community of people who comment on the pieces they write, so take a moment to check out the commentary as well… and maybe even contribute yourself.

White House in Full Climate Change Spin Mode

Seems the Washington Post has really gotten under George W’s skin with their latest critique!Will Ferrel in hilarious bush global warming spot
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/07/20060711-7.html

LA Times: If only gay sex caused global warming

If only gay sex caused global warming
Why we're more scared of gay marriage and terrorism than a much deadlier threat

This article from the LA Times is a few days old now, but it's a thoughtful piece about the reasons why we aren't, as a culture, inclined towards graver concern about the threat we're facing from global warming. Worth reading.

He lists four reasons why we aren't already up in arms about it. The title of the piece harkens from this one:

Alternet Gets It

There's an interesting piece over at Alternet this week. It's about the EPA lawsuit taking place right now over whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases should be counted as “pollutants” under the Clean Air Act. I just wanted to highlight Alternet's succinct summation of our whole raison d'etre here at the DeSmogBlog:
There is a debate over whether [climate change is] manmade or naturally caused,” Bush said yesterday. Yet among scientists, the debate has long been over. Rather than argue the science, the right has resorted to manufacturing scientific doubt where there is none. … The right wants the public to ignore scientific research that finds “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming,” and instead believe that we should wait for more research before we take action.

Drivers and their SUVs

Ramping up the visual entertainment factor, check out this video we found…

It's “new short film that shows the true attitude of drivers of [SUVs]. Produced as part of a study at Bath University for an MSC in ‘Ethics and Business Responsibility’ the film maker asks drivers to look at environmental parking tickets, with interesting results. Most drivers refused to discuss the issue whilst some swore and threatened physical abuse, often citing ‘living in the country’ as their reasons for owning the vehicle.”

Media Matters - Indeed it Does

We've added a new link to our blogroll – Media Matters for America, “a Web-based research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”

They've got some great coverage of misinformation in the climate change discussion – you can check out all their coverage of the topic at http://mediamatters.org/issues_topics/global_warming.

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