By Ruth Hayhurst, Drill or Drop.
With federal decisions on major oil pipeline and tanker projects in the headlines, many suggest our elected officials should lean more on science to make these kinds of decisions.
Over half a decade ago, Andrea Saul, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's press secretary, denied any link between Hurricane Katrina and climate change.
Working as a hired gun on behalf of ExxonMobil at the Washington, DC PR firm DCI Group, Saul was listed as the contact person on a press release that denied that global warming is intensifying extreme weather events:
“Coming off one of the most devastating hurricane seasons in recent memory, many are quick to blame the strength and frequency of these storms on global warming. Leading climate scientists, however, say there is no link between increased storm activity and a massive change in global climate.”
The 2006 Saul/DCI press release quotes the Koch-funded Cato Institute's Patrick Michaels, who stated, “There are many more factors determining hurricane frequency and severity, some of which (such as westerly wind strength) should become LESS conducive to hurricanes as the planet warms.”
Michaels is a notorious climate change denier who stated in August 2010 on CNN that 40 percent of his funding comes from the oil industry. As with Hurricane Katrina, Pat Michaels this week denied any connection between climate change and Hurricane Sandy.
Will Andrea Saul, speaking on behalf of team Romney/Ryan, be next to deny that global warming added the steroids that increased the devastation of Hurricane Sandy?
With the U.S. midterm elections days away, there is no shortage of last-minute efforts and big advertising dollars being spent on the campaign trail. Prominent among those ‘campaigning’ are Big Oil and corporate interests, who are spending with reckless abandon after the recent Citizens United decision enabled unlimited spending to influence election results. As the Center for American Progress Action Fund reported, nearly $70 million of that funding was directed towards efforts to halt clean energy legislation.
Among the various polluting industries doling out big bucks is Big Oil who is bankrolling major efforts, along with their dubious sounding front groups, including Kochtopus funded groups. But the Kochs aren’t the only ones attacking prevailing climate science through shady front groups.
According to an excellent investigation by the Institute for Southern Studies, there’s a denier in town that is giving the Kochs a run for their money. Art Pope has finessed the art of bankrolling climate change denial in North Carolina. Facing South’s research demonstrates that Pope has close ties to the Kochs as one of four national directors of the Koch-founded political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. He is also the second-largest institutional funder of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.
Pope is a director and board chair of the William Pope Foundation, which has steered millions to conservative thinks tanks in North Carolina and nationally, a network working closely with the Kochtopus to manufacture doubt about global warming.
House Republicans have chosen Lord Christopher Monckton, a non-scientist with a penchant for outrageous remarks, as its sole witness at tomorrow’s hearing in front of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) called the hearing in an effort to further restore public confidence in climate science, and to set the record straight that ‘Climategate’ was not the scandal climate deniers and the right-wing media tried to portray in the wake of the theft of private emails from scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia.
A press release announcing the hearing states that the scientists “will address the claims of deniers head-on.”
The Independent, one of the only progressive papers in the UK, especially when it comes to climate change coverage, is considering appointing a climate denier as its new editor.
The Independent’s likely new owner, Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev, is apparently considering whether to make outspoken columnist Rod Liddle the new editor of the paper.
Reader backlash against this decision is growing, and for good reason.
A Facebook group set up by outraged Independent readers, entitled ‘If Rod Liddle becomes editor of The Independent, I will not buy it again,’ has accumulated over 2,100 followers in just a few days.
The group page lists some of Liddle’s recent atrocious behavior on his blog at ‘The Spectator’:
Liddle has lately been using his blog at ‘The Spectator’ to indulge in the use of yawn-inducing, attention-seeking derogatory terms to insult ethnic minorities including decrying “Muslim Savages” here.
…and falsely accusing black men of being behind the majority of crimes in London while mocking the entire Black British community for contributing nothing but “rap music” and “goat curry”.
And just this weekend, Liddle had these choice words in his Spectator column: “F*** off back to where you’re from, then, you Muslims.”
Liddle’s penchant for racist and sexist remarks isn’t the only reason for concern though.
He’s also a climate change denier.
I’ll admit, as someone who spends most days looking for leaked documents, the package of stolen emails and documents from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University is pretty juicy. Anything that provides insight into the inner-workings of your opponents is pretty much manna from heaven in this line of work.
I have been going through all the files today and I hate to disappoint but it just ain’t the scandal climate conspiracy theorists want it to be.
These emails are blissfully being spun by the climate contrarians as proof of some type of worldwide conspiracy by scientists to fake the climate change crisis. Michelle Malkin, who relishes Ann Coulter-esque statements, goes so far as to call it “the global warming scandal of the century.”
As Brad Johnson writes, it’s more likely proof that climate deniers are the crazed conspiracy theorists we always thought they were.
At the center of the conspiracy claim is a quote in a casual conversation between colleagues talking about Mike’s Nature “trick.”
They are referring to the Michael Mann hockey stick study from ten years ago that has been the subject of attacks by climate skeptic bloggers for many years now. In fact, it got so bad that the US National Academy of Sciences was called in by the US Senate to look further into the validity of the Mann study.
It turns out that Sarah Palin has played a starring role in the science fiction drama. The UK Guardian breaks the news.
The Denier Press is alive with versions of a story from the UK, showing that old ships' logs reported “a spell of rapid warming during the 1730s” - the implication being that if the earth warmed once by itself, it couldn't possibly be doing so today with the help of 6.6 billion humans.
That said, Lewis Page at The Register bites back with the observation that sailors in the 1730 - a group that doesn't include later record-keeping wizards like Admiral Nelson and Captain James Cook - didn't generally use thermometers to record temperatures, so the log survey relies instead on “consistent language” of the time.