By Alex Kirby for Climate News Network
The fevered arguments about how the...
The Washington Post this week launched a new politics homepage, PostPolitics.com, with a helping hand from the dirty coal industry.
According to the press release announcing the launch,
“The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is the Washington Post’s exclusive launch sponsor of PostPolitics.com.”
While PostPolitics.com itself is an exciting new tool for fans of political news, it is unfortunate that the Post had to partner with coal polluters to fund the launch.
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) has hired two new public relations firms to hock its message in the wake of the disastrous job done by Bonner & Associates.
ACCCE has retained HDMK, a PR firm with very strong ties to former President George W. Bush and the Republican Party, to manage its national media efforts, while Dan Ronayne, a managing director of the Howard Consulting Group, was retained to work with regional reporters.
HDMK is run by Terry Holt, the national campaign spokesperson for George W. Bush in the 2004 election and the former spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner. Other HDMK partners include Trent Duffy, a former deputy press secretary to President George W. Bush, Jim Morrell, former deputy chief of staff to the House Republican Conference and a speechwriter for former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), and Chad Kolton, another long-time Republican communications operative who served in the Bush administration as press secretary at the OMB and FEMA.
A new report published jointly by Yale University and George Mason University finds that Americans are much less concerned about climate change than they were just a year ago. Fifty-seven percent of Americans polled believe climate change is happening, compared with a figure of 71 percent in October 2008, a 14 point drop.
The reason ought to be clear. The climate confusion campaign - waged by the like of Americans for Prosperity, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Competitive Enterprise Institute, American Petroleum Institute and American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) - is alive and well, and obviously still inflicting damage.
Citizens from around the world will convene in Copenhagen next week for the COP15 U.N. climate conference, ready to voice their frustration at the slow pace of global action to address climate change. Friends of the Earth International recently launched ‘The Angry Mermaid Award,’ inviting everyone to vote for the worst corporate lobbyists who are primarily responsible for obstructing progress toward a global agreement.
Copenhagen is home to The Little Mermaid statue, a Danish landmark honoring Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale character. In Andersen’s tale, the Little Mermaid saves the life of a shipwrecked prince and then risks her voice and tail to win his love. If the prince chooses another bride, she is destined to turn into sea foam and disappear forever.
The Angry Mermaid Award is designed to shine a spotlight on the worst industry lobbyists whose actions have done the most to cripple international action on climate change, a delay which now risks unleashing climate chaos. In this real life story, it won’t be a fictional mermaid who disappears beneath the sea forever - it will be low-lying island nations like the Maldives.
Lobbyists for polluting industries have worked tirelessly to block effective action, while also seeking every possible way for their corporate clients to benefit from any agreement the nations of the world manage to reach eventually.
Cast your vote in the Angry Mermaid Award today and help decide which company or lobby group is doing the most to sabotage effective action on climate change.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced in its latest World Energy Outlook that every year of delayed action to address climate change will add $500 Billion to the price tag of saving the planet.
The climate denial industry should foot the bill, since they are responsible for causing the delay.
In the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit, a growing number of government leaders from around the world - and even high level United Nations representatives - have suggested that an ambitious, legally binding agreement is all but impossible to achieve in Denmark this December. Some have indicated that it may take six months to a year beyond Copenhagen to cement a global agreement. Nearly all point the finger at the United States for causing this delay.
But it is not President Obama’s fault, a fact that is difficult for many outside the U.S. to comprehend. Shouldn’t the U.S. president, often considered the “most powerful man in the world,” be able to commit the nation to specific emissions reduction targets and financial contributions to help developing countries deal with climate change?
It is not that simple, though.
The real blame lies at the feet of the climate denial industry, which has spent the past 20 years working to confuse the U.S. public and lawmakers about climate change. More than any other single factor, the climate denial industry can claim responsibility for the present stalemate in both domestic U.S. and international climate policy debates.
Groups like the Heartland Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Enterprise Institute and a host of oil and coal industry front groups, including the now-infamous American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), have collectively thrown a wrench in the cogs of U.S. climate policy, grinding the nation’s response to climate change to a halt.
Despite taking their licks in the press lately, the Chamber of Commerce and the coal industry front group American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) have something to celebrate today.
A new poll released by the Pew Research Center has found the number of Americans who believe that pollution is causing climate change declined 20 percent over the past two years. Only 57% of Americans believe there is solid scientific evidence that the global climate is warming.
Some pin this decline on the economy, arguing that Americans have other things to worry about and climate change has drifted off their radar screen.
But, as I explained to the Guardian newspaper today, “a big part of this problem is this campaign to mislead Americans about climate science. This is a very sophisticated group of people who know how to create doubt and confusion and they have done a very good job of it.”
The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is holding an investigative hearing on Thursday to further probe fraudulent letters sent to Congress by the coal industry’s public relations machine in an effort to derail clean energy and climate legislation.
The committee, chaired by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), has uncovered more than a dozen fraudulent letters sent to several members of Congress by Astroturf specialists Bonner & Associates, who were operating under contract for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).
Markey’s committee hearing will feature some of the central figures in the controversy, including victims of the fraud. DeSmogBlog has written extensively on Bonner’s Astroturf work for ACCCE, documenting the disgraced D.C. firm’s attempts to derail passage of the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill. Fraudulent letters originating from Bonner’s office were sent on behalf of groups representing senior citizens, women, minorities and veterans in a repugnant scam.
Beyond exploring the specific evidence of Bonner’s fraud on Congress at the behest of the coal industry, the hearing will look generally at the practice of Astroturf, a vile public relations tactic sullying current debates over health care and energy legislation. Industry-funded Astroturf involves the creation of a false appearance of actual grassroots support – often orchestrated by former tobacco lobbyists and fossil fuel industry apologists.