Scepticism with a capital K – Manufacturing Doubt
Colleague defends 'ClimateGate' professor
A colleague of the UK professor at the centre of the climate e-mails row says "sceptics" have embarked on a "tabloid-style character assassination". Professor Andrew Watson rallied to the defence of climate scientist Phil Jones, whose e-mail exchanges prompted claims that data had been manipulated. There was no evidence of attempting to mislead people, Professor Watson added.
There is a new type of scepticism, it’s sKepticism with a capital K. This is big oil funded sKepticism, and I look at the nonsense being promoted regarding the climategate hacked emails and am amazed at what a brilliant scam job the sKeptics have spun when I see so many confused people believing this lie.
You know why I think this constant attack on the science is a spin job? Because the bloody Republicans told us so. Why don’t more people know about the Frank Luntz Memorandum to the Bush White House, 2002, on how to shut down the global warming debate?
Winning the Global Warming Debate – An Overview
1: The scientific debate remains open: Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.
Right, so in the same way the Tobacco companies attacked consensus of a link between smoking and cancer, big oil and big polluters are using similar smear tactics to question the science behind the evidence that man made pollution is causing the climate to rapidly change.
And let’s not forget who is backing much of this smear campaign…
Climate Change Skeptics
The world’s largest-ever gathering of global warming skeptics will assemble Sunday in New York City to confront the issue, “Global warming: Was it ever really a crisis?” About 800 scientists, economists, legislators, policy activists, and media representatives are expected to register at the second International Conference on Climate Change, opening Sunday, March 8 and concluding Tuesday, March 10 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Hmmm, and I wonder who is organizing this climate change sKeptics picnic in wunderland? The Heartland Institute? Ummmm, aren’t they the very same Heartland Institute who until 2006 were receiving money from Exxon Mobile and who also is behind the Tobacco Industries ludicrous position that Tobacco isn’t scientifically proven to cause cancer and as such there shouldn’t be taxes on cigarettes?
Shouldn’t we at least be honest that much of the climate sKeptic agenda is actually funded by big oil?
Between 1998 and 2005: ExxonMobil Grants $16 Million to Global Warming Skeptic Organizations
ExxonMobil disperses roughly $16 million to organizations that are challenging the scientific consensus view that greenhouse gases are causing global warming. For many of the organizations, ExxonMobil is their single largest corporate donor, often providing more than 10 percent of their annual budgets. A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists will find that “[v]irtually all of them publish and publicize the work of a nearly identical group of spokespeople, including scientists who misrepresent peer-reviewed climate findings and confuse the public’s understanding of global warming. Most of these organizations also include these same individuals as board members or scientific advisers.” After the Bush administration withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol, the oil company steps up its support for these organizations. Some of the ExxonMobil-funded groups tell the New York Times that the increase is a response to the rising level of public interest in the issue. “Firefighters’ budgets go up when fires go up,” explains Fred L. Smith, head of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Explaining ExxonMobil’s support for these organizations, company spokesman Tom Cirigliano says: “We want to support organizations that are trying to broaden the debate on an issue that is so important to all of us. There is this whole issue that no one should question the science of global climate change. That is ludicrous. That’s the kind of dark-ages thinking that gets you in a lot of trouble.”
The following is a list of some of the organizations funded by ExxonMobil:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) - AEI receives $1,625,000 from ExxonMobil between and 1998 and 2005. During this period, it plays host to a number of climate contrarians.
American Legislative Exchange Council - In 2005, ExxonMobil grants $241,500 to this organization. Its website features a non-peer-reviewed paper by climate contrarian Patrick Michaels.
Center for Science and Public Policy - Started at the beginning of 2003, this one-man operation receives $232,000 from ExxonMobil. The organization helps bring scientists to Capitol Hill to testify on global warming and the health effects of mercury.
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow - Between 2004 and 2005, this organization receives $215,000 from ExxonMobil. Its advisory panel includes Sallie Baliunas, Robert Balling, Roger Bate, Sherwood Idso, Patrick Michaels, and Frederick Seitz, all of whom are affiliated with other ExxonMobil-funded organizations.
Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) - Founded in 1984 to fight government regulation on business, CEI started receiving large grants from ExxonMobil after Myron Ebell moved there from Frontiers of Freedom in 1999. CEI, along with another ExxonMobil-supported enterprise, the Cooler Heads Coalition, runs the website GlobalWarming.Org, which is part of an effort to “dispel the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis.” Between 2000 and 2003, the CEI receives $1,380,000, or 16 percent of the total funds donated by Exxon during that period.
Frontiers of Freedom - The organization receives $230,000 from Exxon in 2002 and $40,000 in 2001. It has an annual budge of about $700,000.
George C. Marshall Institute - The institute is known primarily for its work advocating a “Star Wars” missile defense program. Between 1998 and 2005, Exxon-Mobil grants $630,000 to the Marshall Institute primarily to underwrite the institute’s climate change effort. William O’Keefe, the organization’s CEO, once worked as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Petroleum Institute. He has also served on the board of directors of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, another global warming skeptic organization, and is chairman emeritus of the Global Climate Coalition.
Heartland Institute - In 2005, this organization receives $119,000 from ExxonMobil. Its website offers articles by the same scientists promoted by other ExxonMobil-funded global warming skeptic organizations.
Tech Central Station - TCS is a web-based organization that provides news, commentary, and analysis focusing on the societal tensions and strains that are concomitant with historical change. TCS proclaims itself as a strong believer of the “material power of free markets, open societies, and individual human ingenuity to raise living standards and improve lives.” Until 2006, the website is operated by a public relations firm called the DCI Group, which is a registered ExxonMobil lobbying firm. In 2003 TCS receives $95,000 from ExxonMobil to be used for “climate change support.” TCS contributors on the global warming issue include the same group of people that is promoted by several of the other ExxonMobil-funded global warming skeptic organizations. In 2006, TCS will pay the public relations firm Medialink Worldwide to produce a video news release that challenges the view that global warming has increased the intensity of hurricanes. The piece is later shown on a Mississippi television station and presented as a regular news report.
I personally love the story about the Public Interest Watch from 2002 – this was a front group funded by Exxon-Mobile which attacked Greenpeace by suggesting that Greenpeace were avoiding tax – amazingly Greenpeace was audited because of this one claim by an Exxon-Mobil front group.
Capitalism has a problem, I’m not talking about the inherent injustice of a few having all the money through a slavish ideological worship of the free market or even the IMF and World Bank genocide of poor people they commit every day with policies that promote Western mega corporations and their ability to dump heavily subsidized mass produced food on countries thus destroying the local markets or the corporate greed clusterfuck unregulated weapons of financial mass destruction that bankrupted the global economy thanks to neo-liberal dogma has caused, oh no I’m not talking about those problems, Capitalism has a much bigger fish to fry. I’m talking about it’s impact on the environment.
The reality is that the filth we pump into our planet to capitalize a credit card SUV, flat screen, cosmetic surgery on demand expediential growth and consumption economy, has an impact on our planets health.
Climate sKeptics on the other hand live in a magical world of make believe where no amount of human activity (all 6 billion of us) has ANY impact on the planet whatsoever. It’s a jaw dropping, the planet is held up by 4 elephants standing on a turtle view of science that if it weren’t so dangerous by it’s wider impact on all of us, would be immensely amusing.
And hasn’t this simple trick worked? Our Prime Minister had to be dragged kicking and screaming to Copenhagen to sign an agreement that will not realistically keep temperature change below a 2 degree increase even though a 2 degree increase on it’s own will cause significant and vast environmental damage, the cost of which will be the possible death blow to many third world countries facing the full force of erratic and severe weather patterns.
Attacking the science behind global warming is Manufacturing Doubt for big oil and big polluters. We need to move past the denial and focus on how we are going to as a planet, as a country and as a community deal with this mammoth problem.