Sunday, April 26, 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL NEWSLETTER #1


Sent to Blog, WS, indivs

OMNI

Corporate Campaign to Deny the Human, Corporate Causes of Climate Change and Necessity of Sustainable Energy (Well-financed Disinformation, Manufactured Deception and Ignorance, Cover Up, Scam, Denial, Chicanery, Bribery), Newsletter #1, April 26, 2015.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology

What’s at stake: The necessity of totally restructuring our global energy economy and quickly if we are to avoid a catastrophic disruption to life as we know it.  Lester Brown.  The people of the world have not demanded this radical renovation of unregulated capitalism mainly because of the control of information by corporations.

Newsletters
Index:


Contents of Corporate Campaign Against Sustainable Energy Newsletter #1
Kimberley, System Change to Reduce Climate Change
The Deniers
Merchants of Doubt, Book and Film
FILM SHOWING IN FAYETTEVILLE, AR 2015 AT FIESTA THEATER APRIL 24-
Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Co-Authors of Merchants of Doubt Book
Robert Kenner, Filmmaker, Fight Back Against Attacks on Merchants of Doubt Film
Clay Naff’s Interview of Oreskes in The Humanist 2015
Zasloff, Oreskes and the Anti-Communist Origins of Climate Denial
TomGram, Michael Klare, Big Oil’s New Disinformation Campaign
Deniers in Their Own Words
Denier Willie Soon, Scientist for Hire
Pierce
Christian Scientist Katherine Hayhoe Threatened
David Suzuki, Global Warming Deniers Growing Desperate
Naomi Klein, Capitalism vs. the Climate
Who Funds Deniers?  Donors Trust
Defenders of Reason and Science vs. Well-Financed, Manufactured ignorance and Paranoia, the Corporate Manipulation of Misology, Misoneism, Greed
Michael Specter, The Denialists, the Many Kinds of Denial and Escape in Our System
President Obama
Rockstroh, Escapisms Prevent Change
The Nation, Four Essays May 2014
Hassall, Stopping Climate Change Denial in the Classroom 2013
Zegart, Law vs. Fossil Fuels Industry
Dick on Sherman Frederick in the Las Vegas Review Journal and NW Arkansas Times 1-12-14
Dick on Local Officials
Art Hobson Outs Climate Change Deniers
Art Dismantles Charles Krauthammer
Los Angeles Times Bans Denial Letters--and First Amendment?
Senator Whitehouse Denounces GOP Denial
Michaels, Doubt Is Their Profession, to Undermine Truth and Reality
Dan Farber


SYSTEM CHANGE TO REDUCE CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate Change – Point of No Return

By Margaret Kimberley. August 07, 2014

By Black Agenda Report

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/08/07/climate-change-point-no-return

Time’s up, or so planet earth seems to be telling humanity. Extreme weather conditions around the globe, including rising temperatures, droughts, crop failures, melting sea ice, rising sea levels, disappearing glaciers and the loss of plant and animal species all point in only one direction. The tipping point towards the sixth great extinction is taking place right now.

It is clear that these problems are all human made. Rising carbon dioxide levels caused by fossil fuel emissions are creating a series of catastrophes in ecosystems around the world. The processes are clear to anyone who pays attention.

Two large craters, one more than 200 feet in diameter, were recently discovered in the remote Yamal peninsula of northern Russia. In an extreme case of irony, Yamal is said to mean “end of the world” in the local Nenets language. Scientists have concluded that the holes were formed when a mixture of salt, water and natural methane gas exploded underground. They theorize that rising temperatures made the permafrost unstable and released methane, the key ingredient in the explosions. A temperature rise of only two degrees centigrade is enough to make permafrost thaw and begin a chain of terrible events.

“The tipping point towards the sixth great extinction is taking place right now.”

All of the bad news is relevant as the United Nations prepares to host a Climate Summit on September 23, 2014 in New York. Past climate conferences haven’t provided much in the way of relief, as the United States and other industrialized nations subverted the 2009 Copenhagen climate accords. The supposedly environmentalist president Barack Obama and his European cohorts forced an agreement that allowed a two degrees increase in temperature. This seemingly small amount will kill humans and other species and brought the giant holes to Siberia and now more dangerously, methane from the sea. Climatologist Jason Box recently made this pithy comment on Twitter. “If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we're f'd.”

As the situation is dire, so must the solutions be truly radical. The free for all of capitalism is deadly in so many ways as financial collapse, exploitation and wars bring misery to millions of people. Money is the problem and not individual decision making. We may feel useful when recycling trash or driving hybrid vehicles but these are bandages when the world needs major surgery. “Green capitalism” is doomed because capitalism can’t be green. The imperative to maximize profits is in direct conflict with environmental and human sustainability. The profit motive must be eliminated in favor of managed economies that limit growth, fairly distribute resources, regulate the polluting industries and activities, and end the gross inequalities of this gilded age.

Money is the elephant in the climate change room. Corporations are beholden to no one but themselves, only claiming to be like human beings when they really want to get their way with governments and citizens around the world. “Corporate personhood” is a one way street and everything from income inequality to planetary destruction is the proof.  [See Naomi Kline’s This Changes Everything; Lester Brown, The Great Transition; Magdoff and Foster, What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism.  –Dick]

“Green capitalism is doomed because capitalism can’t be green.”

Recently residents of Toledo, Ohio and southeast Michigan literally had no water to drink for three days. A combination of sewage, live stock manure, and fertilizer run-off create algae blooms which spread more rapidly because of rising temperatures. If the amount of algae grows enough it contaminates drinking water from lake Erie. The causes of this recurring problem are well known but the obvious solution of regulating the businesses responsible for the problems doesn’t happen and the inaction is a direct result of corporate power flexing political muscle. The Fertilizer Institute is the industry lobby which makes sure that neither federal nor local regulators restrict the use of fertilizers which deprived 500,000 people of drinkable water. Acquiescence to corporate interest makes life itself untenable.

Unfortunately, the elites will not suffer in the collapse as much as the rest of us will. Poor Detroit residents live with the threat of a privatization plan which begins with the loss of access to water, while golf courses and publicly financed stadiums owe the city $30 million inunpaid water bills without facing any loss of this resource. On the very same day that struggling people were forced to accept pension cuts, the wealthy owners of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team unveiled plans for a publicly financed stadium and said nothing about paying the overdue water bill at Joe Louis arena.

The 1% will make the rest of us suffer slowly before suffering at all themselves. They will still get plenty of water, or energy, or land or whatever the rest of us lack. The end will not come as Hollywood tells us, with a sudden cataclysm. It is moving surely but slowly enough to keep some people safe while others suffer."Maintaining the status quo means the end of life on the planet."

The People’s Climate March scheduled to take place on September 21 in New York cannot be just a feel good precursor to the United Nations meeting. It must have as part of its agenda a critique of the world financial system. The criminals who must be exposed aren’t just in New York and London either. India and China poison the air and their citizens in a mad dash to catch up with the other industrial polluters of the world.

There are many villains in this story but there is only one important point. Maintaining the status quo means the end of life on the planet. The 1% will limit their exposure for a time but eventually the end will come for them too.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.Com


Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, MERCHANTS OF DOUBT



Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, MERCHANTS OF DOUBT
FILM SHOWING IN FAYETTEVILLE
SPECIAL FEATURE: NAOMI ORESTES’  MERCHANTS OF DOUBT
Let’s buy the book and show the film asap!  Had this 2010 book received the national attention it deserves, the President, Congress, and the public would have been greatly strengthened in recognizing warming and its causes and effects and in resisting the systematic corporate abuses she exposes in the book… 
Also, thanks to Orestes and Conway, later clear-sighted, cutting-edge books like Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and Lester Brown’s The Great Transition that urge “a total restructuring of the global economy” (Brown 17) have received a much wider and numerous readership.
Dear Friends, 
Naomi Oreskes’ fine book “Merchants of Doubt” has been made into a film that is now showing in Fayetteville.  The book and the film are about how a few scientists obscured the truth about such issues as tobacco smoke, acid rain, ozone, and, especially, global warming.  It’s now showing at Fiesta Square.  I don’t know how long it will stay.  From the previews, it appears to be a well made film that is entertaining as well as enlightening.  Here is a preview with several scenes from the film:  http://www.fandango.com/merchantsofdoubt_178329/movieoverview.  
Peace - Art
Art Hobson, Emeritus Professor of Physics, U Arkansas. 
Look for Tales of the Quantum  Oxford University Press, in 2015.
See my textbook & other stuff here.  

Thanks Art!
I phoned the theater for showings and glad I did because times online are not accurate:  :
Tomorrow Sunday 1:55, 4:35, 7:15 
Monday-Wed;:  4:25, 7:25.  Person I spoke to unsure film would continue after Wed., decision made Thurs.  Depends upon no. of viewers until then?  
These times begin with 10 to 15 minutes of previews.
For additional promotion, go to UTube for a preview, I was told..
Let's advertise this film and the book!  Too bad we didn't know the film was coming.  This could have offered a useful action for our group.  
Dick




Naomi Oreskes and Erik M Conway, MERCHANTS OF DOUBT, BOOK AND FILM
BOOK
MERCHANTS OF DOUBT How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by NAOMI ORESKES and ERIK M. CONWAY BLOOMSBURY P RESS New York . Berlin . London . Sydney CHAPTER 1 Doubt Is Our Product ON MAY 9, 1979. . . .


FILM

Exposed!
Professor Naomi Oreskes   
8:02 AM (14 hours ago)
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to me
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Merchants of Doubt is about to show viewers nationwide just how ugly climate denial is. Spread the word!


Join us!
Dear Dick,
When I wrote the book Merchants of Doubt in 2010, I only wanted one thing: to uncover the truth about who was behind the widespread, and sadly effective, campaigns to undermine the established science of climate change, and why they were doing what they were doing.
I never imagined that, a few years later, Sony Pictures would release Merchants of Doubta captivating feature film that exposes the ugly world of climate denial like never before.
Thousands are about to see this movie, and when they do, they’ll be fired up and anxious to take action — let’s make sure they do. Together, let's create a surge of people power strong enough to bring down climate denial.
Forecast the Facts members were way ahead of the game in recognizing and exposing climate denial. Your very mission speaks to heart of the problem: disinformation. Many Americans still believe that there is "no solid" evidence of global warming — a result of the organized and well-funded campaign to confuse the public on climate. Worse, a powerful portion of our political leadership continues to promote the canard that there’s no consensus, we don’t really know, and therefore we can’t do anything.
Merchants of Doubt is about to spread our message wider than ever before. The national premieres begin next week — now’s the time to really build the buzz.
Sincerely,
Naomi Oreskes
Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK
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Forecast the Facts is a grassroots organization that empowers people to fight climate change denial and promote accurate information about the climate crisis. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. Help us end climate denial once and for all by contributing here.

 

 

 




Fight back!
Robert Kenner  
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to me  3-17-15
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Dick,
Robert here. I produced and directed a documentary called Merchants of Doubt to reveal how climate deniers have misled the American public.

Right now, climate deniers are attacking the film. News just broke that Fred Singer, who's profiled in the film, lobbied high-profile deniers to bring legal action against the movie.

It’s no surprise that they don’t want this film seen — Merchants of Doubt has shown how the same “playbook” has been used on everything from tobacco to toxic chemicals to climate change. But these climate deniers have lots of fossil fuel money at their disposal — and that means, if we don't fight back now, they'll continue to go after the film and distort climate science in the media.

Sincerely,
Robert Kenner
P.S. For more information on this campaign, check out the original email below.
MORE INFORMATION
"Climate skeptics attempt to block Merchants of Doubt film," The Guardian, 3-11-2015
http://act.forecastthefacts.org/go/971?t=3&akid=735.194520.EDt7AP

End disinformation in the media. Tell news editors: Don't bring climate deniers on your programs!

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Join us!
The message below is from Robert Kenner, a producer and director known for films such as “Food Inc.” and “Merchants of Doubt.”
Dear Dick,
People who mislead the public on climate change should not be on TV. Period.
That’s one big reason why I produced Merchants of Doubt, a film that lays bare the greedy, shameful world of climate denial and the journalists who broadcast it. That’s also why, right now,we’re launching a people-powered national campaign that could keep climate deniers out of the news for good.
Merchants of Doubt premieres in U.S. theaters today, and it will invite thousands of energized viewers to sign this petition and join our campaign.Let’s lead the charge!
In 2013, one-third of the climate coverage on CNN and over a half of the climate coverage on Fox News was misleading. In 2014, every Sunday show except CBS’ Face the Nation hosted a climate denier. It’s true: our mainstream news networks book fake experts —  often paid by the fossil fuel industry — and those “experts” use the opportunity to confuse the public understanding on climate.
Forecast the Facts has successfully held the media accountable before.One year ago, over 100,000 of us pushed The Washington Post to improve its climate reporting, and we won. Now we can do it again with our TV news.
Merchants of Doubt gives this community a special chance to make our issue — climate denial — the national issue it should be. Let’s make it count.
Sincerely,
Robert Kenner
MORE INFORMATION
"Science or Spin?: Assessing the Accuracy of Cable News Coverage of Climate Science," Union of Concerned Scientists
http://act.forecastthefacts.org/go/962?t=9&akid=735.194520.EDt7AP
"Study: How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change in 2014," Media Matters, 1-28-15
http://act.forecastthefacts.org/go/963?t=11&akid=735.194520.EDt7AP
*       Forecast the Facts is a grassroots organization that empowers people to fight climate change denial and promote accurate information about the climate crisis. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. Help us end climate denial once and for all by contributing here.



INTERVIEW OF NAOMI ORESKES
TheHumanist.com
 Search for:   25  APRIL

The Humanist Interview with Naomi Oreskes
Applied Science and the Merchants of Doubt
BY CLAY FARRIS NAFF • 23 APRIL 2015
Naomi Oreskes is a professor of the history of science and an affiliated professor of earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. She is the coauthor, with Erik M. Conway, of Merchants of Doubt, a book that lays bare the massive disinformation campaign surrounding climate science. The 2010 book has just re-emerged as the basis for a documentary of the same name, now opening in theaters across the nation. Just before its debut, I asked Oreskes about the book and its subject. The interview, conducted by email, has been lightly edited.

TheHumanist.com: ​​You’re a scientist and a historian of science—how then did you become interested in the relatively recent phenomenon of what you call the “merchandising of doubt”?

Naomi Oreskes: In the early 2000s, I was working on the history of oceanography (a book I am now trying to finish!) and came across the work of oceanographers who were concerned about anthropogenic climate change as far back as the 1950s. I started to learn more about it, and one thing led to another and I wrote my 2004 article on the scientific consensus on climate change. After the 2004 paper came out, I started getting attacked, and, well, one thing led to another and I ended up putting aside oceanography and writing, with Erik Conway, Merchants of Doubt.

TheHumanist.com: The book makes it clear that casting doubt on lifesaving science is not exactly new. What’s changed since the tobacco industry began its stealthy campaign to undermine the Surgeon General’s report on smoking?

Oreskes: The big change is the role of the media, think tanks, and the Internet. When the tobacco industry first began its campaigns of confusion, there was no Internet and few think tanks. Indeed, they invented the Tobacco Institute as a means of hiding their disinformation work under the guise of scientific research. Today, there are dozens of think tanks that do this work, and it is spread far and wide by cable news and the Internet.

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
TheHumanist.com: Has inducing public doubt of science itself become an applied science?

Oreskes: Yes, indeed. One of the things we discovered in doing our research was the amount of research these folks do! Market research, focus groups, and so on. They are very smart and organized and even scientific in the way they study and apply what works and what doesn’t.

TheHumanist.com: You and your co-author start your book with the story of the slandering of Ben Santer, a government scientist who has done much to establish the human causes of global warming. Yet, Santer is hardly alone. James Hansen, Michael Mann, and many climate scientists have had their reputations savaged in the media, and, as you point out, the slanders remain just a Google search away. Is there any precedent for these kinds of attacks on scientists?

Oreskes: As we say in the book, science has always had the capacity to disrupt the status quo, and therefore disturb those in power. We all know of Galileo more because of the way the ruling authorities of his day tried to suppress his work more than most of us know what work he actually did. In the 1950s, Robert Oppenheimer was attacked because of his ambivalence about the hydrogen bomb. So this is not new. But again, the Internet, cable TV, and certain aspects of American culture have made it far easier to attack scientists and harder for scientists to undo the damage when it occurs.

TheHumanist.com: Some might argue that there was a time when science had too much authority—that people simply accepted government claims that nuclear bomb tests posed no health threats, or that a Swine flu epidemic was imminent, for example. Do “doubt campaigns” gain traction because of healthy public skepticism?

Oreskes: There are two different issues here. Certainly, it is possible for scientists (or any experts) to have too much authority, and sometimes scientists have lacked humility. Erik and I have never argued that citizens simply have to passively accept what scientists tell us to do.  We think there are important distinctions to be made between scientific findings, policy recommendations, and political action.

The first is the domain of science, the last the domain of democratic politics, and in the middle there is a complicated and difficult grey zone. But you also have to remember that just because a warning does not come to pass does not mean it was false. Sometimes people say, “Oh, scientists warned us about the ozone hole, but now everything is fine!” as if this were a reason not to worry about climate change. Things are fine with respect to ozone because we listened to scientific advice and acted upon it.

And as for nuclear bomb tests, while it’s true that government officials and some scientists closely linked to government gave false reassurances, it is also true that other scientists warned us strongly. This is why the issue of consensus is so important. If scientists are divided, or telling us that something might not be right with government or industry assurances, that is something to which we need to pay attention.

TheHumanist.com: Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth was influential in alerting the non-reading portion of the public to climate change, but in the end it became part of the political sorting that grips our nation. Will the documentary Merchants of Doubt have a different trajectory?

Oreskes: We certainly hope so. One reason the film features Bob Ingliss, former Republican congressman from South Carolina, is because he is such a powerful spokesman for why conservatives need to take this issue seriously and not fall into denial. Denying the problem does not make it go away. This is why, at the end of the film I stress that if you want to avoid big government interventions, you should be very concerned to make sure there is no further delay, because the longer we wait to address this problem, the more difficult it gets to solve with individual or private sector initiatives.

TheHumanist.com: Have attacks on you for positions you’ve taken had any deleterious effects on your career or personal life?

Oreskes: The attacks have not hurt me professionally, but they did take up time, and they were personally hurtful, especially at first. At one point I became ill from the stress. But once I started doing the research that led to Merchants of Doubt and understood the situation, that made all the difference. That, and support from colleagues like Sherry Rowland, Stan Glantz, Ben Santer, Mike Mann, and others who have been the target of similar attacks, or Don Kennedy, who has been a witness to this for many years.  Indeed, I am in some pretty distinguished company there.

TheHumanist.com: Looking beyond the book and film, recent research suggests that the effects of climate change will soon amplify and make themselves even more apparent. What are your expectations for the response of our nation and others?

Oreskes: It’s very hard to say. We’ve already had several climate-related extreme weather events, but so far those have not moved the political needle very much. I certainly hope that it doesn’t take a disaster to wake us up from our slumber. But only time will tell.

Published in the May / June 2015 Humanist

Tags: Climate Change
Clay Farris Naff is a freelance science journalist based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and is the Humanist magazine’s science and religion correspondent. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including his latest, Free God Now!
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From:
 Legal Planet <noreply@legal-planet.org>
Date: March 16, 2015 at 10:30:29 AM CDT
To: noreply@legal-planet.org
Subject: [Legal Planet] The Anticommunist Origins of Climate Denial
Reply-To: Legal Planet <noreply@legal-planet.org>
How Cold Warriors Wind Up Heating the Planet
Posted on March 16, 2015 8:30 am by Jonathan Zasloff
The other night, my wife and I saw Merchants of Doubt, Robert Kenner’s new fillm about the climate denial industry. I thought it was excellent. I was surprised by the high production values and the way in which it did not feel like a documentary, at least until the last 15-20 minutes or so. (Then it began to remind me of a Frontline segment.) Former Republican Congressmember Bob Inglis of South Carolina, a die-hard conservative who lost his seat when he began to advocate for grappling with climate change (as well as the DREAM Act), comes off as particularly thoughtful.
For me, the most interesting part was the discussion of Fred Singer, a physicist who is a leading climate denial rock star, and the late Fred Seitz, another distinguished scientist who was also a climate denier. Why, the movie asks, do the handful of scientists who deny climate science do so? (and it really is no more than handful despite the denial industry’s attempt to show the contrary).
Naomi Oreskes, upon whose book of the same name the movie is based, argues in the film that although they get a certain amount of money from fossil fuel interests, that does not really explain their position, and I agree with her. For Oreskes, it stems from Cold War ideology – an anti-communism that makes them hate, fear, and then deny the existence of any problem that would require government intervention. That is persuasive to me: Seitz began to fall out with the scientific community over his strong advocacy of the Vietnam War. But I think something else might be in order.
You didn’t hear from Singer and Seitz anything about the dangers of government intervention when the Clean Air Act was debated (it passed the Senate nearly unanimously in 1970, and Singer was the deputy assistant administrator for EPA at that time) or even with Montreal Protocol (which as former Secretary of State George Shultz pointed out in a good op-ed on Friday, was negotiated during his tenure in the Reagan Administration).
Ironically, this sort of Cold War ideology really erupted after the Cold War ended. If you are a Cold Warrior and your enemy collapses, what do you do? You look for another enemy. If the Soviet Union still exists, then you know where your enemy is. But if it collapses, and if you are of a Cold War bent, you look for other places where the Evil Empire has gone into hiding. There is a thrashing-about quality of old Cold Warriors. Who is the existential Enemy? Is it Russia? China? Iran? Iraq? David Frum (who has since become much more thoughtful) just threw in the kitchen sink with the “axis of evil”. It doesn’t matter how poor or how weak the country is: it is a threat on par with Hitler and Stalin. With climate, it is some sort of vague Vast Left-wing Conspiracy designed to rob us of our precious bodily fl uids.
I have written before suggesting that the climate issue provides ideological glue to hold together Movement Conservatism’s “three-legged stool.” Anti-communism was the best: 1) billionaires hated it because it threatened their wealth; 2) conservative Christians hated it because it was godless; and 3) neoconservatives hated it because they needed an enemy. With climate, 1) billionaires hate it because it is government regulation (even if it is very light); 2) conservative Christians hate because of their suspicions of modern science; and 3) neoconservatives hate it because grappling with it requires international cooperation anathema to them.
But because climate change isn’t quite as good, that requires crazier and crazier positions to make up for it. I think that this often happens, too: when someone takes a position, and it turns out to be false, they often double down on it to show that they were really right to begin with. This is what happened with torture advocacy: desperate people trying to preserve national security agreed to torture a few select prisoners, and when that didn’t work, they had to show that they were right, and so wound up approving a massive torture program.
Fred Singer and Fred Seitz sort of straddle the billionaire and neoconservative legs of the Movement Conservative stool. That makes sense: ideological schema rarely play out neatly in the real world. And when you spend your time with people on “your side,” you begin to adopt their positions. Thus, conservative Christians are now adopting the plutocratic ideology of billionaire Republicans – even if that is about as far from the New Testament as one can get.
As Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine, who is interviewed in Merchants of Doubt, puts it: you buy the package of your team. And I suppose that’s the challenge for everyone involved in academia and public policy, no matter what their ideological priors: how to be a productive member of the team without becoming subsumed by it.

Attachments area
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THE NEW FOSSIL FUELS COMPANIES’  DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN:  THEY ARE THE MORAL LEADERS

Tomgram: Michael Klare, Perpetuating the Reign of Carbon.   Posted by Michael Klare           at 7:00am, January 8, 2015.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175940/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_perpetuating_the_reign_of_carbon/    Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch. ArchiveAuthorsBooksPressAboutContactSupport Us  Archive

Think of it as the uncertainty principle.  By the nature of things, doubt, the unknown, and uncertainty are naturally part of the big picture in science, especially when it comes to creating “models” of the future.  As Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway showed in their blockbuster book, Merchants of Doubt, the giant oil companies (following the playbook of Big Tobacco) proved adept at taking advantage of the uncertainty principle to protect their positions as the most profitable corporations in history.  They funded a small group of scientists to not quite deny the reality of climate change, but to emphasize the element of doubt in its science, as in all science.  Major fossil-fuel producers used their money both to create a network of outright climate deniers and a subtler if no less dismissive attitude toward climate change based on uncertainty.  Think of them as the Yo-Yo Ma’s of doubt.  And proof of their success at this effort is evident in a new Congress in which few self-respecting Republicans would dare claim (“I’m not a scientist...”) that there's any reality to human-produced climate change, while the leading “environmental” figure in the party, Senator Jim Inhofe, dismisses the world’s climate scientists as part of a gigantic plot against the free market.

It hardly matters that climate change is, by now, an obvious reality or that the evidence piling up indicates that it will prove devastating for us and the planet unless the burning of fossil fuels is in some way significantly curtailed and most fossil fuel reserves are somehow kept in the ground.  And here’s another point not to remember: uncertainty is actually a two-way street.  The oil companies, not surprisingly, placed their bet on the direction that headed toward doubt that climate change was a serious issue for humanity.  That part of the street is now largely blocked.  However, the other direction is unnervingly open -- and it leads into uncertainty about whether the effects of climate change will be more devastating than presently predicted by, for instance, the consensus science of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

 

With that grim uncertainty increasingly possible, the big energy outfits, ever ahead of the rest of us when it comes to keeping themselves in business, are -- as the invaluable Michael Klare, author of The Race for What’s Left, tells us in his latest dispatch -- polishing up a new pitch for our future confusion.  There are so many ways, after all, to foster uncertainty about our world.  Until recently, the big energy outfits focused largely on an essentially negative approach to climate change with remarkable success.  Now, it looks like they may put their energy (so to speak) into propagating a dazzling dreamscape of life on Earth in the decades to come (in which oil, natural gas, and coal will, of course, play enormous roles and climate change essentially none at all).  Those fretting about the future of our children and grandchildren on a planet that could be heated to a crisp for the immediate profits of Big Energy and the oil states that are really just an arm of the same enterprise had better listen up.  If their vision really proves to be our future, I offer you one certainty: we’re in trouble. Tom

 

Carbon Counterattack:  How Big Oil Is Responding to the Anti-Carbon Moment By Michael T. Klare

Around the world, carbon-based fuels are under attack.  Increasingly grim economic pressures, growing popular resistance, and the efforts of government regulators have all shocked the energy industry.  Oil prices are falling, colleges and universities are divesting from their carbon stocks, voters are instituting curbs on hydro-fracking, and delegates at the U.N. climate conference in Peru have agreed to impose substantial restrictions on global carbon emissions at a conference in Paris later in the year.  All this has been accompanied by what might be viewed as a moral assault on the very act of extracting carbon-based fuels from the earth, in which the major oil, gas, and coal companies find themselves portrayed as the enemies of humankind.

 

Under such pressures, you might assume that Big Energy would react defensively, perhaps apologizing for its role in spurring climate change while assuming a leadership position in planning for the transition to a post-carbon economy.  But you would be wrong: instead of retreating, the major companies have gone on the offensive, extolling their contributions to human progress and minimizing the potential for renewables to replace fossil fuels in just about any imaginable future.

 

That the big carbon outfits would seek to perpetuate their privileged market position in the global economy is, of course, hardly surprising.  After all, oil is the  most valuable commodity in international commerce and major producing firms like ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Shell regularly top lists of the world’s most profitable enterprises.  Still, these companies are not just employing conventional legal and corporate tactics to protect their position, they’re mounting a moral assault of their own, claiming that fossil fuels are an essential factor in eradicating poverty and achieving a decent life on this planet.

 

Improbable as such claims may seem, they are being echoed by powerful officials around the world -- typically, the leaders of carbon-producing nations like Russia and Saudi Arabia or the representatives of American energy-producing states like Texas and Kentucky.  Count on one thing: this crew of fossil fuel enthusiasts is intent on ensuring that any path to a carbon-free future will, at best, be long and arduous.  While you’re at it, add top Congressional leaders to this crew, since many of the Republican victors in the 2014 midterm election are from oil and coal-producing states and regularly laud carbon production for its contribution to local prosperity, while pocketing contributions by Big Oil and other energy firms.

 

Unless directly challenged, this pro-carbon offensive -- backed by copious Big Energy advertising -- is likely to attract at least as much favor as the claims of anti-carbon activists.  At this point, of course, the moral arguments against carbon consumption are -- or at least should be -- well known.  The oil, gas, and coal companies, it is claimed, are selfishly pursuing mega-profits at the expense of the climate, the environment, our children and grandchildren, and even possibly a future of any reasonable sort for humanity as a whole.  “Basically [the big energy companies have] said, we’re going to wreck the planet, we don’t care what you say, we think we can, and we dare you to stop us,” observed climate activist and 350.org cofounder Bill McKibben in a recent interview.  This outlook was reflected in many of the signs carried by the estimated 400,000 demonstrators who participated in the People’s Climate March in New York City last September.

 

The fossil fuel industry is often also portrayed as the nucleus of a global system of wealth and power that drags down democracy and perpetuates grotesque planetary inequalities.  “Fossil fuels really do create a hyper-stratified economy,” explained Naomi Klein, author of the bestselling book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate.  “It’s the nature of the resources that they are concentrated, and you need a huge amount of infrastructure to get them out and to transport them.  And that lends itself to huge profits and they're big enough that you can buy off politicians.”   MORE 

 

Michael T. Klare, a TomDispatch regular, is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author, most recently, of The Race for What’s Left.    A documentary film version of his book Blood and Oil is available from the Media Education Foundation. Links to his work can be found at michaelklare.com. Copyright 2015 Michael T. Klare .

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.



CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS IN THEIR OWN WORDS

NationofChange info@nationofchange.org via mail87.us4.mcsv.net  Wednesday, October 29, 2014.

 

Video: Quotes from Climate Denial Candidates

Connor Gibson, Video Feature

These quotes will make your jaw drop, but the reality is that climate change denial is slowly going extinct as the majority of voters are understanding the problem.

Read the full story...



 

ZNET:   TOP LEVEL CLIMATE CHANGE SKEPTIC—WILLIE SOON-- IN THE PAY OF ENERGY COMPANIES.  Moyers & Co., Morning Reads.  2-14-15

We’ve finally found a corrupt climatologist –> Greenpeace obtained documents showing that over the past 14 years, Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who insists that changes in solar activity are responsible for global warming, received over $1 million from “Exxon Mobil, Southern Company, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and a foundation run by the ultra-conservative Koch brothers,” according to The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg. AND: Justin Gillis and John Schwartz report for the NYT that “Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as ‘deliverables’ that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress.”

MORE ON SOON
Willie Soon is a major global warming skeptic, one of the most “prestigious” of the lot.  Senator James Inhoff, for example, quotes him all the time.  Now a funding scandal is erupting around him and his position as a Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics researcher.  He has received major funding from ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute, and the Koch Brothers, and his testimony to Congress and published papers seem to have been done in return for this support.  He thinks the sun is responsible for global warming effects, and that the Arctic is not warming.  Here is one report about the controversy:  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/21/climate-change-denier-willie-soon-funded-energy-industry.  
Peace – Art  3-6-15


Charles Pierce, The Drought - A Slow-Motion Meteorological Catastrophe
Charles Pierce, Esquire, July 26, 2012, RSN
Excerpt: "Am I just a slow person, or doesn't knowing what causes something actually help you prevent that thing's happening again, or at least, doesn't it help you prepare yourself better for when it does? I begin to wonder if climate change is going to be one of those issues like gun-control [D: and WARS] where well-financed paranoia and heavily subsidized ignorance wear the political process down to the point at which people simply give up trying to fight them."

 

DENIAL BECOMES HATRED BECOMES DEATH THREATS:   CO-AUTHOR OF A CLIMATE FOR CHANGE, KATHARINE HAYHOE, THREATENED.

Hate mail threatened HAYHOE with public execution after Rush Limbaugh targeted her and published her email address.

Steve Valk Headshot
Communications Director and Regional Manager, Citizens Climate Lobby
·         Email
·          
·          
Climate Deniers Hit New Low With Vicious Attacks on Scientists http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-valk/katharine-hayhoe-gingrich_b_1202490.html
Posted: 01/15/2012 3:47 pm EST Updated: 03/16/2012 5:12 am EDTAP
The climate deniers are kicking puppies now.
That was my reaction when I heard thatKatharine Hayhoe was being deluged with hate mail after stories surfaced that she had written a chapter on climate change for Newt Gingrich's upcoming book, a chapter quickly dropped when conservative commentators began making a big fuss about it. Similar attacks have been leveled against MIT scientist Kerry Emanuel following his speech at a forum for Republicans concerned about climate change. The "frenzy of hate" he's received include threats to his wife.
Anyone who has ever listened to Hayhoe would be as sickened as I was over the vitriolic attacks she has endured in the past week. Being both a climate scientist and an evangelical Christian, Hayhoe speaks to faith communities, explaining the science of climate change in easy-to-understand language and also offering the spiritual perspective on global warming: What would Jesus do about climate change?
2012-01-12-HayhoewithBaby.jpg"My own faith is the Christian faith and in the Christian faith we are told to love our neighbors as much as ourselves," Hayhoe recently told theToronto Globe and Mail. "And our neighbors, especially the poorer ones, are already harmed by climate change."
She's co-authored a book with her minister husband, Andrew Farley, titled A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions.
On our conference call with Citizens Climate Lobby volunteers last November, she came across as one of the sweetest and likable persons you'd ever hope to meet (You can listen to that call here). The mother of a two-year-old who's married to a minister and works on climate science at Texas Tech University, Hayhoe never has a harsh word to say about anyone, especially those who disagree with her on the science of climate change.
Like a true Christian, she's done an inordinate amount of cheek-turning lately. News that her chapter was being dropped from Gingrich's book came not from the candidate or his staff, but from the media seeking her reaction. She, however, has been more than gracious. I immediately thought to approach her about posting the "missing chapter" on our Website, but she declined our offer, saying she did not want to demonize Newt or be mean-spirited.
Did I mention that Hayhoe put in 100 unpaid hours on that chapter?
I'm sure Gingrich wasn't aware of it. Not that it would matter. The former House Speaker has been too busy backpedaling on the climate issue in order to appease the anti-science wing of the GOP that currently calls the tune. When his presidential campaign started picking up steam in December, Mitt Romney went on the attack over Gingrich's ad with Nancy Pelosi on climate change. Before the cock had crowed three times, Gingrich vehemently disavowed the commercial ("I tell you, I don't know the woman!").
The trouble with flip-flopping on an issue, though, is that it's hard to cover all your tracks. Four years ago, Terry Maple, who co-authored A Contract With the Earth with Gingrich in 2007, approached Hayhoe to write the opening chapter of their next book. Word got out about the collaboration in December, and before you could say "Ditto," Rush Limbaugh was blasting Gingrich for working with a non-denying climate scientist, even if she was a Christian.
The disappointment of being dropped from Gingrich's book, though, is nothing compared to the onslaught of hate mail that Hayhoe has endured. Though she's too polite to repeat the words used in those messages, one gets a sense of it from this quote in the Globe and Mail:
"The attacks' virulence, the hatred and the nastiness of the text have escalated exponentially. I've gotten so many hate mails in the last few weeks I can't even count them."
It's been the same for MIT's Emanuel since a video -- "New Hampshire's GOP Climate Hawks" -- featuring him was posted on Mother Jones' Climate Desk. His remarks were subsequently distorted by right-wing bloggers, some of whom published his email address. He described the emails in a Mother Jones interview:
"What was a little bit new about it was dragging family members into it and feeling that my family might be under threat... I think most of my colleagues and I have received a fair bit of email here and there that you might classify as hate mail, but nothing like what I've got in the last few days."
Are there new depths to plumb in this "debate"? Physical violence?
I certainly hope not. I'm sure that the Republican candidates for president, even the ones who vociferously deny the existence of climate change, are appalled at the turn the discourse has taken. They should be speaking up and calling for a halt to the hate mail, to keep the conversation civil.
It could start with Gingrich stepping up to condemn the attacks on Hayhoe. As his prospects for the Republican nomination rapidly wane, I hope he'll feel less compelled to appease the vocal and volatile climate deniers. I hope he'll reinstate Hayhoe's chapter in his book with a heartfelt, "My apologies. You shouldn't have been treated this way."
If there's anything positive to come from the attacks on Hayhoe and Emanuel, it's the realization, hopefully, that the deniers have bottomed out. As anyone in a 12-step program can tell you, there's nowhere to go from here than up.
Follow Steve Valk on Twitter: www.twitter.com/citizensclimate
MORE:

Global Warming Deniers Desperate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global Warming Deniers Become More Desperate By the...

The Heartland Institute's recent conference in Las Vegas illustrates climate change deniers' desperate

View on ecowatch.com

David Suzuki, Global Warming Deniers Become More Desperate by the Day.  EcoWatch, Reader Supported News, August 6, 2014.
Suzuki writes: "A who's who of fossil fuel industry supporters and anti-science shills variously argued that global warming is a myth; that it's happening but natural-a result of the sun or 'Pacific Decadal Oscillation;' that it's happening but we shouldn't worry about it; or that global cooling is the real problem."
READ MORE

 


MORE BOOKS ON CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL

Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything, 2014
Chap. 1, “The Right Is Right,” which discusses barriers to life-saving climate truth and action, including deniers and their organizations; and other chapters. 

Doubt is Their Product:   How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health by David Michaels
Oxford UP(OUP). 23 April 2008. 384 Pages.
Overview
Description
Table of Contents
Author Information
Reviews and Awards
Cover for
Doubt is Their Product

In this eye-opening expose, David Michaels reveals how unscrupulous product-defense consultants have increasingly shaped and skewed the scientific literature, manufactured and magnified scientific uncertainty, and influenced policy decisions to the advantage of polluters and the manufacturers of dangerous products. He proves, beyond a doubt, that our regulatory system is broken and offers concrete, workable suggestions for how it can be restored by taking the politics out of science and ensuring that concern for public safety, rather than private profits, guides our regulatory policy.


WHERE DO THESE GREEDY MISOLOGISTS GET THEIR MONEY?
DONORS TRUST
Going through old papers, I found a Free Weekly article that claimed the Donors Trust was the main source of funds for climate denial groups--donating far more than the Koch Foundations or Exxon Mobil put together. (Source: Greenpeace)
 DT although a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization gives a lot of $ to political advocacy groups.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DonorsTrust 
 So it seems the laws supposedly preventing tax-free organizations from political advocacy are toothless. As long as you have the umbrella organization, you can do anything you want except to directly campaign for a candidate.
This should be cried out in letters to newspapers and guest columns. Relates to the IRS "scandal" of last year.
ACTION: FORM A GROUP TO EXPOSE ALL FUNDERS of LIARS.  An investigative book—series of books!—is needed to expose this corruption.
  Dick



DEFENDERS OF REASON AND SCIENCE vs. UNREGULATED GREED, MISOLOGY, MISONEISM, PERVERSITY, AND STUPIDITY


BARACK OBAMA:  Stand up for science
Art Hobson  3-6-15
11:33 AM (9 hours ago)
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

A nice message from President Obama.  Go to the suggested web site and type in “Arkansas” for info on  two politicians from our state.  - Art


Friend --

When it comes to fighting climate change, the single biggest obstacle we face isn't scientific or economic. It's political.

Right now, in Congress and across the country, too many of our elected officials still publicly deny the science of climate change.

That needs to change.

You're part of an important team with OFA, with a mission of holding climate change deniers' feet to the fire. OFA put together a site highlighting deniers across the country, and the impact of climate change on your state.

Every year, the effects of climate change are felt in more of our communities -- consider the consequences of extreme weather like historic droughts and record-breaking storms. It jeopardizes the future we'll leave for our children.

This shouldn't be a controversial opinion.

We need to listen to our friends at NASA and the 97 percent of climate scientists who agree that climate change is real, man-made, and happening right now. Now is the time for serious action, not excuses or outright denial.

But that requires lawmakers all across the country to face the facts and work together to find smart, science-based solutions.

You can help us get a little closer to that goal today:

http://my.barackobama.com/Learn-About-Climate-Change-Deniers

Thank you for doing your part to make progress possible -- I couldn't do any of it without you.

Barack Obama 
PAID FOR BY ORGANIZING FOR ACTION.

 


A SURVEY OF THE MANY KINDS OF DENIAL
Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives.    October 29, 2009 by Michael Specter .
In this provocative and headline-making book, Michael Specter confronts the widespread fear of science and its terrible toll on individuals and the planet.

In Denialism, New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter reveals that Americans have come to mistrust institutions and especially the institution of science more today than ever before. For centuries, the general view had been that science is neither good nor bad—that it merely supplies information and that new information is always beneficial. Now, science is viewed as a political constituency that isn’t always in our best interest. We live in a world where the leaders of African nations prefer to let their citizens starve to death rather than import genetically modified grains. Childhood vaccines have proven to be the most effective public health measure in history, yet people march on Washington to protest their use. In the United States a growing series of studies show that dietary supplements and “natural” cures have almost no value, and often cause harm. We still spend billions of dollars on them. In hundreds of the best universities in the world, laboratories are anonymous, unmarked, and surrounded by platoons of security guards—such is the opposition to any research that includes experiments with animals. And pharmaceutical companies that just forty years ago were perhaps the most visible symbol of our remarkable advance against disease have increasingly been seen as callous corporations propelled solely by avarice and greed.

As Michael Specter sees it, this amounts to a war against progress. The issues may be complex but the choices are not: Are we going to continue to embrace new technologies, along with acknowledging their limitations and threats, or are we ready to slink back into an era of magical thinking?  In Denialism, Specter makes an argument for a new Enlightenment, the revival of an approach to the physical world that was stunningly effective for hundreds of years: What can be understood and reliably repeated by experiment is what nature regarded as true. Now, at the time of mankind’s greatest scientific advances—and our greatest need for them—that deal must be renewed.


EXPOSES THE ESCAPISM ENCOURAGED BY THE SYSTEM
http://greedylyingbastards.com/
In the Land of Never Was: The Last, Desperate Hours of Climate Chaos Deniers‪ and Capitalist Rah-Rahs
Phil Rockstroh, Op-Ed, NationofChange, July 27, 2012: “The winners/losers mythos of capitalism renders people sick with shame while its tendency towards class stratification promotes feelings of powerlessness and unfocussed rage; hence, many develop a compulsion to displace their frustrations. Withal, they evince the mindset of embittered slaves who have been told, and worse insist, that the corporatist/militarist boot on their necks is better termed a Liberty Massage.” READ  |  DISCUSS  |  SHARE   http://www.nationofchange.org/land-never-was-last-desperate-hours-climate-chaos-deniers-and-capitalist-rah-rahs-1343394544  



THE NATION, Earth Day and May 12, 2014.

The Nation celebrated Earth Day 2014 with “wall-to-wall coverage of the climate challenge.”  And its May 12 number contains 4 essays on climate change.  The following Introduction by Mark Hertsgaard to the May 12 essays presents a quIck history of the climate movement, with good and bad news.   The essay by Christopher Hayes, “The New Abolitionism,” explains the magnitude of the conflict: the fossil fuel companies must part with a t least $10 trillion, the estimated value of slaves at the commencement of the Civil War.  In “The Change Within,” Naomi Klein confronts the new way of thinking required by climate change: totally restructuring the global energy economy quickly.  And Dan Zegart in “Paying the Price” asks whether the law can hold the “carbon majors” accountable.” 



JCE Chemical Education Xchange
Hassell, et al.  Climate Change Denial in the Classroom
 SAT, 05/04/2013.  "Climate Change Denial in the Classroom" by Christopher Hassall, Chris A. Hebbern, and Carley J. Centen, Skeptical Inquirer May/June 2013, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Saturday, May 4, 2013.  
 Universities should be and are expected to be sources of truthful and unbiased information about controversial subjects, especially in the sciences.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.  Instructors at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada used "academic freedom" to present an egregiously biased and unscientific course that misrepresented the facts of climate change.  This was not a case of missing a few fine points - the authors claim to have recorded 142 instances of equivocal or incorrect scientific claims, from the video of twenty seven hours of the course.  Unfortunately, I am sure that this documented instance of professors teaching climate change pseudoscience is not the only such course or university where it has and does occur. it is not easy to find remedies for instances such as this, where a tenured professor abuses the trust implicit in the conferral of academic freedom.
Classroom chemistry teachers are sometimes challenged by students to defend against arguments by climate change "denialists", who claim either that the earth's atmosphere is not changing, that it is changing is but the changes are not due to human activity, or even that the changes are beneficial.  Since most chemistry teachers are not experts on climate change, they usually do not have convincing, understandable, and science-based responses.  I would recommend first that professors and teachers take advantage of the excellent ACS resource, The Climate Science Toolkit, portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_MULTICOLUMN_T2_50&node_id=819&use_sec=false&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=8551c3ab-78c8-4909-93dd-8fcc8af2943c, which is clearly-written, comprehensive, and referenced. However, many will also find this May/June issue of Skeptical Inquirer useful, because it includes a short article on pages 5-6, "Battle of the Op-Eds: Scientists Defend Reality of Climate Change" written by Dave Thomas, President of New Mexicans for Science and Reason on behalf of seventeen members of NMSR, and by Kendrick Frazier, a science writer and editor of the Skeptical Inquirer.  They reply to some of the most common denialist arguments, which had been published in an op-ed column of the Albuquerque Journal.
Skeptical Inquirer, Pick Attribution:
"Climate Change Denial in the Classroom" by Christopher Hassall, Chris A. Hebbern, and Carley J. Centen, Skeptical Inquirer May/June 2013 37 40
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Saturday, May 4, 2013
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Comments.   Related review.
Submitted by Hal Harris on Mon, 05/06/2013 - 11:46
My review of Michael Specter's book, "The Denialists" was published as a Pick in November, 2009.
[IN THE SAME MAY/JUNE ISSUE OF SI, see pp. 5-6, “Battle of the Op-Eds: Scientists Defend Reality of Climate Change.”  --Dick]




TAKE THE LIARS TO COURT
From HuffPost’s The Blog, May 2, 2014
Want To Stop Climate Change? Take The Fossil Fuel Industry To Court writes Dan Zegart at The Nation.  [“Paying the Price,” May 12, 2014.  I could not find this online  soon after publication. -- Dick]   But I did find it via the Huffington Post.  “A recent study concluded that 990 companies [a typo; the article gives 90] are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the world's CO2 and methane emissions.  Just like big tobacco, these companies can be brought to court to be held accountable. Major green legal firms are taking notice.  "You really need the science to do anything legally," says Sharon Eubanks, the former head of the Justice Department's "tobacco team," ... [but] "You need a legal theory that fits the facts and can survive attack in a real courtroom." 
2014-05-02-unbalancedscalesgr400wikipedia.png
Big Carbon is thought to be taking this very seriously, too: a federal appeals court found in 2005 that US cities and even individuals suffering damages from climate change had standing to sue under the National Environmental Policy Act. Time to balance those scales of justice!   [See Zegart’s book on the legal defeat of the tobacco industry:  Civil Warriors: The Legal Siege on the Tobacco Industry.  The tobacco companies had science against them and were found guilty of bad faith; the same finding may apply to the fossil fuel companies. ]

IT’S NOT FREE SPEECH FOR AN ELECTED OR APPOINTED GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL TO SPEAK FALSELY ABOUT WARMING.   AT THE VERY LEAST, LET’S EXPOSE THEM.

SHERMAN FREDERICK.  “GLOBAL WARMING; HEY, WHAT’S THIS ICE DOING HERE?”  Northwest Arkansas Times, Jan. 12, 2014.   By Dick Bennett
     Apparently some people, when they rise to a position of influence, can be mistaken with impunity.  Take columnist Sherman Frederick, formerly publisher of the Las Vegas Review Journal, owned by Stephens Media, which is part-owner of the Northwest Arkansas Times.   In the opening paragraphs of a column on global warming (published in the LRRJ and the NWADG) he declares:   “I am not a scientist.  I admit that without regret.”  Oh oh, I suspect there’s a “but” following, that he will express opinions about scientific issues.   “I also don’t know Jack about the science of climate change.”   Did I read the title correctly?  He knows nothing about climate change but he will discuss it?  He has been too lazy or too arrogant, or both, to read even one of the numerous authoritative books, or even one of the articles, on the consequences of anthropogenic atmospheric warming?  How can a professional newspaperman declare before all the world and his colleagues that he plans to discuss something about which he is utterly ignorant?  Lazy, arrogant, and reckless?    So let’s ask the newspaper editor, where were you or at least your fact-checker, who might have saved Mr. Frederick from himself ? 
     “But because I’m a fully functioning human being with opposable thumbs and some cognitive reasoning skills, I’m skeptical of those selling the idea of man-caused global warming, especially those who stand to gain from the fix.”  I thought his second sentence was as bad as it could get, but this third sentence reveals a whole new panoply of confusion.   Why does he think that a person as ignorant as he loudly proclaims himself to be is “a fully functioning human being,” particularly when the subject is the most urgent issue confronting human beings today?    Does he think he is being witty by again exposing himself to ridicule, this time, let’s grant him this, as a fully functioning primate?  And how can he think that the scientists are selling anything, or standing to gain from sharing their research with their colleagues and the public?  In fact, the scientists, thousands of them in books and peer-reviewed journals, have been telling us for over two decades against well-funded denial that the increasing C02 in the atmosphere was a desperate danger to all species on the planet Earth, if it were not stopped.  But this service to human beings and to all species Frederick denigrates as profit-seeking, as though they were executives of the corporations that have created so much of the C02 and warming, and he mocks as though the scientists were no different than business hucksters who are making money and in the fossil fuel industry truck-loads of it.    
     “But like I say, I’m not a scientist.  Take it for what it is worth.”   
     Frederick continues by making fun of the “warmists” as he calls the climate scientists.   But I am not tempted to rewrite my response in similar jocularity, because I know his “Come on, folks.  That’s funny,” is the response of someone who doesn’t know what global warming means or the difference between climate and weather, and that ignorance, or call it denial, is not a laughing matter with seas rising and forests burning. 

LOCAL OFFICIALS AMONG DENIERS
Hello Amy,
I was glad to read in NAT (“Study Looks at Beaver Lake” by Scarlet Sims, Oct. 27, 2013) about the Beaver Lake climate change impact study, for several reasons, including the revelation that you and other BL officials are informed about CC.  The City’s Emergency Management officials don’t believe it, or its human causation, nor do several County QC members.   Good for you for knowing the science of CO2 and warming.  And it is reassuring, though not surprising, to see UAF scientists applying the facts of warming to study Beaver Lake (Agri. Asst. Prof. Thad Scott and Geosciences Instructor Byron Winston).  All of our city, county, and state officials should know the science in order to plan responsibly.  Your study will help educate the deniers still on the payroll.
Dick

LETTER TO OMNI’S BOOK FORUM: LET’S STOP TALKING TO OURSELVWES AND BE SERIOUS ABOUT CHANGING THE SYSTEM, 2013
We should continue to try to enlarge our audience. We should publicize each book more, for those who cannot attend, or even for those who don't read books.
OMNI began the Ecology Book Forum 7 years ago, yet officials in responsible positions in the Quorum Court and Emergency Management, and I suspect in other boards and agencies, continue to deny anthropogenic CO2/warming/climate change.  Ignorant of the science, they cannot carry out their duty to plan for our future.  Let’s try harder to bring them up to speed (that climate change is already a global fact and increasing rapidly).    Let's advertise in every way within our power including spending money for ads, AND send materials and invitations to the members of our governing boards and agencies.
Thanks, Dick


Global warming skeptic's article in NWA Times
Art Hobson  1-16-14
 omni cctf ‎[omni-cctf@googlegroups.com]‎ riday, January 10, 2014 11:07 AM
Hi friends - Today, the NWA Times published an opinion-page article titled "Climate change skepticism healthy."   It opposes the scientific consensus that global warming is real, caused by humans, and could be a disaster.  It was originally published in The Daily Oklahoman, which is published in Oklahoma City and calls itself Oklahoma's biggest newspaper.  The article quotes only two sources, John R. Christy and Roger Pielke Jr.  Christy is a well known climate skeptic, with a substantial background in climate science.  He's on the faculty of the University of Alabama.  Pielke is an environmental scientist, and a climate skeptic; he's written a book called "The Climate Fix."  Both are of course in the minority of scientific opinion about global warming.  I hope the article will receive some comments from readers.  Cheers - Art
Art Hobson, Emeritus Professor of Physics, U Arkansas, Fayetteville.  
See my liberal-arts physics textbook.

WHY DOES KRAUTHAMMER ENJOY ACCESS TO OUR STATE NEWSPAPER TO WRITE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE?

Climate Change Criticism Falls Flat

KRAUTHAMMER CHERRY-PICKS DATA IN OPINION PIECE

(Washington Post 7-4-2013, reprinted in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 7-8)

ART HOBSON
ahobson@uark.edu 


    
Award-winning conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer writes a weekly Washington Post column that also appears in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Because I enjoy reading intelligent material with which I disagree, I usually read his articles. He’s interestingly unpredictable and often embraces good science. For example, he dismisses creationism as pseudoscience, opposes the death penalty, supports legalized abortion, and advocates radically higher energy taxes to induce conservation.
    I was surprised, then, by his July 8 antiscientific blast titled “Global warming folly.” Offering absolutely no evidence, it castigates climatology as “naive” and “faith, not science.”
    The article begins by dismissing global warming as unimportant. Scientists almost uniformly disagree with this. For one recent example, an article in the June 21 issue of Science presents detailed evidence that, during the Pliocene era 3.5 million years ago when there were about 400 carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules in the atmosphere for every million air molecules (400 parts per million, or 400 ppm), summer temperatures were about 15 Fahrenheit degrees warmer than today. Although CO2 levels have stayed below 300 ppm throughout the ice ages (the past 2.4 million years), industrial emissions and forest clearing have now raised that level to 400 ppm. High CO2 levels have generally coincided with high temperatures throughout Earth’s history. So current levels could put us back into Pliocene-like conditions, when temperatures were too high to support large polar ice sheets. If Greenland and West Antarctica melt, sea levels will rise by 50 feet. If the giant East Antarctic ice sheet also melts, sea levels will rise by an additional 213 feet. So global warming will probably bring an entirely different geological era. Unimportant?
    Krauthammer’s most egregious, indeed dishonest, mistake is his misleading use of data. He states “global temperatures have been flat for 16 years.” If you consult the graph my editors kindly provided, you’ll note 1998 — 15 years ago — was at that time by far the warmest year since global temperatures were first recorded in 1880. Furthermore, 1997 — 16 years ago — was also a warmest year. Thus, if you look at only the past 16 years, you might convince yourself “temperatures have been flat.” Choosing one’s “starting point” (1997) in this manner is a classic misuse of data. It’s really ironic Krauthammer derives his “fl at temperature” conclusion from this misuse of an enormously warm year, 1998. As you can see from the graph, 1998 is still one of the hottest years.
    He’s cherry-picking the data in order to “prove” a preconceived opinion. He’s not seeking the truth. Such cherry-picking is characteristic of all pseudoscience.
    For an unbiased view, the 10 hottest years on record, listed from hottest to coolest, are: 2010, 2005, 2009, 1998, 2007, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2011. Note that only one of these, 1998, occurs before 2000. Flat temperatures? Hardly.
    Here are a few other unbiased statistics: 2001-2010 was the hottest decade on record, and 1.6 degrees warmer than the 1961-1990 average. In fact, each of the four preceding decades was the hottest decade on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tracks daily high and low temperatures at about 5,500 sites. They report the ratio of daily record highs to daily record lows was about 5 to 1 during 2012. If temperatures were “flat,” as Krauthammer claims, this ratio would be about 1 to 1.
    Krauthammer slams climate science as unable to explain his fictional “flat temperatures” and as “unsettled.” He slams President Barack Obama, who accepts climate science, as “naive” and a “flat-earther.” Such statements reveal the author as an anti-science extremist, akin to the creationists he has so wisely decried in previous columns. I’ve studied science for more decades than I care to count, and I’ve widely read climate science literature for the past 20 years. An enormous and increasing amount of effort is going into the study of climate change today, and its quality is as high as any science I’ve ever seen. The four previous reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are among the most impressive scientific documents I’ve ever seen.
    It seems to me it is the essence of morality to seek the objective truth, draw rational conclusions from it and act on those conclusions. In other words, trust the universe. By trusting his conservative ideology rather than his brains and his senses, Krauthammer, along with many others who try to mislead us about climate science, are doing us and our descendants a great and immoral disservice.
ART HOBSON IS A PROFESSOR
EMERITUS OF PHYSICS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS.




News Flash: Major newspaper won't publish climate lies
Michael Grenetz, 2013   SierraRise SierraRise.Members@sierraclub.org via uark.edu 
2:27 PM (18 hours ago)


Take Action!
Take action!
Dear J,

There's been a lot of gloom and doom on the horizon lately, but there's good news, too! The L.A. Times has openly acknowledged that climate deniers are flat out wrong. Just last week, they became the country's first major newspaper to ban climate-denial letters to the editor! 
[1]

This could be a major tipping point for how the media covers climate change -- a chance to get them to stop spreading Big Coal-talking points and start using the facts. That's why the SierraRise community is joining with our friends at Forecast the Facts to pressure other major newspapers -- The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal -- into joining the L.A. Times.

With 30,000 signatures by Friday, we can turn the tide towards climate action!

Let's turn up the heat -- will you sign the petition calling on the country's leading newspapers to refuse any letters that deny climate change?


The dangers of smoking are scientific fact, not a matter of opinion. The same is true for the reality and dangers of climate change. Monster hurricanes on the coasts. Terrible fires and drought on the plains. Melting icecaps and sinking islands -- climate change is happening.

It's about time our papers started to report the truth and leave out the crazy. The L.A. Times wrote, "Saying 'there's no sign humans have caused climate change' is not stating an opinion, it's asserting a factual inaccuracy." Darn straight.

The Times has been getting a lot of attention for the policy -- especially from climate denial activists who have called this new policy 'arrogant,' 'patronizing,' and an attack on freedom.[
2] But we can be louder: Let's turn the L.A. Times' new policy into a national trend for climate sanity. 

With your support, we'll share the petition with The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal and talk directly to their editors. The L.A. Times has stood up for the climate science -- now it's our turn!

Take a minute to sign the petition telling our major newspapers that climate deniers are old news.

In it together,
Michael Grenetz
SierraRise Director

P.S. To keep up with the latest about climate change and other campaigns from SierraRise, like us on Facebookand follow @SierraRise on Twitter!Share this page with other services

References:
1. Thornton, Paul (8 October 2013). "On letters from climate change deniers.The Los Angeles Times.
2. Irvine, Don (10 October 2013). "L.A. Times To Stop Publishing Letters from Climate-Change Deniers.” Accuracy in Media. 

 


SEN WHITEHOUSE  

Print all
SEN. WHITEHOUSE CHALLENGES GOP ON WARMING
Here's an excerpt from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse given on the U.S. Senate floor. The entire speech and video is on the link below: 6-5-13

Madam President, an iron curtain of denial has fallen around the Republican Party. So let me respectfully ask my Republican colleagues: what are you thinking? How do you imagine this ends?
More than 95 percent of climate scientists are convinced that human carbon pollution is causing massive and unprecedented changes to our atmosphere and oceans. You want to go with the five percent, and you think that’s gonna be a winning strategy?
Moreover, it turns out a lot of those five-percenters are on the payroll of the polluters. You know that. It’s public knowledge. Some of those payroll scientists are the same people who denied acid rain, who denied the dangers of tobacco.
You still like those odds? Those are the folks to whom you really want to hitch your Republican wagons? You’ve got to know that they aren’t telling the truth. So where does this go? What’s the end game?
Our planet has had a run of at least 800,000 years with levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere between 170 and 300 ppm. That’s measurement; not theory. Eight hundred thousand years. Homo sapiens have only been around for about 200,000 years, so that 800,000 years—8,000 centuries—it takes you back a ways. Eight hundred thousand years between 170 and 300 ppm, and in just the last 50 years we’ve blown out of that range, and have now hit 400 ppm and climbing.
And you want to be on the side of “nothing’s going on”? Really?

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