Monday, August 1, 2022




BBC.  E. Bruce Harrison and Power of Corporations to Control Information.
George Monbiot.  Days of Rage. “  The Guardian (July 19, 2022).
   Necessity of system change.


$The Power of Corporate Public Relations$ to Control Information: An Important Example from TNR’s “Apocalypse Soon” Weekly Climate Newsletter (7-27-22) (from BBC): The Scoundrel E. Bruce Harrison.


The Audacious PR Plot That Seeded Doubt About Climate Change


The BBC has a piece on E. Bruce Harrison, the man who might be credited with killing climate policy in the 1990s. Harrison ran a messaging campaign for the Global Climate Coalition, or GCC—a lobbying group of fossil fuel companies and other businesses that opposed any policies to reduce emissions. The campaign involved amplifying the voices of climate skeptics in the media and writing briefing sheets for reporters that claimed there was no evidence that human activity caused climate change.


In a document dating from around 1995, shared with the BBC by Melissa Aronczyk, Harrison wrote that the “GCC has successfully turned the tide on press coverage of global climate change science, effectively countering the eco-catastrophe message and asserting the lack of scientific consensus on global warming.”


The groundwork had been laid for the industry’s biggest campaign to date—opposing international efforts to negotiate emissions reductions at Kyoto, in Japan, in December 1997. By then, a consensus had emerged among scientists that human-caused warming was now detectable. But the US public was still showing signs of doubt. As many as 44% of respondents to a Gallup poll believed scientists were divided. Public antipathy made it harder for politicians to fight for action, and America never implemented the agreement reached in Kyoto. It was a major victory for the industry coalition.


“I think E Bruce Harrison was proud of the work he did. He knew how central he had been to moving the needle on how companies intervened in the conversation about global warming,” says Aronczyk.


BBC| Jane McMullen


George Monbiot.  Days of Rage. “  The Guardian (July 19, 2022).
[Thesis] System change is – and has always been – our only realistic means of defending the living planet.

 [Conclusion of essay]  But while [environmentalists]  have been playing patience, power has been playing poker. The radical right insurgency has swept all before it, crushing the administrative state, destroying public protectionscapturing the courts, the electoral system and the infrastructure of government, shutting down the right to protest and the right to live. While we persuaded ourselves that there is no time for system change, they proved us wrong by changing everything.

The problem was never that system change is too big an ask or takes too long. The problem is that incrementalism is too small an ask. Not just too small to drive transformation; not just too small to stop the tidal wave of revolutionary change rolling in from the opposite direction; but also too small to break the conspiracy of silence. Only a demand for system change, directly confronting the power driving us to planetary destruction, has the potential to match the scale of the problem and to inspire and mobilise the millions of people required to generate effective action.

All this time, environmentalists have been telling people we face an unprecedented, existential crisis, while simultaneously asking them to recycle their bottle tops and change their drinking straws. Green groups have treated their members like idiots and, I suspect, somewhere deep down, the members know it. Their timidity, their reluctance to say what they really want, their mistaken belief that people aren’t ready to hear anything more challenging than this micro-consumerist bollocks carries a significant share of the blame for global failure.

There was never time for incrementalism. Far from being a shortcut to the change we want to see, it is a morass in which ambition sinks. System change, as the right has proved, is, and has always been, the only fast and effective means of transformation.

Some of us know what we want: private sufficiency, public luxurydoughnut economicsparticipatory democracy and an ecological civilisation. None of these are bigger asks than those the billionaire press has made and largely achieved: the neoliberal revolution that has swept away effective governance, effective taxation of the rich, effective restraints on the power of business and oligarchs and, increasingly, effective democracy.

So let’s break our own silence. Let’s stop lying to ourselves and others by pretending that small measures deliver major change. Let’s abandon the timidity and tokenism. Let’s stop bringing buckets of water when only fire engines will do. Let’s build our campaign for systemic change towards the critical 25% threshold of public acceptance, beyond which, a range of scientific studies suggests, social tipping happens.”   [See Chris Hedges, “The Dawn of the Apocalypse.”  The Chris Hedges Report, July 24, 2022.  “The global ruling class has forfeited its legitimacy and credibility. It must be replaced. This will require sustained mass civil disobedience….”]

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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)