tagged w/ Climate Denial
“The government can’t change the weather. I said that in the speech. We can pass a bunch of laws that will destroy our economy, but it isn’t going to change the weather.”
By Adam Peck on Feb 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) made an appearance on Fox and Friends Wednesday morning less than 12 hours after delivering the GOP rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address. The Republican Party’s newest champion took the time to shoot down the realities of climate change and the kinds of regulations that he himself once supported as the speaker of the house in Florida.
During his speech on Tuesday, President Obama called for a market-based approach towards solving the climate crisis, stressing the economic as well as environmental benefits that derive from investments in clean energy. In response, Rubio attacked cap and trade legislation as an economic menace that would cripple the recovery, and he repeated the claim again this morning:
RUBIO: "The government can’t change the weather. I said that in the speech. We can pass a bunch of laws that will destroy our economy, but it isn’t going to change the weather. Because, for example, there are other countries that are polluting in the atmosphere much greater than we are at this point, China, India, all these countries that are still growing. They’re not going to stop doing what they’re doing. America is a country, it’s not a planet. So we can pass a bunch of laws or executive orders that will do nothing to change the climate or the weather but will devastate our economy."
In fact, Rubio is wrong that “there are other countries that are polluting in the atmosphere much greater than we are at this point.” There is only one — China — and it is still a long way away from reaching America’s level of cumulative carbon pollution, and it is the total pollution emitted to date that drives climate change. That’s why it is so important America lead the way on climate action.
Rubio’s anti-science rhetoric is no surprise since he has also expressed skepticism towards the nearly universal consensus among scientists that humans have played a detrimental role in climate change.
While Rubio is right that America is not a planet, he is wrong to suggest that cap and trade — which has in the past enjoyed bipartisan support — would hinder economic growth. In fact, just last week a consortium of 9 northeastern states and the privately owned energy companies that power them announced they would be expanding a regional cap and trade system that has been in place since 2008, citing the positive economic and environmental benefits reaped over the last five years.
Rubio himself sought to turn Florida into “the Silicon Valley” of the green energy industry, lauding the state’s push for a version of cap and trade legislation as a potential moneymaker for Floridian businesses during a 2008 floor speech. There is also ample evidence to suggest that investments in renewable energy would help create millions of jobs and quicken the economic recovery, not hamper it as Rubio claims.
As President Obama noted in his address, other countries — China and India included — have raced ahead of the United States in the development of clean, alternative energy. And in Europe, countries like Germany have taken far greater strides than the U.S in solar energy, producing as much as 80 times more electricity relative to energy consumption through photovoltaic panels as compared to the United States.“The government can’t change the weather. I said that in the speech. We... more
*Credit Ed Stein for this*: http://edsteinink.com/post/40179405842/the-hottest-year
The National Agency for Climate Change Denial (NACCD) issued a statement yesterday denouncing the recent report that 2012 was the hottest year on record.
“We categorically reject the assumption that the so-called “record heat” had anything to do with human activity,” the statement read. “This is yet further evidence of the massive global warming fraud being foisted on gullible Americans by evil scientists dedicated to proving their crackpot theories, even if they have to destroy our planet to do it.”
The statement was in response to the release on Tuesday by The National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., of its official tally showing that the average temperate in the United States during 2012 was 55.3 degrees, a full degree warmer than the previous high.
“This has gone beyond being a mere hoax,” a spokesman for the climate denial agency angrily charged. “We now believe that this is a full-fledged international conspiracy.”
The privately-funded agency, staffed by a broad spectrum of global warming skeptics, was established during the second Bush administration by officials alarmed by the growing belief among voters that climate change might be real and that the government might be expected to do something about it.
“Look at the evidence. Climate scientists predict that the temperature is rising, and then they come up with data showing that it’s rising. They predict melting ice caps, and the ice caps melt. They warn that we’ll get more severe storms, and we get killer tornadoes in the South and Midwest and superstorms along the coasts. They say the oceans will rise, and right on schedule, the oceans rise.
“We at the NACCD aren’t scientist—we’re religious fundamentalists, industry mouthpieces and former congressmen entirely beholden to special interests—so we don’t know how they’re doing it. All we know is, these climatologists are extremely dangerous and they must be stopped.
“They’ve already caused massive damage. Dozens dead from tornadoes. Homes and businesses leveled. New Orleans and now New York flooded. Damage in the tens of billions of dollars. Who knows where they’ll strike next in their deranged campaign to persuade people that they’re right about global warming.”
“In the coming days, the agency will issue a number of far-ranging proposals to limit any further damage climate scientists can do. I won’t get into specifics now, but some of the main suggestions will be to stop funding science education in the schools, to make it a crime to collect climate data, and—most important—to refuse to provide disaster funds for any future storm damage caused by these deranged scientists. It’s just bad public policy to continue to reward their recklessness.
“Finally, we ask these self-proclaimed climate experts one question: how stupid do you think we are, anyway? You really try to scare us into believing your scam by claiming that 55 degrees is record heat? Americans aren’t fooled so easily.”
“That’s sweater weather.”*Credit Ed Stein for this*: http://edsteinink.com/post/40179405842/the-hottest-year... more
Those familiar with the debating world recognize the “Gish Gallop” technique. Romney used this technique throughout the Republican primaries in order to dispatch his opponents.
Romney should be forced to tell the American people why he made the choice to diminish the integrity of the previous Presidential Debate with such a deceptive and misleading debate technique rather than substance. Does Mitt Romney think so little of the Office of the Presidency that he finds it necessary to resort to this dark, insidious method of debating those issues that impact our lives?
http://veracitystew.com/?p=43905Those familiar with the debating world recognize the “Gish Gallop”... more
“Truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”
Winston Churchill’s famous words were uttered during the war against the Nazis and referred to Operation Bodyguard, a deception that was intended to mislead the German high command about the date and location of the invasion of Normandy. Given the context, few would criticise Churchill’s statement.
Now imagine Bernie Madoff uttering the same words in defense of his acrobatic Ponzi schemes. Few would accept such glaring sophistry.
Where does Dr Peter Gleick’s revelation that he lied to a conservative think tank to access climate change documents fit on this spectrum?
This question gets us right to the heart of a central issue in moral cognition and philosophy: Are there immutable moral rules — such as “thou shall not lie” — or does morality legitimately involve a trade-off between competing ethical imperatives that includes consideration of the ultimate outcomes of one’s actions?
If there are immutable moral rules then there is little daylight between Churchill and the hypothetical Madoff — both violated a moral axiom by admitting the possibility that lying may be justifiable.
By contrast, if morality involves a balancing of ethical costs and benefits, then Churchill’s deception of the German high command quite plausibly was a moral act that quickened the pace of battle, thus hastening the defeat of the Nazis and the liberation of Dachau.
The Allies’ deception paled in comparison to the lives saved.
History is full of such moral balancing acts.
When Daniel Ellsberg released the classified Pentagon Papers in 1971 he undoubtedly broke the law. However, when the papers revealed that four consecutive Presidents, from Truman to Johnson, had consistently misled the American public about their actions in Vietnam, the illegality of Ellsberg’s action paled in comparison to the good that arose from informing the public of their leaders’ deceptions.
Ultimately, all charges against Ellsberg were dismissed, and the Pentagon Papers arguably helped accelerate the move towards peace in Vietnam.
What are we to make of the latest moral balancing act involving the leaked Heartland documents?
On Valentine’s Day an anonymous source emailed documents to various journalists that were leaked from the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank.
According to its 2010 Prospectus, Heartland opposes “… junk science and the use of scare tactics in the areas of environmental protection and public health”.
Opposition to “junk science”? What junk science?
According to the Heartland Institute, “junk science” is the research that has linked tobacco to lung cancer and junk food to obesity. It is also, of course, the “junk science” known as climate research.
The leaked documents put names and dollar figures to Heartland’s opposition to “junk science” and revealed that it funded climate denial in at least three countries — the US, New Zealand and Australia. Well-known so-called “sceptics” were found to have been pay-rolled by the Institute, often contrary to those individuals’ earlier denials of funding by vested interests.
George Monbiot summed up the implications of the leaked information succinctly: “This is plutocracy, pure and simple.”
Then yesterday, another revelation.
Climate scientist Dr Peter Gleick wrote on the Huffington Post that he obtained the documents from Heartland by using someone else’s name, and then passed them on to journalists, thereby triggering an avalanche of exposure of the Heartland denial machine.
Is Gleick another Churchill or Ellsberg?
Legal issues aside, how does his subterfuge compare to the potential public good that has resulted from the documents’ release?
Many philosophers who study ethics agree that it is important to consider the consequences of one’s actions in a moral dilemma to come to an acceptable judgment. Rather than relying on moral strictures, this “consequentialist” approach argues that the morality of an action is evaluated by whether it brings about the greatest total well-being.
This reasoning is mirrored in the cognitive laboratory, where people’s responses are also often informed by the consequences associated with competing paths of action (the data are quite complex but it seems safe to conclude that most people are sensitive to weighting the outcomes of competing actions rather than being exclusively entrenched in immutable moral rules).
Does this mean there is an ethical imperative to consider Gleick to be another Daniel Ellsberg?
No. But it does mean that one’s ethical concerns should consider competing actions and outcomes rather than focusing on an individual’s chosen action in isolation.
Gleick has apologised for his use of subterfuge. His actions have violated the confidentiality of a think tank but they have also given the public a glimpse into the inner workings of the climate denial machine.
Had he not done so, no one’s confidentiality would have been violated, but then the public would have been kept guessing about the internal workings of one of the world’s most notorious serial impersonators of science. The Heartland Institute takes pride in its chimerical pseudo-“scientific” conferences and it is allied with “scientific” work that denies that mercury is poisonous.
In the real world, mercury is poisonous. In the real world, the number of weather-related natural disasters has tripled in the last 30 years, and the World Health Organization estimates that 150,000 people are already dying annually from the effects of climate change. In reality, many of the IPCC’s 2007 predictions have been found to be overly conservative rather than alarmist. And the latest IPCC report has reiterated the risks we are facing in the all-too-near future if we delay action on climate change.
Revealing to the public the active, vicious, and well-funded campaign of denial that seeks to delay action against climate change likely constitutes a classic public good.
It is a matter of personal moral judgment whether that public good justifies Gleick’s sting operation to obtain those revelations.
By Stephan Lewandowsky | 22 February 2012, 12.07pm AEST“Truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”... more
These numbers come from the Heartland 2012 Budget and Fundraising Plan documents (in US dollars). Note that while some of the figures in this graphic have been confirmed, Heartland has not yet confirmed that all the numbers are correct. There is also no reason to doubt their veracity to this point. If any of the numbers are found to be in error, we will revise this graphic accordingly.
Although there are too many donations and programs to include in a single graphic, we selected some of the larger and more prominent contributors for the upper half of the graphic. Most of the programs and individuals in the lower half are potentially climate-related, with the exception of Operation Angry Badger, which we included because it potentially vlolates Heartland's tax-exempt chartiable organizational status, and James Taylor, because he frequently writes climate "skeptic" blog posts for Forbes.
More at the linkThese numbers come from the Heartland 2012 Budget and Fundraising Plan documents (in... more
The Heartland Institute has confirmed in a prepared statement that it mistakenly emailed its board materials to an anonymous third party - confirming the source of the documents released here on the DeSmogBlog yesterday.
Heartland then goes on allege that one of the documents (the Climate Strategy) is a fake.
The DeSmogBlog has reviewed that Strategy document and compared its content to other material we have in hand. It addresses five elements:
The Increased Climate Project Fundraising material is reproduced in and confirmed by Heartland's own budget.
The "Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms" is also a Heartland budget item and has been confirmed independently by the author, Dr. David Wojick.
The Funding for Parallel Organizations; Funding for Selected Individuals Outside Heartland are both reproduced and confirmed in the Heartland budget. And Anthony Watts has confirmed independently the payments in Expanded Climate Communications.
The DeSmogBlog has received no direct communications from the Heartland Institute identifying any misstatement of fact in the "Climate Strategy" document and is therefore leaving the material available to those who may judge their content and veracity based on these and other sources.
Heartland Insider Exposes Institute's Budget and Strategy
An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self "Heartland Insider" has released the Heartland Institute's budget, fundraising plan, its Climate Strategy for 2012 and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization.
It is clear from the documents that Heartland advocates against responsible climate mitigation and then uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and "other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies." Heartland particularly celebrates the funding that it receives from the fossil fuel fortune being the Charles G. Koch Foundation.
Heartland also continues to collect money from Philip Morris parent company Altria as well as from the tobacco giant Reynolds American, while maintaining ongoing advocacy against policies related to smoking and health.
Heartland's policy positions, strategies and budget distinguish it clear as a lobby firm that is misrepresenting itself as a "think tank" - it budgets $4.1 million of its $6.4 million in projected expenditures for Editorial, Government Relations, Communications, Fundraising, and Publications, and the only activity it plans that could vaguely be considered policy development is the writing of a curriculum package for use in confusing high schoolers about climate change.
There will be more comment and analysis to follow on DeSmogBlog and elsewhere, but we wanted to make this information available so that others can also scrutinize the documents and bring their expertise to the task.
(1-15-2012) 2012 Fundraising Plan.pdf 89.87 KB
(1-15-2012) 2012 Heartland Budget (2).pdf 124.62 KB
2 Agenda for January 17 Meeting.pdf 7.4 KB
2010_IRS_Form_990 (2).pdf 2.7 MB
2012 Climate Strategy (3).pdf 96.56 KB
Binder1 (2).pdf 55.36 KB
Board Directory 01-18-12.pdf 11.28 KB
Board Meeting Package January 17.pdf 6.84 KB
Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine
Internal Heartland Institute strategy and funding documents obtained by DeSmogBlog expose the heart of the climate denial machine – its current plans, many of its funders, and details that confirm what DeSmogBlog and others have reported for years. The heart of the climate denial machine relies on huge corporate and foundation funding from U.S. businesses including Microsoft, Koch Industries, Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) RJR Tobacco and more.
We are releasing the entire trove of documents now to allow crowd-sourcing of the material. Here are a few quick highlights, stay tuned for much more. -Confirmation that Charles G. Koch Foundation is again funding Heartland Institute’s global warming disinformation campaign. Greenpeace’s Koch reports show the last time Heartland received Koch funding was in 1999.
The January 2012 Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy states:
“We will also pursue additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. They returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000. We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.”
-Heartland Institute’s global warming denial machine is chiefly – and perhaps entirely – funded by one Anonymous donor:
“Our climate work is attractive to funders, especially our key Anonymous Donor (whose contribution dropped from $1,664,150 in 2010 to $979,000 in 2011 - about 20% of our total 2011 revenue). He has promised an increase in 2012…”
-Confirmation of exact amounts flowing to certain key climate contrarians.
“funding for high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist AGW message. At the moment, this funding goes primarily to Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month), and a number of other individuals, but we will consider expanding it, if funding can be found.”
-As Brad Johnson reported today at ThinkProgress, confirmation that Heartland is working with David Wojick, a U.S. Energy Department contract worker and coal industry consultant, to develop a ‘Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Schools.’
-Forbes and other business press are favored outlets for Heartland’s dissemination of climate denial messages, and the group is worried about maintaining that exclusive space. They note in particular the work of Dr. Peter Gleick:
“Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.” (emphasis added)
Note the irony here that Heartland Institute – one of the major mouthpieces behind the debunked ‘Climategate’ email theft who harped about the suppression of denier voices in peer-reviewed literature – now defending its turf in the unscientific business magazine realm.
-Interesting mentions of Andrew Revkin as a potential ally worth “cultivating,” along with Judith Curry.
“Efforts might also include cultivating more neutral voices with big audiences (such as Revkin at DotEarth/NYTimes, who has a well-known antipathy for some of the more extreme AGW communicators such as Romm, Trenberth, and Hansen) or Curry (who has become popular with our supporters).”
-Confirmation that skeptic blogger Anthony Watts is part of Heartland’s funded network of misinformation communicators.
“We have also pledged to help raise around $90,000 in 2012 for Anthony Watts to help him create a new website to track temperature station data.”
Stay tuned for more details as DeSmogBlog and others dig through this trove of Heartland Institute documents. The Heartland Institute's legacy of evasion of this level of transparency and accountability has now been shattered.
Just for informational purposes, the Heartland poster used as the picture - all bs.The Heartland Institute has confirmed in a prepared statement that it mistakenly... more