Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Climate Change Deniers Exposed

The picture shows a Hollywood image of what might happen should sea levels rise as exponentially as some climate scientists predict. A truly terrifying prospect but what worries me just as much is the persistence of the 'deniers' who insist gloabl warming is all some kind of con. The article(based on a new book) by George Monbiot, in today's Guardian supplement sheds some light on the life support systems of this determined and malign band of people.

I suppose one should not be so surprised at the success of the lobbyists who have endeavoured to spike the guns of those urging action. After all, the latter are seeking to wean the world off things to which they have become addicted: cheap comfortable car and air travel and a general uncaring prodigality about consumption. All the former have to do is to sow the seed of doubt in the minds of a jury which is very keen to stay out. They hope they can acquit themselves of complicity in the destruction of the world in which their children and children's children must try to make lives for themselves. It's rather like saying to a hopless alcoholic that they are not addicted and do not need treatment: they yearn desperately to believe such sophistries. I was astonished recently to hear Nigel Lawson, Mrs T's former 'brilliant' Chancellor, express the whole climate change denier thesis with apparent total conviction [which he has, incidentally expressed elsewhere in Prospect magazine.]

Monbiot explains how ExxonMobil, the world's most prfitable corporation, funds a number of agencies avidly seeding and reinforcing the doubt we are so keen to be justified in feeling. He also reveals that the PR firm-ACPO- hired to fight global warming scientists was the same one used by Philip Morris to rebut US Government concerns about passive smoking. ACPO set up a fake 'grass-roots' body The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) which has extended its remit to include global warming. Monbiot shows how the tactics used to deny the harmful effects of passive smoking were applied identically to the denial of global warming; how anything which supported the thesis of harm was labelled 'junk science'(with an influential website in support) and anything which rebutted it declared 'sound science'. Environmentalists, meanwhile, are equated with 'nazis, communists and terrorists'.

The Guardian's environmentalist argues that the activities of Exxon funded bodies 'have dominated the debate during seven or eight critical years in which urgent international talks should have been taking place' The lobbyists-working for oilmen's short-term selfish advantage- have succeeded in splintering the potential genuine grassroots coalition of concerned nations and citizens who wish to bequeath to our children a planet which is in reasonably good order and likely to remain so. Worried? We should be.

I hope all oil company execs have beachfront homes....
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