Monday, August 04, 2008

The climate change smokescreen

The title of an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald, which focuses on the on-going PR campaign to deny climate change that has, at least in part, been funded by the big oil boys.

"There are at least three other reasons the oil companies' PR campaign has had success for climate change deniers. First, the implications of the science are frightening. Shifting to renewable energy will be costly and disruptive. Second, doubt is an easy product to sell. Climate denial tells us what we all secretly want to hear. Third, science is portrayed as political orthodoxy rather than objective knowledge, a curiously postmodern argument."

Interesting to note that Exxon Mobil has announced that it will "cease funding nine groups that had fuelled a global campaign to deny climate change." This piece claims that it took a shareholder revolt to get that decision. I seem to recollect that they denied funding any such organisations a couple of years ago.

Interesting conclusion too .....

"The tide slowly turned on tobacco denial and the science finally was accepted. Some people still choose to smoke and some pay a price for it.

But climate is different. There are no 'smoke-free areas' on the planet. Climate denial may turn out to be the world's most deadly PR campaign."

(Hmmmm ... no smoke free areas? Try a British pub. Mind you, you'd better hurry, at the rate they are closing there will be very few left soon.)

I wonder if the UK press will pick up on this? It could perhaps be the signal for another extremely entrenched and divisive war of words. With the great majority stuck in the middle in no-mans land again!

Addendum: From the International Herald Tribune, a piece entitled 'Convincing the skeptics'.


Warren said...

I can assure Dave that Lavoisier has never received the amounts mischievously inferred by David McNight. Moreover, it has never received any funding from industry whatsoever. Lavoisier is desirous of industry funding and could do a lot more with it! Most large emitters are looking forward to carbon-trading (or an ETS) because they’ll make a fortune from it. Most big emitters are oligopolies and they’ll simply pass all carbon cost directly on to their customers. Just how they’ll make their real fortunes is a little more complex. You could find out by posing as a major emitter and arranging a meeting with one of the BIG-4 (or an EU carbon consultant of similar persuasion). To a lesser extent, you could get a clue by attending this industry forum (Sofitel Melbourne) 23 October next; check it out:
The headline contributor is DR. STEPHEN BYGRAVE from the AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT followed by a bunch of salivating contributors from investment banks & brokers.

Dave it is obvious that a small number of firms in Australia would be directly impacted by the ETS currently mooted by the Federal Government; however, such firms would not go near Lavoisier because it would be a PR disaster (the fundamentalist GW press would go ballistic over such a connection).

David McNight has a past worth knowing about. He was a leading member of the Australian Communist party for most of his adult life. He was editor of the Communist Party’s weekly Tribune until the Soviet Union collapsed and he lost his funding. He has no knowledge of carbon matters and is simply another salesman for the opportunistic GW gravy train.

Make no mistake, GW is a multi-billion business set to go supernova in a few short years. The rich will get richer on you; just ask my mates at Goldman Sachs (they can’t wait). An ETS in Australia is crucial to particular investment banks. Australia will provide the platform for targeting Asian economies soon to feel the heat from the IMF, OECD, WB & UN. Indonesia, China and India, for example, will never adopt carbon-trading; however, the consulting fees will be worth billions. How is that you say? Well the Asian economies will need to appear to be doing the right thing. That equals carbon consulting by the gigaton for years and years.

The fact is carbon-trading is for BANKERS. The World does have an expert on carbon economics and it is not Ross Garnaut. It is Professor Jeffrey Sachs. Read what he has to say about carbon-trading: Garnaut was selected to rubber stamp an ETS for the Government. Most insiders concede that point!

An OECD hack is currently visiting Australia to check on the progress of the multi-sponsored carbon-trading scheme they desperately want Australia to adopt. Anyone who believes this hack would do well to read the following list of who you are keeping company with:
1. The IMF, OECD, WB & UN and the executives thereof who oscillate between these organizations and the major investment banks and accounting/consulting firms.
2. Government and opposition parties of countries that have received large donations from major investment banks (they always donate to both sides).
3. The WWF who do enough good to get away with being the very cunning promoters of carbon-trading where necessary for the world’s largest investment bank - Goldman Sachs. Sorry guys, this is a fact. You can prove it to yourself with some sharp detective work!
4. The naïve.

If anyone if tempted to give me a blast over the above, why don’t you start by telling me how carbon-trading will ‘drastically’ cut CO2 emissions in any time frame you imagine would be necessary to avert the ‘warming’ crisis you believe in?

Last but not least, I loved the ABC 4-Corners program on Arctic sea ice "Tipping Point" on Monday night last. Should we give special thanks to the WWF for their assistance in producing this highly emotional propaganda? Golly gosh, they forgot to mention Antarctica (containing 90% of the world’s ice) steadily growing. Why would 4-Corners be disinterested in NASA GISS data ex AMUNDSEN-SCOTT? Probably for the same reason that NASA is also disinterested in this inconvenient data. NASA is obliged to admit that Antarctica has cooled over the last 30 years. Unfortunately this is not what the GW industry wants to hear. More unfortunately, Drew Shindell and Gavin Schmidt of GISS were told to find a reason why this cooling doesn’t matter. Well wouldn’t you know it, they are now declaring that “depleted ozone levels and greenhouse gases are contributing to cooler South Pole temperatures”. GW will be the culprit no matter what because the money at stake is so massive. This is HIGH FRAUD folks. They also say “the cooling trend is likely to rapidly reverse, according to a computer model study” they conducted. “The study indicates the South Polar Region is expected to warm during the next 50 years”. I have been trying to get Drew Shindell and Gavin Schmidt to accept a substantial bet that the Antarctic will not warm in the next 50 years. I am offering odds highly favorable to them. Unfortunately I cannot elicit a response from either man. You’d think such a bet would be highly attractive. It’s all about MODELS folks and that’s precisely where the doom scenarios will stay while you pay!

Peter said...

Apologies for the delay in authorising this... long day.

A lot of info in there to digest.

I tend to stay out of the PMWNCC issue as I simply don't know, and don't think most others do either. And hence find debate gets polarised rather quickly, and often quite aggressively. Hence the moderation lag.

I'm also not keen on playing the player rather than the ball (argument), but context and provenance can be useful, if not vital, so OK if polite.

FWIW, I am not a big fan of carbon-trading so far. Possibly for the Irish/EU vote reason that I don't understand it perhaps as I should, but then no one in government or finance has explained it to me in a way that has convinced me.

At best it seems elitist, restrictive (in all the wrong places), profligate (ditto) and unfair in a global sense, but at... more likely, given past and current evidence... worst simply looks like a way to pop a select few into a club to cream off a tidy sum 'administering' an impossible to handle system of dubious enviROI that will not benefit my kids' futures one jot.

I err on caution in matters climatic, and positive action where practical, which is why Junkk was created, as there are enough banning and getting knickers in a twist, usually either hypocritically, beheaded-chickenly or 'nice little earnerly'.

But I do see value in better efficiency, mitigation and, where possible, managed reductions.

What I do not like is bazillions that could go where they can DO most good going in fixer's and lobbyist's pockets, and via them back to those who are in charge of the public's purse and in theory can be objective.

Ding. Round 3. Keep it clean boys!