Thursday, December 10, 2009

American Petroleum Industry Fakes Diversity of Oil Jobs

If you check out the front cover of API’s new jobs brochure you might notice that something seems amiss in its lead image:
You’re not seeing things. That man left of center seems to be African American yet has a Caucasian hand.

That’s right, photo-shopping at its finest. Or rather not-so-finest. But altogether expected from the industry that brought us fabricated “grassroots” efforts against clean energy when a majority of Americans support investing in renewable energy. And pretty typical for a group who continually creates lies around the cost of clean energy and climate legislation.

API's members contribute to a host of deceptive tactics meant to deny Americans real energy reform and muddy the scientific consensus on dangerous global warming, all while keeping the U.S. tied to foreign oil from hostile nations. In fact Exxon Mobil, their most notorious big spender, has spent millions lobbying against clean energy and funds special interest groups to do their deceptive dirty work, such as the recent misrepresentation of stolen personal emails from the University of East Anglia's climate researchers.

So while API's attempts to diversify their audience are certainly interesting, we'd much prefer a diversified U.S. workforce. And with unemployment at double-digits and clean energy being one of the few, growing industries in the United States, well, it seems like a no-brainer.

Climate Denier Calls Clean Energy Activists "Hitler Youth"

Wow.

The science deniers who are trying to derail any and all progress at the Copenhagen climate change summit seem to be losing their cool.

As Americans for Prosperity tried to hold a live webcast of one of the tour's speakers attacking the conference's goals of reducing global warming pollution and building a clean energy economy, members of the Youth Climate Movement made their voices heard:
The students entered the event in small groups, joining a paltry audience of five conference attendees, who had come to hear climate denier Lord Christopher Monckton speak about the Copenhagen climate negotiations. After the first five minutes of the event, student representatives from SustainUS, the Sierra Student Coalition, the Cascade Climate Network, and other American youth NGOs displayed banners reading “Climate Disaster Ahead” and “Clean Energy Now.” After security agents at the event took the banners, the young attendees began a chant of “Real Americans for Prosperity are Americans for Clean Energy.”
One of the event's intended speakers, Christopher Monckton, got a little belligerent at this display of youth standing up for their future, taking to the microphone to call the students "Hitler youth" and "Nazis" as they filed out of the room. You have to see it to believe it:



First, the event: Americans for Prosperity is heavily funded by some of the worst Big Oil and Dirty Coal companies, receiving at least $380,000 from Exxon and a whopping $12 million from Koch Industries (unfamiliar with Koch? They've been repeatedly fined millions of dollars for dumping oil directly into America's waterways). Americans for Prosperity is also, of course, just one of many special interest groups being heavily funded by Big Oil while fighting progress on clean energy and climate reform.

And is Monckton credible himself?

Well... not exactly. In 2007, he wrote a letter to Sens. Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller falsely claiming to be a member of the British House of Lords (he stood for election earlier that year but failed to receive any votes). In 2008, he made an even stranger false claim in an open letter to Sen. John McCain that his work to "debunk" climate science had earned him the status of Nobel Peace Laureate. Heck, he's even been caught editing his own Wikipedia page to falsely claim that he received a libel settlement from the British newspaper The Guardian.

Just another set of sad facts about the good folks who bring you climate denierism whenever they can.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Palin: It Depends On What Your Definition Of "Denial" Is

As we wrote earlier today, Sarah Palin is at it again, writing in the Washington Post that "we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes."

And yet somehow, inexplicably, Palin continues to deny that she's a denier. Even better, she does so with the sort of tortured logic that would make high school debate coaches across the coutnry bang their heads against a wall.

Responding to Al Gore's critique of her factless attack on climate science, Palin writes (on Facebook, of course, because science denierism on Facebook is super hip):
He’s wrong in calling me a "denier." As I noted in my op-ed above and in my original Facebook post on Climategate, I have never denied the existence of climate change. I just don’t think we can primarily blame man’s activities for the earth’s cyclical weather changes.
That's brilliant! So instead of contradicting thousands of scientists who tell us that the planet is warming at an alarming rate, she's merely contradicting thousands of scientists who tell us that it's our fault that the planet is warming at an alarming rate.

Of course, given Palin's recent penchant for stretching the truth, this latest illogical pretzel is merely a footnote...

UPDATE: Here's an excerpt of Al Gore on MSNBC today.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Despite "Zero Tolerance" For Errors, FOX Skews Global Warming Polling

Recently, the good folks at FOX News announced a "zero tolerance policy" for on-screen errors during their news broadcasts. That's in the wake of a series of embarrassing mixups (like this one) that have plainly made network execs worry for their organization's credibility. In a memo, staff were told:
Effective immediately, there is zero tolerance for on-screen errors. Mistakes by any member of the show team that end up on air may result in immediate disciplinary action against those who played significant roles in the "mistake chain," and those who supervise them.
Well then, just days later, someone must be in trouble after the network committed yet another on-screen error by misrepresenting polling data during a "Fox & Friends" broadcast in a manner that inflated global warming skepticism. From our friends at Media Matters:
What happened? Well, here's the Rasmussen poll Fox & Friends cited. They asked respondents: "In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?" According to the poll, 35 percent thought it very likely, 24 percent somewhat likely, 21 percent not very likely, and 5 percent not likely at all (15 percent weren't sure).

Fox News' graphics department added together the "very likely" and "somewhat likely" numbers to reach 59 percent, and called that new group "somewhat likely." Then, for some reason, they threw in the 35 percent "very likely" as their own group, even though they already added that number to the "somewhat likely" percentage. Then they mashed together the "not very likely" and "not likely at all" groups, and threw the 15 percent who were unsure into the waste bin. Voila -- 120 percent.
Folks, that's some fuzzy math. But apparently some of Fox's employees still haven't gotten the memo.

Blunt, Forsee Cite Inflated Cost Figures In Saying "No" To Clean Energy for Mizzou

It's a twisted new turn in the saga of false attacks on clean energy and climate legislation.

University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee recently used some fuzzy math to back away from a commitment he signed to promote clean energy and fight global warming on college campuses. Forsee had previously joined 662 other school administrators nationwide in signing the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which is seen as a symbol of the growing recognition by academic leaders (college presidents) that future generations (their students) will lose out on the new energy jobs of the future and suffer the worst effects of global warming unless we cap carbon pollution.

Then he turned around and authored a letter to notorious clean energy opponent Rep. Roy Blunt, who voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act this summer and has taken more than $1 million in campaign cash from Big Oil and energy special interests. In the letter, Forsee argues that limiting carbon pollution through a cap-and-trade system would cost the UM system too much.

Now Roy Blunt is promoting Forsee's letter in a twisted effort to show that the Univeristy of Missouri system would suffer from clean energy and climate legislation. The kicker? The House Select Committee that's working on climate legislation did a fact-check of Forsee's cost claims and found that they were wildly exaggerated. No matter: when you're Roy Blunt, thousands of clean energy jobs for Missouri, cleaner air and water and greater national security just don't seem to make a compelling enough case to reform our nation's dangerous energy policies.

By the way, how's the Forsee flip-flop playing on campus? Badly, according to coverage in the University's student newspaper (check out the comments section!). The paper's editorial board slams Forsee for failing to consult other administrators like the UM system's chancellor before writing a letter claiming to represent the UM system. As a result, the paper writes, "sending this on his own could make it look like Forsee has a political agenda and not a fiscal one."

Given that Forsee and Rep. Blunt seem to be singing the same twisted song on clean energy facts, we're inclined to share that concern.

Palin's "New" Washington Post Op-ed

Today, Sarah Palin takes to the Washington Post (again), with a re-print of what can loosely be called her "op-ed." Where was the op-ed originally printed? That would be Palin's Facebook page.

Several of our friends have already posted comprehensive take down's of Palin's piece (here and here, for example.)

But let's look more closely at just one excerpt from Palin's piece:
The revelation of appalling actions by so-called climate change experts allows the American public to finally understand the concerns so many of us have articulated on this issue.
Marc Ambinder, of The Atlantic, breaks it down:
"Remember, the "revelation" was born from an potentially illegal e-mail hack. "So-called" -- untrue. These are experts. Their science has been validated, independently. Their "actions" here consist of insulting climate change skeptics, immature name-calling, and, at worst, devising a strategy to keep the climate change deniers out of debates and peer-reviewed journals. The "concerns" that Palin speaks of are the result of years of accumulated science denialism that now, conveniently, has been seemingly "validated" by the fog of a grand conspiracy, suddenly revealed."
Check out the article to see him take apart Palin's entire argument.

UPDATE: Rep. Ed Markey has also posted a response to what he calls Palin's "mistake-riddled, anti-clean energy Op-Ed."
Unable to win the climate debate based on facts, science or economics, Palin joins other Republican opponents in attempting to manufacture a scandal by seizing on stolen private emails from University of East Anglia in the UK. But as reported by TIME, the New York Times, and even the Washington Post, these emails do not undermine the overwhelming scientific evidence of global warming.
Click here to read Congressman Markey's HuffPost piece.

Smear Campaign Against Climate Scientists Produces Death Threats

As the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper is now reporting, the University of East Anglia climate researchers whose personal e-mails were recently hacked are now receiving "torrents of abusive and threatening e-mails," including death threats. Worse, their colleagues at the university who were uninvolved with the hacked e-mails are also being targeted:
Many other CRU scientists and their colleagues have received torrents of abusive and threatening e-mails since the leaks first began in mid-November 2009. Tom Wigley, previous Director of CRU and now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, US, has been horrified by the e-mails he and other colleagues have received. "They are truly stomach-turning and show what sort of venomous monsters we are up against," he told environmentalresearchweb.
That the scientists whose reputations and characters are being attacked by climate deniers are now receiving these threats is deeply troubling, though not entirely a surprise. In fact, this manufactured scandal is looking eerily familiar to anyone who followed the tobacco industry's smear campaign against public health officials and Big Tobacco whistleblowers.

It's high time we put the hacked East Anglia e-mails in their proper context: part of a decades-long smear campaign designed to undermine global warming science and discredit or intimidate those whose work contributes to our understanding of man-made climate change.

The fact is that special interest groups funded by Big Oil oppose any reform to our dangerous energy policies and are distorting and selectively quoting from these personal emails in order to imply that climate scientists are part of a conspiracy to deceive the public. The fact is the stolen e-mails do nothing to alter our current understanding of global warming and its threat to our economy, our environment and our national security.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Despite "Zero Tolerance" For Errors, FOX Skews Global Warming Polling

Recently, the good folks at FOX News announced a "zero tolerance policy" for on-screen errors during their news broadcasts. That's in the wake of a series of embarrassing mixups (like this one) that have plainly made network execs worry for their organization's credibility. In a memo, staff were told:
Effective immediately, there is zero tolerance for on-screen errors. Mistakes by any member of the show team that end up on air may result in immediate disciplinary action against those who played significant roles in the "mistake chain," and those who supervise them.
Well then, just days later, someone must be in trouble after the network committed yet another on-screen error by misrepresenting polling data during a "Fox & Friends" broadcast in a manner that inflated global warming skepticism. From our friends at Media Matters:
What happened? Well, here's the Rasmussen poll Fox & Friends cited. They asked respondents: "In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?" According to the poll, 35 percent thought it very likely, 24 percent somewhat likely, 21 percent not very likely, and 5 percent not likely at all (15 percent weren't sure).

Fox News' graphics department added together the "very likely" and "somewhat likely" numbers to reach 59 percent, and called that new group "somewhat likely." Then, for some reason, they threw in the 35 percent "very likely" as their own group, even though they already added that number to the "somewhat likely" percentage. Then they mashed together the "not very likely" and "not likely at all" groups, and threw the 15 percent who were unsure into the waste bin. Voila -- 120 percent.
Folks, that's some fuzzy math. But apparently some of Fox's employees still haven't gotten the memo.