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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Who's Paid to Deny Global Warming? The Same People Who Told You Smoking was Good for You

(Keywords and tags: , , , , , , , guys like give zombies a bad name)

From ABC News:

Ever wonder why so many people still seem confused about global warming?

The answer appears to be that confusion leads to profit — especially if you're in some parts of the energy business.

One Colorado electric cooperative has openly admitted that it has paid $100,000 to a university academic who prides himself on being a global warming skeptic.

Intermountain Rural Electric Association is heavily invested in power plants that burn coal, one of the chief sources of greenhouse gasses that scientists agree is quickly pushing earth's average temperature to dangerous levels.

Scientists and consumer advocates say the co-op is trying to confuse its clients about the virtually total scientific consensus on the causes of global warming.

That's what global warming denial is all about - money. According to a nine page document obtained by ABC, efforts to curb global warming would 'erode most, if not all, the benefits of coal-fired generation.'

So, rather than look at new ways to generate electricity and compete in new markets, companies would rather hire people to lie about global climate change.

I've made the comparison before - these 'experts' are doing the same thing with global warming that they did with tobacco. In 1993, lobbyist Steven Milloy called and EPA report linking cancer to second hand smoke 'a joke'. When a concurring 1997 study was published by the British Medical Journal, Milloy said, "it remains a joke today."

Today, Milloy is still in the same business, with a different product. Milloy runs the ironically named, where he doles out unhealthy heaping helpings of disinformation. As a paid advocate for ExxonMobil, it's not extremely surprising. He's also a columnist and frequent pundit on FOX News. (More on Milloy at is often referred to as a source by global warming 'skeptics'.

I'm not sure what makes morons like Milloy tick. Obviously, he's a whore - he pulls in big bucks from polluters. But is that all it takes for him to trick the public into letting corporations kill people - money? He's also an adjunct scholar at the libertarian Cato Institute - so there's probably some randian free market moonyism going on there as well. Anyone who's spent time with a hardcore objectivist will know what I'm talking about. These guys are basically members of a secular cult.

Not that it matters, in the end. Jim Hightower had a great idea for the Bush administration; make them wear stickers showing what company they came from, like a NASCAR racer. That way, we know who's interests they really represent at a glance.

Maybe that idea would work just as well as pundits. The next time Milloy's spouting his crap on FOX, it'd really put things into persective if he had an ExxonMobil logo pasted to his forehead.



cyber_rigger said...

What ever happed to global cooling?

Wisco said...

I'm not sure what your argument is here. Wouldn't global warming offset any cooling?

On the other hand, if your argument is that someone was wrong about climate once, making everyone wrong about climate forever, you really need to take a course in logic.

gdog said...

Do the supporters of Global Warming Theory receive funding from somewhere? Or are they all working for free?

Edie said...

Well, it is important to point out that climate change is much more than global warming.

"Supporters" of global warming or climate change theories are researchers, who of course receive funding from many places. Much of it is federal, although much of the data that results is in direct conflict with the official policy of the government on the environment. We've seen a lot of suppression and turnover of federal scientists in the last couple of years over the factual dismissals and distortions. Many researchers working in academic settings are basically unfunded or working on limited departmental budgets. The amount of evidence that has accumulated about climate change is massive, and extremely important. I would recommend a peer-reviewed journal such as the Geological Letters journal, or even Science Weekly, Nature, or PLoS for a glimpse of how much data supports the climate change argument.