The latest snowboarding videos, news, photos and snowboarding products from Onboard Snowboarding.


Talking Points


By AF Keck
Illustration www.mothi.biz


The Lucrative Science of Climate Change Denial

’ – ‘NO IT ISN’T!’

An e-mail from the desk of Dubya, 4 February 2004: 
”When dealing with the tricky subject of global
 warming – deny, and deny aggressively.” This was sent 
to the press secretaries of all Republican congressmen
 advising them what to say when questioned on the
 environment in the run-up to that year’s presidential 
election. It elaborates: “Tell them everything’s rosy, 
tell them global warming has not been proved, air
 quality is ‘getting better’, the world’s forests are
 spreading, not deadening, oil reserves are
 ‘increasing, not decreasing’, and the ‘world’s water 
is cleaner and reaching more people’.

“We can’t stress enough that extremists are screaming 
’Doomsday!’ when, in fact, the environment is actually
 seeing a new and better day.”

Among the memo’s other assertions are such gems as 
“links between air quality and asthma in children 
remain cloudy”, and “the US Environmental Protection 
Agency is exaggerating when it says that at least 40
% of streams, rivers and lakes are too polluted 
for drinking, fishing or swimming.”

It gives a list of alleged facts taken from 
contentious sources. For instance, to back its claim 
that air quality is improving, it cites a report from
 one Pacific Research Institute, an organisation that 
has received $130,000 from Exxon Mobil since 1998. 
Indeed, being a ‘contrarian’ when it comes to climate
 change has become big business. There are sixty
 organisations identified in America alone which 
receive money from the fossil fuel industry to debunk
 climate change science and to campaign against any 
action taken to curb the burning of coal or oil.
 Europe and Australia have their lot as well, again 
most sponsored directly by the CO2 industry.

Exxon-Mobil, the world’s largest energy company, has 
alone funded up to $18 million since 1998 to
 organisations which oppose the Kyoto protocol.


The fossil fuel lobby’s first attempts at rubbishing 
climate change science was original to say the 
least. An individual by the name of Fred Palmer, then 
head of Western fuels (the world’s largest coal 
producer) conducted a campaign in 1990s to triple
 the amount of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere. An
 accompanying film by the aspiring director called ‘The 
Greening of Planet Earth’ proposed that this 
man-induced CO2 increase would boost crop production 
from 30-60%. Hunger would therefore be abolished and 
the Earth could then bask in the golden sunshine of an 
eternal summer.

This view is widely rejected by scientists. They 
attest while Canada, Alaska and Siberia might
 demonstrate a mild biomass increase, parts of Europe
 will probably see a decrease due to shifts of the Gulf
 Stream. The heavily populated tropical belt on the
 Earth’s equator is expected to be rendered a scorching 
desert, with Sahara expansion into the southern 
Mediterranean region, and the engulfment of China by 
the Gobi.

Not to mention problems with a rising sea level…


Undaunted, the well funded ‘alternative’ climate
 change brigade includes The Cooler Heads Coalition, formed “to dispel the
 myths of global warming by exposing flaws in economic,
 scientific and risk assessment data”;

The Alliance for Climate Strategies, which includes 
the American Petroleum Institute as a key member; and The Centre for the study of Carbon Dioxide and Global
 Change, formed “to disseminate factual reports and
 sound commentary on new developments in the world-wide 
scientific quest to determine the climatic and 
biological consequences of the ongoing rise in the 
air’s CO2 content”.

The afore-mentioned Center’s magazine and website ‘CO2
Science’ includes articles both questioning the 
existence of climate change as well as touting the
 benefits to the biosphere from CO2
 enrichment. All aspects of climate change and its
 predicted effects – from melting ice caps to species 
extinction, to more severe weather – are criticised by 
the Center and either refuted or presented as 
beneficial. Fred Palmer (that rascal from Western
 Fuels again) says: “The Center’s 
viewpoint is a needed antidote to the misleading and 
usually erroneous scientific claims emanating from the
 Federal scientific establishment and adopted by 
leading politicians, such as Vice President Al Gore”.

The Center has since tried to distance itself from the 
Western Fuels Association, however it does happen to 
be run by the Idso brothers Keith and Craig along with 
their father, Sherwood. All of them have been on the 
Western Fuels payroll at one time or another.

The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global
 Change has received $90,000 from Exxon-Mobil since


Exxon-Mobil, of course, deny any bias, yet the fact
 remains that it is the world’s third largest corporation 
with annual profits of about $17 billion. Does it come 
as any surprise that the company would use some of 
those profits to confuse the public discussion of
 global climate change with so much profit at stake?

That is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

“How long can men thrive between walls of brick,
 walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of
 coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly 
a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain,
 seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like
 quality of life?” — Charles A. Lindbergh, Reader’s
 Digest, November 1939

“We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned
 cheap.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

“What will the creature made all of sea drift do on the dry sand of daylight; what will the mind do, each morning, waking?” — Usula K Le Guin


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.