Smearing Global Warming Skeptics
The misconception that there is a serious disagreement among scientists about global warming is actually an illusion that has been deliberately fostered by a relatively small but extremely well-funded cadre of special interests, including Exxon Mobil and a few other oil, coal, and utilities companies. These companies want to prevent any new policies that would interfere with their current business plans…One of the internal memos prepared by this group to guide the employees they hired to run their disinformation campaign was discovered by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ross Gelbspan. Here was the group’s stated objective: to “reposition global warming as theory, rather than fact.”
Gelbspan’s first book, “The Heat Is On” (1997), remains the best, and virtually only, study of how the coal and oil industry has provided financing to a small group of contrarian scientists…In this new book, Gelbspan focuses his toughest language by far on the coal and oil industries. After documenting the largely successful efforts of companies like ExxonMobil to paralyze the policy process, confuse the American people and cynically “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact.”
John Passacantando, the former director of Greenpeace, whose strategic instinct and track record of changing the political landscape on global warming has made it possible to imagine that solving the problem could be a reality. And Ross Gelbspan … who … uncover[ed] the scandalous cover up of global warming by polluting companies. Ross has been the lone voice … that has inspired countless people, me included, to demand our country and our future back from the coal and oil interests behind global warming.
…the Information Council for the Environment (ICE) stated their goal was to “reposition global warming as theory (not fact)[.]”According to documents obtained by Ozone Action and by Ross Gelbspan, several ICE strategies were laid out: the repositioning of global warming as theory, not fact.
The goal of the campaign, according to one planning document, is to “reposition global warming as theory” and not fact.A packet of internal correspondence and other information relating to the campaign was provided to The New York Times by the Sierra Club, the San Francisco-based environmental group that favors taking steps to reduce the risk of global warming.
* Author’s note 9/17/10: The Greenpeace archive scan at the asterisk above was functioning normally until recently, taking readers to a web page very similar to the screencapture photo below. Multiple thumbnails were seen with a slider underneath, allowing us to move the thumbnails over until the desired one was seen, which could then be clicked on to generate a large view in the area below. This link seems to be perhaps the victim of what web masters call a “bunged” server, meaning unmaintained, sick, or awaiting a sysadmin to flush a temp folder. The “Next” link under the thumbnail still does allow viewers to move on to the next page image, it’s just more clumsy to do that. The PDF file itself is still downloadable, and the page may heal itself later. If Greenpeace scrubs the page, then we have a different problem, so I’d advise downloading while the opportunity is still available.