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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi  (Read 8806 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #195 on: February 28, 2018, 01:29:03 pm »
 
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Replacing Coal, Renewables Reduced Emissions As Much As Nat Gas

A new study published last week in Energy Policy finds that from 2007 to 2013, CO2 emissions from energy production in the US fell by 10%, thanks in nearly equal measure to renewables and natural gas. As the study authors point out in an EDF blog post, conventional wisdom credits the switch from coal to gas as the primary driver of emissions reductions. But their analysis shows that renewables and energy demand reduction both played just as big a role as natural gas.

Key to this downward trend in production, of course, is the falling price of renewables, which when combined with batteries are increasingly cost-competitive with both coal and natural gas. In fact, when financial firm Lazard released its annual study on the full costs of energy last November, it found that building new renewable capacity is already cheaper than running existing coal and nuclear plants in many places across the country.

Though the Energy Policy study period ends at 2013, according to the latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance Sustainable Energy factbook, 2017 was the first year that renewables actually outshined natural gas in reducing emissions. Clearly this trend doesn’t look like it’s reversing any time soon.

Also not likely to change course any time soon? Fossil fuel fanatic Scott Pruitt . We all know how Pruitt likes to point to these CO2 reductions when asked about his slashing of emission reduction policies. He has a tendency to either vaguely or inaccurately cite innovation and technology in a nod to fracking and natural gas. And of course, Pruitt’s determined advocacy for the natural gas industry has taken him all the way to Morocco and back. Given the disturbingly close relationship Pruitt 🦀 cultivated with natural gas company Devon Energy 🦖 while he was still in Oklahoma, we don’t expect Pruitt to end his love affair with natural gas any time soon.

But as this study shows, gas has provided no greater benefit than renewables. What’s more,  renewable energy doesn’t emit methane, itself a powerful greenhouse gas, and one Pruitt supposedly cares about.

Renewables are still far from deniers’ minds when talking about natural gas--for them, it’s a fight between gas and coal. Last week, Heartland announced that it has started a campaign to defend coal plants in danger. Heartland has its eye on combating the success of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, which has convinced local leaders to take over 250 coal plants offline since 2010.

Yet James Taylor, president of the relatively newly-created energy and environment-focused freemarket group, Spark of Freedom Foundation and long-time Heartland senior fellow, throws coal under the bus in his new report promoting natural gas. Naturally, Taylor’s not concerned about climate. Instead, he makes the case that since natural gas plants are cheaper to build, conservatives should forget about coal.

Now, we’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes for Taylor to catch up to the fact that renewables are increasingly cost-competitive. And once he does, we’re sure he will maintain intellectual integrity and argue that fiscal conservatives should embrace renewables and let both natural gas and coal plants be cast aside by the invisible hand of the free market.

But wait--if Heartland senior fellow James Taylor recognizes that the free market is choosing cheaper gas over coal, then how does free-market think tank Heartland justify its apparent preference for more expensive coal plants?  

Weird. The discrepancy sort of makes it look like Heartland’s whole free-market advocacy thing is just a pretense for advancing industry 🐉🦕 🦖 interests
 
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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #196 on: March 09, 2018, 07:01:11 pm »

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March 9, 2018

Viv Forbes 🦀 Fears a Grim Global Green Dictatorship. We're Not So Sure About It.

These days, we’re always keeping an eye on important denier-y things happening at the highest level of the federal government. For example we could spend some time diving into this recent op-ed in which Cass Sunstein describes a recent government report showing the billions of dollars in benefits from regulations.

But sometimes we miss being able to dumpster dive for the whacky gems of the lowest denier blogs. So when we came across this post on Heartland’s blog by long-time coal guy Viv Forbes, we had to share with you. Take a moment, if you would, to bask in this glory and reminisce about the days when deniers worked out of their home offices, not the Oval Office.

It’s hard to convey just how paranoid and delusional Forbes is here. The post is a rant about “greens,” his catchall name for environmentalists, the UN, politicians, NGOs, concerned citizens, and really anyone who doesn’t just love fossil fuels. Forbes appears to feel under siege by his own strawmen of environmentalists that, per his opening line, “hate individual freedom and private property.” This nuanced and subtle motif runs through the piece: Forbes claims that “greens hate miners,” along with farmers and fishermen and foresters and suburbs and reliable power and free markets. Per Forbes, they think that even “fun, frills or luxuries” have no place in our sustainable world.

Apparently, greens “plan to expel farmers and graziers from most land areas” and instead produce food in factory farms and feedlots. To be fair, we can’t count the number of times we’ve seen greens campaigning for more factory farms and concentrated animal agriculture. But that’s only because you can’t count to zero.

Forbes fears that greens are coming for his beloved suburbs, using the common conspiracy catchphrase that people will be “stacked-and-packed” in what he calls “high-rise cubic apartments.” Now, we’re not sure what sort of non-cubic apartments he might prefer (spherical apartments? Conical? Dodecahexagonal?) people in urban areas live in, but this is a dog whistle for Agenda 21 paranoia about people being forcibly removed from single family homes and relocated into sustainable urban communities.

Forbes goes further than most though, and is so hamfisted in his attempts to make environmentalists into monsters that in the list of things about suburbs that greens despise, he includes ponies. Yes, we apparently hate ponies. Sure, the other things he lists about suburbs (SUVs, lawns, pools, parks and golf courses) have their eco-enemies, but ponies? Come on, man! Even Lisa Simpson loves ponies!

Ponies aside, we’ll give Forbes the fact that we “think it is ‘sustainable’ to uglify scenic hills with whining wind towers... and to clutter pleasant estuaries and shallow seas with more bird-slicing turbines… [and] keep smothering sunny flatlands under solar panels.” That’s only because, you know, it is. If folks want those hills to stay scenic and not burnt in a wildfire or parched by drought or underwater, and wants those estuaries and seas to stay shallow and not made acidic by carbon dioxide, we’ll need renewable energy. Perhaps a lifetime in the coal industry has made Forbes more comfortable with blowing up mountains to get at the coal rather than installing some turbines.

But which green group is he referring to when he writes that “they also favour compulsory recycling of everything, no matter what that process costs in energy or resources.” Who says we should recycle even if it’s costly and polluting? Show us, Forbes! Show us those greens!

And it gets worse: Forbes predicts that this green-mandated counterproductive recycling will be enforced by “surveillance cameras [that] will keep watch on our ‘wasteful’ habits.” Makes sense--we all know how many pro-surveillance, anti-privacy green groups there are.

Finally, in a panicked sweat with constant paranoid glances over his shoulder, Forbes delivers the final blow: “The Despotic Green New World is coming. Climate alarm is the stalking horse, ‘sustainable development’ is the war cry, and global government is the goal.”

And they call us alarmists!
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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #197 on: March 13, 2018, 10:37:41 pm »
 
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March 13, 2018




Lamar Smith 🐉 in Fox and Oren Cass 🦖 in WSJ: Not RickRolling, but Still Trolling

It’s already a weird month for climate op-eds. While powerful pieces like Alison Spodek Keimowitz’s reckoning with leukemia and climate change or 16-year-old climate activist Jamie Margolin’s story can find good homes in online outlets like Slate and Refinery29, some newspapers appear to be more concerned with driving hate clicks than thoughtful, original, and, most importantly, honest commentary.  :(

Some might say the trolls of the modern op-ed page are doing an amazing job, and getting recognized more and more. But as Virginia Heffernan describes in a recent piece in Wired, modern trolls’ approach is hardly new or unique: present a transparently ridiculous argument as though it’s being made in good faith, wait for people to get mad about it, then enjoy how little effort it took to trigger a much larger reaction.

Though Heffernan doesn’t mention climate, climate deniers are typical trolls. But instead of engaging just for laughs (“for the lulz”), like other bad-faith online actors, professional deniers 😈 go on the offensive to not only rile people up, but to push a viewpoint that benefits their fossil benefactors. Two recent op-eds make this clear.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal 🐍published an op-ed by Oren Cass that describes a new report he’s written for the Manhattan Institute. Given that the Manhattan Institute has been funded by the Kochs 🦕 (in addition to big tobacco) and has Rebekah Mercer 🦀 on its board, you can expect nothing but the best from Cass’s 🐲 report.

And of course, he delivers. The report is an “analysis” of a bunch of peer-reviewed and government reports on the relationship between the economic impacts of rising temperatures and the increase in deaths from rising temperatures. At fewer than 20 pages of actual material, the report is hardly a match for the peer-reviewed studies it seeks to rebut. The central thesis can be summed up as: warming won’t kill people or cost much money in the future because warming in the 20th century was mitigated by air conditioning. So we can just adapt to future warming the same way.


At least Cass provides a relatively new troll. At Fox News Rep. Lamar Smith 🐊 chose to dredge up some ancient trolls on Monday, including one particularly risibile and decades-since debunked distortion of a quote about the need for scientists to be both honest and effective. In his op-ed, Smith, who as Chair of the House Science, Space and Technology committee no doubt has the staff available to fact check and make sure he’s not lying, takes a quote from climatologist Dr. Stephen Schneider out of context, clips the conclusion, and reverses its meaning.

The full quote, of course, provides far more nuance and insight than Smith or other deniers care to convey. In a 1988 interview, Schneider originally spoke about the “double ethical blind” scientists face when communicating about climate change. Scientists, Schneider elaborated, need to stay honest to the science, with "all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts.” But, he cautioned, the media doesn’t tend to appreciate those types of quotes instead preferring “simplified, dramatic statements.” A climate scientist, Schneider concludes, “has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both."

Smith’s gross misrepresentation that Schneider advocated that scientists only “make little mention of any doubts we might have” is in no way new or unique. The Detroit News took the same approach in a 1989 editorial, which Schneider debunked. Julian Simon followed up in a similar fashion in 1996, which Schneider debunked, again. Various internet trolls in comment boards kept up the attack, which Schneider addressed again in 2009. We can’t say we’re surprised Smith chose to ignore nearly thirty years of Schneider correcting the misuse of his quote.

The rest of his op-ed is no better. Smith claims climate models overestimate warming we’ll see (this is false, and has been debunked). He downplays hurricane frequency and damages, which is a brave stance for a politician from Texas, which is looking at $180 billion in damages from Harvey in 2017. Smith downplays wildfires, despite 2017 breaking multiple records. And he cites MIT researchers to claim the impact of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will be minimal. (Those researchers have debunked the misuse of their research and called that portrayal of their work “misleading.”)

None of these facts are hidden, complex, or hard to look up online. If Smith were even remotely interested in having a factual, honest, and good-faith debate, he wouldn’t be making any of these points.

But Smith is not interested in honesty: he’s interested in trolling. As long as the public is engaging with trolls, we’re not discussing the solutions that would hurt his fossil fuel benefactor’s bottom line.
 
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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #198 on: March 21, 2018, 09:11:10 pm »
Oil Change International

Mar. 19, 2018 12:43PM EST
Early April Fool's Joke? Statoil 🦕 Rebrands Itself as Equinor 😇

By Andy Rowell

SNIPPET 1:

First came BP, which went from British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum. Then Denmark's Dong Energy changed its name to Orsted, to mark its departure from oil and gas. Then earlier this year Shell announced it was morphing from an oil company into an integrated energy company.

And now, the Norwegian company Statoil is proposing to change its name to "Equinor." The rebranding exercise—or what some may call greenwashing exercise—will cost as much as 250 million kroner or $32 million.

                           


SNIPPET 2:

Statoil is just repeating history. Years ago, a book on countering corporate greenwash, edited by Eveline Lubbers, noted that BP's "rebranding was part of an effort to portray BP as an energy company, not just an oil company." Critics noted that the rebranding, which cost BP $200 million and was designed by Ogilvy & Mather, was a greenwashing exercise. Years later BP remains predominantly an oil and gas company.

Statoil's rebranding looks like greenwashing, too. Buried deep in the company's press release last week, Statoil stated that it "will develop long-term value on the Norwegian continental shelf, deepen in core areas and develop new growth options internationally …. Statoil is building a material industrial position within profitable renewable energy, and expects to invest 15-20% of total capex in new energy solutions by 2030." Put another way, in twelve year's time, some 80 percent of the company's capex will still be oil and gas.

Given the climate crisis and need to disinvest from oil and gas, this is hardly a revolutionary shift. So the company may be called "Equinor," but it will still essentially be Statoil to its core. So it really does look like an early April Fool's joke.

Full article:

https://www.ecowatch.com/statoil-equinor-greenwashing-2549947654.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #199 on: March 22, 2018, 05:55:14 pm »
Quote
From: monsta666
Was reading the blog Our Finite World when I came across this comment Gail put up that made me think of you:

Quote
Gail Tverberg says:
March 14, 2018 at 9:07 am   

So let's move on to talking about a different issue. The silliness of talking about a transformation to renewables is beyond crazy.

Quote
Has this changed your stance on Gail? That particular comment was made towards another poster on her article titled: Our Latest Oil Predicament

If I understood correctly what she is saying in the above quote, she alleges that there is no way that Renewable Energy can TOTALLY EVER REPLACE fossil fuels AND MOCKS, by using the word, "silliness", those who advocate for a world powered exclusively by Renewable Energy. 

If I understood what she said incorrectly, and she was actually taking a position that we need to get off fossil fuels, like YESTERDAY, and DO the transition to Renewable Energy intead of "talking" about it, then I would be pleased and genuinely surprised that she finally is smelling the Catastrophic Climate Change coffee.

But I doubt that she has woken up to climate change reality yet, so I think she is engaging in typical Pro-polluting status quo propaganda.

Quote
Has this changed your stance on Gail?

No. Gail has always been a stalking horse for the Fossil Fuel Industry "business model" AND a staunch defender of Nuclear Power as well. The irony of coming up with a name like "This finite World" for her forum has never been lost on me. She must have studied Orwellian discourse.  Of course we will EVENTUALLY run out, but not anywhere close to the (rather convenient for fossil fuel profits) artificial scarcity timetable Gail and her fellow Pro-Fossil Fuel Propagandists wail and moan about. 

Since the beginning, her entire pitch has consisted of creating the impression that we are "running out" of fossil fuels for the express purpose of making them appear more valuable to readers. THAT IS, convincing we-the-people that we must pay MORE for that crap.

Of course she won't admit that is her greedy motive for harping on the "increasing scarcity" of fossil fuels. She claims she is just "telling us we are going to run out of our precious and prized 😇, high energy density oil and gas for our own good". 


Many posts I have made cover the fact that this is an old propaganda technique the fossil fuelers have used, not only in regard to the peak oil meme, but for the rather convenient price shocks during rather convenient wars, and other cheap excuses (hurricanes, oil spills, OPEC, etc. ad nauseum). It's all bullshit, but it has worked because so many governments work hand in glove with these greedy profit over people and planet bastards.

I have posted the following now and then. It happened nearly thirty years ago. Yet, the same crooked game continues to be played against us. Gail is an active participant in this very profitable, totally unjustified, "game"    the polluters play. She has ALWAYS defended fossil fuels as being the "cheapest and most efficient" energy option. That is bullshit. I have no respect for her at all.

I have been occasionally posting the following hard truths here and there since 2014:


Here's a little something to throw at the liars and prevaricators that defend fossil fuels as being the "cheapest and most efficient" energy option.

It's a historical (and peer reviewed) fact. This grand larceny on behalf of fossil fuels is STILL going on.

The DIRTY ENERGY SOURCES have a long history of profiting from our blood and treasure while they despoil the biosphere.

The following quote from a peer reviewed book is of extreme importance to all Americans:

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

"As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists. "

Note: I added the bold caps emphasis on the barrel of oil price, money spent in one year and the need to import oil from the Middle East.

This totally unjustified profit, never mind the needless lose of lives, then increases the power of the fossil fuel corporations to perpetuate a biosphere harming dirty fuel status quo. How? By "funding" politicians with rather large "donations" to keep renewable energy from competing with dirty energy.


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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #200 on: March 23, 2018, 07:38:51 pm »
 
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Pielke Jr. 🐍 Joins Red Team , Defends Trump, Critiques Mainstream Climate Report

Roger Pielke Jr. once wrote a book about being an “Honest Broker” in the science-policy debate. Pielke’s whole schtick is that he’s the moderate willing to criticize mainstream climate scientists, advocates and media, but is still part of the consensus and supports a carbon tax. He was not pleased, for example, when Foreign Policy included him in a guide to skeptics back in 2010. In his various blog posts, tweets and op-eds, Pielke takes care to present himself as a sensible, serious and unbiased voice in a discussion full of extremists.

This facade should no longer be entertained. In terms of Pruitt’s red team/blue team attack on science--at one point envisioned as the red team reviewing climate science reports--it’s clear Pielke belongs on the red team. In fact, Pielke’s 2013 and 2017 Congressional testimony was cited so heavily in Heartland’s “Task Force” to critique the 2017 Climate Science Special Report that they credited him as a contributor. (Worth noting that Pielke said he had nothing to do with Heartland’s critique, and that Heartland has since updated their report to remove him from “contributor” status--a mistake they’ve apparently made before.)

Heartland’s reliance on Pielke’s testimony makes it undeniable that his work is part of the effort to discredit mainstream science, whether he likes it or not. And if there was any doubt he fits in with the many fine people on the red team, he wrote an op-ed for the Guardian, published Wednesday, defending Trump’s science agenda, claiming “there is no systematic effort to undercut science and technology policy.”

Pielke’s piece, which defends Trump as indifferent as opposed to hostile to science, does acknowledge that Trump’s proposed budget would seriously cut funding for multiple scientific programs (apparently excusable because Congress didn’t enact it) and that Trump’s EPA is making “sweeping changes” to how it uses science. If we have Pielke’s thinking straight, Trump himself does nothing good on science, and Trump’s appointees are actively anti-science, but we shouldn’t consider Trump anti-science-- which seems pretty generous stance to take towards a president 🦀 with over 100 entries in something called the “Silencing Science” tracker.

Pielke also attacks the March for Science, writing “there is seemingly little energy in any follow-up or the building of a movement.” (This particular criticism was meet with a swift and energetic response that they have been “doing the less flashy but more impactful work of *organizing*”--exactly the sort of serious work an honest broker would be commending them for.) 

After all this build up about what everyone else gets wrong, Pielke’s sage advice is that instead of being outraged about Trump, a “more productive use of oppositional energy would be for the scientific community to develop well-considered approaches to science and technology policies.” 

This means nothing. Of course the scientific community should think through how it approaches policy! Is he suggesting that before now, they’ve only developed poorly-considered approaches? How does telling people to develop an approach provide any insight into how to address Trump’s, at best, avoidance of science? At what point in time would the community not be wise “to develop well-considered approaches” to policy? How does that banal and empty fortune-cookie-wisdom sort of suggestion compare to the seriousness of the situation at hand?

And Pielke’s specific suggestion for the scientific community? That the Office of Science and Technology Policy should put together “a shadow, bipartisan version” of an advisory panel it runs. This, of course, is exactly what is already happening with some advisory panels. 

In case anyone still had doubts, this op-ed is proof that Pielke can write paragraph after paragraph criticizing others, but has proven he has nothing new, unique or even well-informed to offer.

Which makes him perfect for the red 😈 team.
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #202 on: March 28, 2018, 08:01:23 pm »
 
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Kids Believe In the Easter Bunny, But Even They’re Too Clever For Climate Denial 😈 and the NRA🔫

March 28, 2018

Back in 2013, Heartland 🐉 Senior Fellow Ben Domenech (who married Megan McCain last year) founded The Federalist 🦕 to add some hip young perspective  ;) to the conservative media environment. The site is famous for smart, original and youth-oriented pieces such as a recent tirade defending Roy Moore, a literal defense of dumpster fires that admitted it isn’t even an original idea. The site is also somewhat famous for its lack of funding transparency, with “Who 🦖 funds the federalist?” emerging on twitter as a meme.

It’s a worthwhile question, especially considering a post from Friday by “author”Julie Kelly 😈 which explains “How Successful Climate Pressure Tactics Paved The Way For Gun Control Bullying.” In a sense, we have to admire Kelly: it takes a brave pundit to attack children victimized by gun violence (and somehow also tie the same diatribe to climate). In her past writings, Kelly has demonstrated a commitment to similarly bold stances--she recently criticized AAAS for giving an award to Dr. Michael Mann, defended Pruitt’s red team attack in a post last summer, and lectured the Pope for his climate concern in November.

To criticize children for getting active in the political process while defending two of the richest special interest groups in the world without looking like a soulless monster would take nuanced thinking from a writer skilled in restraint and subtlety. Sadly, Kelly is not that kind of writer.

The crux of her argument is that gun control “bullies” are exploiting children for political gain--just like climate “alarmists.” These two groups, Kelly argues, use celebrities to spread their message and demonize the opposition as “industry shills, bought off by special interest groups.”

(To be fair, she’s not exactly wrong. Lifting up impacted voices with personal stories, tapping celebrities with wide social media reach and pointing out the rank corruption among opposition organizations funded by industry are all effective communications strategies. We just apparently happen to differ with Kelly on whether protecting children’s rights to a livable climate and to safety from guns is a good or bad thing.)

Kelly explains “children are weaponized” for climate issues, quoting our friend Marc Morano about how kids are fed “a steady diet of fear and doom” so that we can use “vulnerable children to promote climate fears.” Kelly, of course, fails to disclose Morano’s ties to industry-funded CFACT.

According to Kelly, the March for Our Lives shows how “gun control activists are now seizing on” the climate change strategy and “shamefully capitalizing off the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.” That the kids organized and have led a large majority of the effort is written off simply because they’ve gotten fiscal support from rich people. Considering that they won’t tell anyone what rich people give their publication fiscal support, we think this is a particularly interesting angle for the Federalist’s editors to allow.

At the end of her piece, Kelly decries how “activists routinely post the amount of money politicians have accepted from the NRA or fossil fuel companies  and attempt to intimidate lawmakers into rejecting those blood-soaked contributions.”

It’s understandable that Kelly, who’s gotten called out for being a pro-GMO shill in the past, would be jumpy about the public holding industry shills accountable for their funding.

After all, it’s hard to believe that anyone who would attack children in service of the NRA and fossil fuel companies would do so out of a sense of journalistic integrity. Especially not at The Federalist .
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #203 on: April 02, 2018, 04:57:17 pm »
 
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April 2, 2018




Alex Jones 😈 Hops On Climate Change & Gun Control Brainwashing Bandwagon

Let’s start our week with two jokes: Alex Jones 😈 and Marc Morano 😈. Last week, Jones interviewed Morano for a segment that supposedly showed how the “global warming playbook” is apparently being used to brainwash children against guns. We watched the silly interview so you don’t have to. (Our brain is still hurting, please send pizza.)

Seems that Alex wanted to huff some Big Words and invent new ones, while Morano was out to promote his new book. In between, we got a segment that just about barely actually explained why they think kids are getting brainwashed.

It started with both of them praising Trump The Greatest Human To Walk This Planet, because he solved the gun shooting epidemic with his promise to maybe ban bump stocks. The discourse involved statements like “People are saying don’t criticize the gun marchers because they’re connected to Hitler.” (Don’t ask us. We don’t know. Who knows why coherent sentences were even invented in the first place.)

The crux of Jones and Morano’s “conversation” centered around how the gun control movement’s key motivation is a hatred of the Second Amendment, (of course, it has absolutely nothing to do with not wanting school children to die), and paralleled this to the supposed “real agenda” of climate activists: world domination (again, nothing to do with wanting to live safe and healthy lives and keeping the planet clean).

From the interview, it was hard to determine if there was actual argument (however fallacious) connecting gun control activism to climate action. But tying these two issues together could be an emerging new conservative talking point. Our regular readers may recall a similar post in the Federalist we discussed last week claiming the March for Our Lives shows how gun control groups “are seizing on” the climate change playbook to mobilize kids. The author argued that gun control “bullies” and climate “alarmists” exploit children by using celebrities and feeding them “steady news of gloom and doom.”

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the shameful lengths some conservatives can go to serve the gun lobby. This new method to attack two birds with one stone is yet another way to attempt to deny the undeniable impact of young people rising up nationwide to fight for their rights. 

Incidentally, Nexus Media recently spoke to a few school kids on why they’re fighting for urgent climate action and preparing for a youth-led march this July. Plot twist: Through facts aided by emotion, they’re looking to brainwash the resistant adults into accepting the undeniable reality of human-caused climate change.



 
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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #204 on: April 06, 2018, 02:31:50 pm »
With climate change, fake news is old news

BY TIM LYDON, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 04/05/18 02:00 PM EDT
   
For the last three decades the greatest disinformation campaign of our time convinced millions of Americans to reject the fairly basic science of greenhouse gas pollution. Like earlier tobacco campaigns, the simple purpose is protecting sales of industry products, in this case coal, oil and gas.


Increasingly, science and fact-based journalism show industry has long promoted a blend of fake news and biased reporting to undermine acceptance of climate science. Research last year from Harvard University analyzed over 180 climate-related documents published by ExxonMobil between 1977 and 2014. It showed the firm issued dozens of news-worthy statements dismissive of climate change while, simultaneously, company scientists quietly affirmed the threat. Engineers even began adapting drilling infrastructure for rising seas and other anticipated changes. The LA Times reported similar findings, sparking protests and the hashtag #Exxonknew.

But ExxonMobil is hardly alone. Increasingly, reports describe fossil fuel industry funding of conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and others known for peddling skepticism on climate science. Their custom-crafted messages enter news cycles via conservative politicians and sympathetic media outlets. Or in the case of the Heartland Institute, supported by Peabody Energy and other coal giants, by erecting billboards likening climate scientists to serial killer Ted Kaczynski.

Climate disinformation has been expertly served to the public. Consider the so-called “climate-gate” scandal, founded on selective reading of emails stolen from researchers. First surfacing in 2009, it was debunked by eight independent investigations. Yet for years, conservative news and commentary shows pushed the story, which Republican lawmakers cited to justify inaction on climate. Research from George Mason University showed the campaign increased public skepticism about climate change, especially among conservative voters.

Like ExxonMobil’s public statements, climate-gate reflects a decades-long effort to disrupt public discourse, especially at key moments. It intensified leading up to the first global climate initiative, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which the U.S .did not ratify. Climate-gate itself came as the U.S. joined 2009 global climate treaty talks in Copenhagen. In 2016, fossil fuel interests supported and advised President Trump campaign. Trump ultimately fulfilled promises to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord and appointed industry veterans to top government posts.

With homegrown meddling like this, who needs the Russians?

But while climate-gate is outright fakery, a more insidious concern is widespread underreporting and media bias against climate coverage. In an exhaustive examination of television news broadcasts, Media Matters found nearly 80 percent of 2017 climate change reporting focused on statements by Trump. Only minimal coverage discussed climate in connection to the year’s record-setting natural disasters, including epic Atlantic hurricanes and devastating California wildfires, which together destroyed infrastructure and tens of thousands of homes. Media Matters showed some networks even favored stories disputing connections between climate change and extreme weather. It corroborated earlier research by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Similar to Russian election interference, climate disinformation is a complex melding of forces. It entails industry money, social media algorithms, and political and cultural identity, especially within a modern conservative movement priding itself on distrust of science and journalism. The entwined results are that millions of Americans still reject climate change science, and fossil fuels maintain dominance over the energy sector.

Yet, resistance is growing. Shareholders, the Security and Exchange Commission, and several state attorneys general have launched investigations and lawsuits to determine whether ExxonMobil committed criminal deceit. And nine U.S. cities, including San Francisco and New York City, are suing dozens of fossil fuel companies. They seek billions of dollars in damages for urgently needed climate change adaptations, including new sea walls and storm-water controls.

The cases signal mounting anger among citizens stuck with high infrastructure costs tied to burning fossil fuels. Meanwhile, advances in science lend legal weight to the cases. Researchers are increasingly able to tally historical CO2 emissions and even approximate their contribution to specific meteorological events.

It is also worth noting efforts to improve K-12 media literacy education. Media Literacy Now and others offer models for state legislation, aimed at ensuring students learn to discern between news sources and recognize persuasion techniques. Several states have adopted the laws and others are considering bills, according to Media Literacy Now.

Media literacy skills will remain important. In December, the National Association of Manufacturers 👹 formed a new trade group to oppose climate change lawsuits, and last month automakers urged regulators to dismiss established climate science. They represent a continued industry commitment 😈 to public disinformation over an earnest debate about regulation and public health.


Tim Lydon works in federal lands management and is the author of “Passage to Alaska, Two Months Sea Kayaking the Inside Passage.”

http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/381814-with-climate-change-fake-news-is-old-news

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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #205 on: April 09, 2018, 08:04:13 pm »
 
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April 9, 2018




Milloy 🦖 Tries to Defend Pruitt 🦀 by Attacking Dems

Deniers rushed to Scott Pruitt’s defense over the last week as scandals continued to emerge and members of Congress called for his resignation. But, unsurprisingly, none of their arguments made much sense.
 
One of these deniers was Steve Milloy, former director of the self-professed largest privately-owned coal producer in the United States. In his latest Junk Science piece, Milloy complains that it isn’t fair to criticize Pruitt more harshly than the three most recent Democratic EPA administrators, who broke public records laws.
 
Let’s unpack that.
 
Milloy points out that Carol Browner, EPA administrator under Clinton, had her hard drive erased on her last day in office. Upon closer googling, it turns out the drive was erased by a contractor, and government lawyers said it was part of the process of transitioning between administrations. Milloy completely fails to mention the reason the act was notable at all: the same day the drive was erased, a judge had ordered the EPA to preserve all records relating to a specific lawsuit filed the previous fall (some of which were presumably on the hard drive). The Washington Post reported that government lawyers believed “the erasure of her hard drive occurred before Lamberth's order was signed,” so it’s unclear whether Browner broke the law at all.
 
Milloy also reminds us that Lisa Jackson, the first EPA administrator under Obama, hid emails from FOIA requests by sending them under the fake name “Richard Windsor.” The New York Times reported that Jackson said she “used the second account because her public email address was widely known.” EPA Associate Administrator Arvin Ganesan confirmed, explaining that for “nearly two decades EPA administrators have managed the agency with two email accounts” because one is publicly available on the website. While we agree secret email addresses can cause quite a bit of trouble, there was an inquiry into this and nothing juicy was ever found.
 
Next, Milloy turns his attention to Gina McCarthy, who, he writes, “simply deleted 5,000 text messages rather than turn them over for public scrutiny.” Of course, Milloy doesn’t mention that when Lamar Smith 🦕 subpoenaed McCarthy for the texts, the Obama administration actually produced them — along with all her phone records dating back to her arrival at the agency in 2009.
 
Still hungry after all those nothing burgers?  ;D

Try as he might, Milloy fails to make Pruitt’s behavior seem excusable. Sorry Steve, but at this point, it just may not be possible to save the EPA administrator from himself.
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #206 on: April 30, 2018, 10:07:47 pm »
 
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April 30, 2018




Morano 👹 Thrilled His Book Is Apparently Outselling 50 Year-Old Book

CFACT’s Marc Morano is very proud of his book, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.” Last Thursday, he scored an 18 minute interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson 😈 (who once suggested Disney World’s “Gay Days” could incite God to hit Orlando with hurricanes.) At the EPA’s scientific “transparency” policy announcement earlier this week, Morano gave a copy to Scott Pruitt (who, of course, needs no help being incorrect).

All this publicity among those who are looking for advice on how to be wrong about climate change is paying off. According to an email blast sent to CFACT’s subscribers last week, Morano’s book is currently outselling Rachel Carson’s seminal 1962 work, “Silent Spring”.

Carson’s series of New Yorker articles-turned-book on the impacts of widespread pesticide use is widely considered a catalyst for the rise of the modern environmental movement, and is credited as helping to bring environmental concerns into the mainstream. It’s also a book published 56 years ago. Last we checked, surpassing current sales of works published five decades ago isn’t exactly a major accomplishment.

Then, of course, there’s the matter of who’s actually buying Morano’s screed. After all, bulk purchasing is a tried and true method of gaming these sorts of lists, where marketers, book clubs or groups with an interest in a book’s topic buy in bulk then resell at a significant discount.

You may remember this from the 2015 pseudo-scandal in which the New York Times kept Ted Cruz’s book off its bestseller list because they found “the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases.” Campaign finance filings later revealed that Cruz’s campaign spent $122,000 on copies of his book. 

Though this sort of bulk purchasing is an all-too-common nonpartisan marketing ploy, this was hardly the first time conservatives bought in bulk (see right-wing talk show host Mark Levin’s 2014 book, which got a boost from a $400,000 purchase from the Republican Senate Conservatives Fund). We know climate deniers are undoubtedly well aware of the strategy of bulk buying and distribution: last year Heartland sent 25,000 science teachers its climate denial propaganda.

But the idea’s been around for years. Back in 2007, a group of conservative authors sued conservative printing house Regnery Publishing, alleging it was "selling their books at a steep discount to book clubs and other organizations owned by the same parent company.” And by donating the books or otherwise selling at a discount, Regnery was stiffing the authors out of their royalties. (Per their contract, the dispute was settled by arbitration, which found in Regnery’s favor.)

And who published Morano’s book?

Because there are no coincidences in climate denial: Regnery Publishing.
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #207 on: May 10, 2018, 02:21:56 pm »
Union of Concerned Scientists

May 10, 2018

This Just In

Scientists React

Over the years, fossil fuel companies have poured their resources into lobbying politicians, attacking scientists, funding biased studies…and producing deceptive ad campaigns. These slick advertisements are piped into our living rooms to convince us that only fossil fuels can support our way of life, that oil is clean, and that it’s solely individuals like us and our lifestyles, not these companies and their well-funded efforts to block sensible policies, who are responsible for climate change. We asked UCS scientists Dr. Astrid Caldas and Dr. Gretchen Goldman to react to some recent oil industry advertisements—watch their reactions.


Who is ExxonMobil? 🦖 ExxonMobil is one of the largest producers of oil and gas. They also have the distinction of being one of the major players in efforts to fund and implement campaigns to deceive the public about climate change.

Let’s break down some of the claims in Exxon’s Energy Lives Here advertisement

Quote
“If we could see energy, what would we see?” ExxonMobil asks.
Great question! If the energy comes from fossil fuels—oil, coal, and natural gas—we would see air pollution harming our health, extreme heat, drought, sea-level rise, and other climate impacts caused by carbon pollution, and we would see the disproportionate impacts on communities of color, low-income communities, and tribal communities.

Let’s talk jobs.

The ad heralds jobs in the fossil fuel industry, when in fact more than 500,000 people work in solar, wind, hydro, bioenergy, and geothermal energy. The energy efficiency sector alone employs more than two million people—double the number of people directly employed in the oil, coal, and gas industries in 2016, according to the Department of Energy.
Quote

“Using energy responsibly has never been more important,” ExxonMobil states with earnest concern.
We couldn’t agree more. Yet ExxonMobil borrows tactics from the playbook of the tobacco industry—hardly a model of corporate responsibility. ExxonMobil’s own scientists warned about the risks of burning oil and gas in the late 1970s. Management chose to ignore those warnings and continued pursuing fossil fuel extraction unabated, while spreading climate science disinformation and downplaying the risks of fossil fuels. To this day, they still mislead the public about the harm of their product.

https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/fight-misinformation/scientists-react#.WvSLp4gvw2w
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #208 on: May 11, 2018, 02:32:38 pm »
CleanTechnica
Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.


Fox News 😈 Slams California Rooftop Solar Initiative With Lies, Half-Truths, & Distortions


May 10th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

The California Energy Commission has mandated that most new residential structures — single family homes, condominium complexes, and apartment buildings — have rooftop solar systems beginning in 2020. While most people who care about the Earth are applauding the move, Fox News has greeted the decision with derision and scorn.

Amber Beck, a spokesperson for the California Energy Commission, says, “For residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills. On average, the 2019 standards will increase the cost of constructing a new home by about $9,500 but will save $19,000 in energy and maintenance costs over 30 years.”

It didn’t take Faux News long to find someone with a gloomier view. Brian Dahle, the Republican leader of the California Assembly, told the alleged news organization, “That’s just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live.” Yup. You betcha. In a state where the average single-family home costs $479,000 and the typical monthly mortgage with principal and interest is $2,334, that extra $40 a month is going to be a deal breaker for most folks. (And the long-term savings don’t matter.)

Then Fox News dug up a quote from Bill Watt, a homebuilder and former president of the Orange County Building Industry Association. He tells The Orange County Register the added solar panel costs, in addition to other building mandates, will make home ownership out of reach for many buyers. “We’re not building enough housing already. Why not just pause for a little while, focus on the affordability and housing issues, then circle back?”


Robert Raymer, technical director of the California Building Industry Association, gave a tepid endorsement to the new policy. “[W]e would prefer that this had been put off for a few more years, but the fact is that the California Energy Commission has been working on this, with us, for the past 10 years. We know this is coming. We did everything we could to push down compliance costs and increase design flexibility.” In other words, they did everything they could to slow walk the process as much as possible, delaying the inevitable every step of the way, and increasing emissions in the process.

Brooke Singman , who purports to be a journalist, larded her Fox News story with this memorable line: “The solar panel decision is just the latest example of what critics see as the state’s ever-evolving nanny-state policies. California often is at the leading edge of government mandates and bans, having recently prohibited everything from plastic bags to foie gras – and even flirting with phasing out internal combustion engines.” Foie gras? Oh, the horror!

Then, as if to establish her bona fides, she dredged up the Solyndra debacle, an idea everyone was for before they were against it. “The mandate is the latest win for the solar industry, despite past controversies tied to companies’ use of taxpayer funds. The most notorious example was California company Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy in 2011. An Energy Department inspector general report in 2015 said the company misrepresented facts in order to secure a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government. Taxpayer lost most of that money in the deal.”

Conservatives Reactionaries have never met a handout to fossil fuel companies 🦖 or the military 🦍 they didn’t like.
Those taxpayer-funded gifts cost hundreds of billions of dollars each and every year. But money to jump start the US solar industry so America could begin to wean itself off oil? Hang the bastards! Tar and feather ’em! Have them drawn and quartered at sunrise and then keel-hauled around the fleet!

Having thoroughly poisoned the minds of her readers, Singman tosses out this throwaway line at the very bottom of her journalistic tour de farce: “The new California measure would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 metric tons over three years, according to the commission. The Energy Commission said this would be equivalent to taking 115,000 cars off the road.”

Oh. With such fairly unbalanced diatribes soaking into the brains of its readers and viewers every day, it is little wonder that Donald Trump is pushing the world to the brink of World War III with his unhinged policies while his “base” cheers. In a perfect world, Fox News would be declared a terrorist organization and its rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth adherents deported. Then America could truly begin the task of becoming great once again.

Hat tip to Dan Allard

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/05/10/fox-news-slams-california-rooftop-solar-initiative-with-lies-half-truths-distortions/
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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #209 on: May 15, 2018, 09:11:25 pm »
 
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May 15,2018




With Congressional Funds as Paint, the Wash Examiner 🐉 Greenwashes Trump 🦀
 

The Washington Examiner is a DC-focused outlet owned by a conservative billionaire (who also happens to own the influential conservative opinion magazine Weekly Standard--which, judging by a recent editorial, seems to be as sick of Pruitt as we are). The Examiner tends to show its conservative hand in its coverage of climate, but also hasn’t given deniers the free rein that many of its counterparts in the right-wing media sphere have. And unlike the Wall Street Journal’s stark divide between fair reporting in its newsroom and denier-controlled hysteria on its editorial board, the Examiner’s opinion page is more balanced: it recently ran an editorial about California’s rooftop solar rule that’s a spitting image of the Journal’s, but also gave space to an op-ed by the Defenders of Wildlife criticizing Trump’s Arctic drilling plan.

But on Sunday, the Examiner went past its regular bias with a story claiming that “Trump is a lot greener than you think he is.” The piece uses a greenwashing framing one would expect Trump’s PR team to churn out, trumpeting Trump’s claims that he is “to a large extent, an environmentalist.” Unsurprisingly, the story fails to live up to its headline.

The focus of the piece is the flurry of research and development funding coming out of the Department of Energy. We’re apparently supposed to be impressed that unlike the Trump cabinet members who seek to entirely dismantle their agency and hand it over to the industry they’re supposed to regulate (Pruitt, DeVos, Zinke), Rick Perry is, by contrast, working to really advance energy innovation.

The greatest sin of the piece is one of omission. Nothing is said about all the ways Trump is hurting the environment, or how his administration chooses to ignore or suppress information about public health and the environment.

Instead, the Examiner piece argues, Trump should get green credit because DOE is giving out money for clean coal, nuclear, and yes renewables. One could weigh the potential merits of funding renewables while also keeping the fossil fuel industry alive, or whether or not carbon capture and sequestration, if successful, would actually make coal clean. But that’s not what the piece does, and really not even necessary for anyone paying attention.

The fact of the matter is that the DOE has been dispersing funds--but it’s despite, not because, of Trump’s presidency. The Examiner piece is lengthy, but barely touches on the fact that Trump’s proposed budgets have absolutely gutted DOE’s renewable funding. Turns out Congress are the real heroes here, as they reinstated credits for renewables. Republicans, of course, aren’t going to turn down money for their districts--and clean energy rightly enjoys overwhelming bipartisan popularity across the country.

The Examiner piece praises the ARPA-E funding for clean energy, but Trump’s proposed budget zeroed out funding for ARPA-E. Despite the Examiner’s attempt at spin, the facts speak for themselves: overall, Trump’s 2019 proposed budget reduced clean energy and energy efficiency funding by 72 percent, while upping funding for fossil fuel programs.

Just like Trump’s 🦀 claims to be an environmentalist , the Examiner’s 😈 claim that he’s greener than we think turns an ugly, dirty brown after even the briefest examination.
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