Monthly Archives: January 2013

Global Warming is Baloney

Die Zeit ripped

Climate Change

The Climate Warriors

How industry-financed PR managers trick the world into believing that global warming is a fake. Chronology of an organized lie.

By Anita Blasberg und Kerstin Kohlenberg (translated by endofthelesson)

(read Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here)

The Climate-Warriors, Part 5

The year is 2009. The Financial Crisis has hit media hard. Publishing houses and broadcasters downsize. Every third U.S. news-journalist loses his job. The few left don’t have the time to check facts. CNN disbands its science-unit. Weather forecast announcer Chad Meyers is the resident expert for climate change now. Meyers says: ‘It’s hubris to think we humans can affect global climate in such a way.’

endofthelesson: Klaus Kocks, the enfant terrible of the public relations-scene in Germany, coined the immortal phrase that the colourful flower of public relations grows out of the dung-heap of journalism (“Die bunte Blume der PR blueht auf dem Misthaufen des Journalismus”; ZAPP, 17.02.2010). Communication and media researchers in the Western democracies have repeatedly pointed out that the succession of ‘media crises’ during the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st hollowed out journalism to a dangerous degree. Journalism, in general, simply isn’t capable of doing the job the public somehow expects it to do anymore. But this is not just a post-democratic condition. Media crises are not a force of nature. There is a reason. And the reason, folks, is the simple fact that WE, the once-citizens and now-consumers, are not willing to pay. We’re not willing to pay the full price for quality journalism. Most of us, myself included, are not even willing to devote a decent amount of time and attention to quality journalism. It’s  uncomfortable and unsettling to read about the rotten state of the world all the time. So I watch Prince Harry talking about flying the Apache gunship instead.

What is bad for readers and viewers is good for Marc Morano: Many editorial offices now pursue the strategy to neutralize every material statement with a counter-statement claiming the opposite. So, every statement by a climate researcher is counterbalanced by the statement of a climate-change denier – and that saves the press the trouble to provide an answer to the question who’s right and who’s wrong.

Marc Morano keeps a database of several thousand e-mail-addresses of journalists on his laptop. 19 different lists, sorted by categories such as ‘columnists’, ‘TV moderators’, ‘supra-regional science editors’ (‘not as accessible as the others’), ‘local newspaper’ (‘always take something’).

It’s November, 17, 2009. Michael Mann celebrates Thanksgiving with this family. At 9.57 pm a person with the pseudonym ‘FOIA’ blogs on a blog called Air Vent. FOIA reveals the address of a server from which one can download 1000 private e-mails of the most prominent climate researchers world-wide: Michael Mann included.

What happened? Unknown hackers accessed the server of the climate research unit of the University of East Anglia and downloaded private e-mails and documents. Everything stands ready for inspection in the net, just in time for the UN Climate Conference starting at the beginning of December 2009 in Copenhagen.

At that time, Marc Morano was sitting in the back of a rented car driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. His mobile phone rings. He is in California to agitate against a new environmental law. An acquaintance tells him about the hacked mails. Crazy stuff, some of it! In one e-mail, Michael Mann writes that he uses ‘a trick’ to conceal sinking temperatures.

A trick? That can only mean one thing: that the whole business of global warming is a gigantic fake.

Soon the seeming ‘scandal’ has a name: Climategate. Marc Morano puts a so-called feeder onto his webpage. The program alerts him to everything that is written about the researchers’ mails. He collects headlines and assembles them on his own page – linked to 1,700 other pages. ‘The greatest scandal of modern science,’ he types. Other bloggers link his texts with other texts. These are then linked to others. Like a man possessed, Morano works through the night. Until Climategate has spread through the Google-Universe like a dense web. In only two weeks’ time, the story of the allegedly corrupt climate researchers spreads to 25 million internet pages all over the globe.

Few journalists have bothered to read the original e-mails, but nearly all gratefully accept Morano’s interpretation: ‘The last nail in global warming’s coffin.’ Fox News goes on day after day about the ‘Waterloo of global warming.’ The British newspaper Daily Telegraph warns its readers: ‘If you hold stock of renewable energy companies, divest NOW!’ Even the well-regarded magazine The Atlantic writes disgustedly: ‘The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering’.

The World Climate Conference in Copenhagen ends inconclusively. No results. President Obama’s long-awaited climate protection act fails in the U.S. Senate. A couple of weeks later, in spring 2010, congressional investigation committees acquit the climate researchers fully and completely. The incriminating passages were taken out of context. The ‘trick’ Michael Mann wrote about pertains to the perfectly admissible solution of a statistical problem. The data contain no irregularities. This news, too, makes it into the media. But it is confined to the back pages.

Not even half of the U.S. population believes in global warming anymore.

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border-control Most PR campaigns stress the positives, and that is especially true when the objective is to promote a country. Here’s an example from Visit Britain, painting a very tempting picture of Jersey. Look at the blue skies and golden beaches!

But, listen carefully, and you will hear the presenter explain that Jersey is great for a short break. You are welcome to stay a few days, and spend some money…. but please don’t stay too long.

Tourists are fine, but the UK Government is apparently less thrilled by the prospect of Bulgarians and Romanians, attracted by the land of hope and glory image created by the Olympics, deciding to exercise their new rights as EU citizens to move to Britain to find work.

No, no, this calls for a different type of campaign, informing Eastern European non-holidaymakers that the UK is cold and miserable, and the job prospects are dismal as the weather.

The Guardian asked readers to help by designing their own posters to put people off visiting….

come here

Have you tried Twitter’s new microvideo platform, Vine, yet? Is it going to be the Instagram of moving images? Or the world’s most irritating collection of headache-inducing, shaky images of people pulling faces?

For a live stream of the latest Vines as they are uploaded, see VinePeek. If you have a Vine account, feel free to tweet links to @SKUncutCHbg….

The best first attempts seem to be using stop motion, though they have some way to go before they can compete with these beautifully crafted videos…

Thanks, Robin Hüdepohl (Joint Masters).

Global Warming is Baloney

Die Zeit ripped

Climate Change

The Climate Warriors

How industry-financed PR managers trick the world into believing that global warming is a fake. Chronology of an organized lie.

By Anita Blasberg und Kerstin Kohlenberg (translated by torchesoffreedom)

(read Part I here, Part II here, Part III here)

The Climate-Warriors,  Part 4

While Mann and the other scientists in the World Climate Council work free of charge, the Heartland Institute writes in an internal budgetary plan for 2012, which was leaked to the media recently, about Fred Singers association NIPCC: “We currently support the NIPCC, to undermine the official report of the World Climate Council of the United Nations. We have paid a team of writers, to work on a series of publications.”

And furthermore the institutes paper says: “Our current budget includes the support of persons with  high levels of publicity, who regularly object the alarmist’s statements concerning climate change. Right now, this support goes to Craig Idso (11.600 Dollar per month), Fred Singer (5.000 Dollar per month) and Robert Carter (1.667 Dollar per month).

From 1997 to 2004 alone, the oil and gas industry has invested 420 Million dollars in the manufacturing of doubt.

At the end of 2007, the World Climate Council is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. But in America, there’s no longer any talk of bipartisan consensus or joint legislation for the protection of the climate. On the contrary: Michael Mann finds himself again on the dock in Washington. “Open questions concerning the hockey stick”, is the hearing entitled, to which, this time, the Energy Commission invites him. Mann knows, there are no open questions, his results are undeniable. Nevertheless, he is nervous.

torchesoffreedom (aka intheloop): An important part of the strategy is to repeat dissent on climate change in public, over and over again. As with casting doubts on the reputation of spearheading persons like Mann, it sooner or later also has a lasting effect on the issue climate change itself. It does not really matter if the doubts you raise on climate change are qualified or not. Permanent repetition alone will make enough people think, that they might be. And that is all you need to change facts into beliefs.

In front of Rayburn House, seat of the House of Representatives, stand the broadcast vehicles of all major broadcasting stations. Mann climbs the stairs, cameraman accompany him, journalists with microphone and voice recorder. Mann just became father for the first time, his contract with the university is still reprieved. For the first time in his life, he contacted a lawyer. It is not only about science any more. It is about his existence.

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A big welcome to the 17 MSc students on the Lund + Stirling joint programme in Strategic Communications who arrived at Campus Helsingborg this week!

After successfully completing their first semester at Stirling, the group, who hail from Sweden, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Spain and beyond, will study here in Skåne until May.

Hopefully they will find SK Uncut useful… Follow us on Twitter (@SKUncutCHbg), and join the Facebook group.  Please add a comment here to your introduce yourself to the SK Uncut community.


Award-winning PR scholar Julia Jahansoozi, director of our joint Master Programme in Strategic Public Relations, is at Campus Helsingborg this week.

On Monday, Julia, from Stirling University, Scotland, gave a fascinating insight into her current work, including investigating lobbying in Nigeria, researching industry–community relationship building in the Canadian petroleum industry, public private partnerships in sub-Saharan West Africa, and a new project which will soon start on institutional capacity building in India.

Nigeria doesn’t always enjoy the best media profile – Forbes Magazine recently ranked it as the 20th saddest place to live in the whole world: ‘Decades of corruption have squandered great oil and gas wealth, while new concerns involve sectarian violence.’ But after living there for four months, Julia gave a rather more nuanced picture of a warm, friendly and vibrant society… with just a few death threats to liven up the communicative process.

Julia’s work focused on the cassava industry. Cassava is a root vegetable, which has long been a staple food for many Africans, but it can also be used to produce ethanol that can be used as vehicle fuel, in glues, and industrial grade starch. “Cassava has gained considerable political interest over recent years because of its great commercial potential – were are talking five billion US Dollars  a year – so the complex relationships between its varíous stakeholder and activist groups are fascinating and an challenging.

“My research showed ignoring vested interests can undermine even the most popular government intiative.”

Here is Julia’s presentation, Lobbying in Nigeria.