James Hoggan and his DeSmogBlog.com posse might be our nation's most important sleuths--and they ain't even from the United States.
Not that climate destabilization knows any boundaries. Not that climate change deniers and public relation firms hired by dirty energy corporations pledge allegiance to any country's well-being.
Drawing on their brilliant muckraking and breakthrough research, Canadian DeSmoggers (and public relations insiders) Hoggan and Richard Littlemore have just released a blockbuster new book, Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.
As the U.S. Congress grapples with various incarnations of climate change bills and world leaders and climate experts ready to gather in Copenhagen in December, Climate Cover-Up is an indispensable guidebook to anyone concerned about our planet's climate future; in fact, it should be required reading for all American citizens, journalists, public policy makers -- and President Barack Obama.
A page-turning expose of industrial fossil-fueled machinations to muck up the scientific debate over climate change, Climate Cover-Up takes readers through a blow-by-blow account of how bankrolled public relations firms and their bogus fronts and campaigns have deliberately sought to manipulate the media, mangle the language of real science, and effectively derail any public policy or action to halt the spiraling climate crisis.
In the end, unfolding like a chilling and disturbing thriller, Climate Cover-Up is about one of the greatest campaigns of misinformation in our time: The dark corporate roots of astroturfing, whitewashing dirty coal and denying climate change.
Hoggan and his team hold no punches in their investigation. They ask: Where were these purported skeptics getting their money?
Examining the role of the Hawthorn Group, one of the top public relations firms in the US, and its bankrolled mandate to launch a "clean coal" whitewashing campaign for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) last year, Climate Cover-Up found:
"But the Hawthorn memo makes it clear that manipulating American election coverage is both fun and profitable. Forty million dollars might seem like a lot of money, but the coal kings behind ACCCE apparently think it's a small price to pay to influence a new generation of politicians whose in-boxes have been filled with clean-coal emails, and who have grown used to seeing themselves with their arms wrapped around the clean-coal team."
The end result?
In the land of Washington and Jefferson the maintenance of a healthy democracy is an article of faith. Indeed, much of the world looks to America as an example of democracy in action. Former president George W. Bush even invoked the spreading of democracy as one of the reasons for starting a war with Iraq. But the Hawthorn campaign, the ACCCE advertising surge, the CEED strategy to disrupt regional climate negotiations among states trying to create a greenhouse gas regulatory system--none of these things scan as truly democratic. They all look like manipulations aimed at taking advantage of a lenient system to privilege the interests of an already wealthy and powerful industry at the expense of the interest of the public."
Canadians are no strangers to US energy policy. On his first trip abroad, President Barack Obama stood with his Canadian counterpart in Ottawa, Canada last February and declared: "The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal, but we have our own homegrown problems in terms of dealing with a cheap energy source that create a big carbon footprint."
Let's hope Climate Cover-Up makes it to the White House before the next round of Big Coal lobbyists.
Here's an interview with author James Hoggan on Democracy Now this week: