Friday, November 13, 2015

"In all, 140 foundations funneled $558 million to almost 100 climate denial organizations from 2003 to 2010."

This quote comes from a Scientific American article about Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert Brulle's study.  That two year old article went on to say
"Meanwhile the traceable cash flow from more traditional sources, such as Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, has disappeared."
But more recently, the ExxonMobil role has reappeared and the implication that it had gone to hidden money seems to  have been correct.  From a Media Matters article that cites different articles on this story:
"InsideClimate News published a six-part investigation in September and October detailing "how Exxon conducted cutting-edge climate research decades ago and then, without revealing all that it had learned, worked at the forefront of climate denial, manufacturing doubt about the scientific consensus that its own scientists had confirmed." InsideClimate's eight-month investigation was "based on primary sources including internal company files dating back to the late 1970s, interviews with former company employees, and other evidence." [InsideClimate News, Exxon: The Road Not Taken, accessed 11/13/15]"
Just as the tobacco industry funded campaigns to deny smoking's health threats, Exxon and other fossil fuel related corporations have been funding climate change denial campaigns.  But while smoking threatened the life of the smoker and those near him or her, climate change threatens people and animals all over the planet.

I'm still surprised at how few people seem to know that the massive tide of refugees from Syria to Europe (not to mention the Syrian civil war) are the result, in part,  of long term drought that forced impoverished farmers into the cities and eventually to join rebel movements.  Of course, Bashar al-Assad played a big role too, but without a population of desperate farmers, the uprising might not have occurred.

My point is that while we can all think of examples of climate change, most people have not faced the massive upheavals it's already causing and that will get worse unless we do something serious soon.

COP2 is coming this December in Paris and if you don't know about it, you should check the link.

But you don't have to go to Paris.  Anyone in the US can contact any number of local groups working to slow down climate change.  The group that most impresses me - Citizens Climate Lobby - now has chapters in almost every Congressional district and you can find your local group here.  Just go to one meeting.  That was all it took to convince me this was an incredibly competent, politically savvy, and socially positive group. By socially positive I mean that their methods are NOT focused on conflict and confrontation, but on building relationships, using the best available science,  and educating Congress on the realities of climate change. 

In the meantime, if you live in or near Anchorage, tomorrow (SATURDAY Nov 14) there's a great opportunity to learn more about climate change and what you can do about it.  The forum will be put on by Alaska Common Ground -  the same people who put on the fiscal forum last spring.  It starts at nine, but if you show up at any time, they'll let you in and you'll learn something.
Here's more information I got by email the other day: 

 Alaska’s Changing Climate:
Impacts, Policy and Action
Are you concerned about climate change and wondering what to do about it? Join us at a free, public forum discussing Alaska's Changing Climate: Impacts, Policy and Action. The agenda is attached and pasted below.

Saturday, November 14th
UAA Student Union (downstairs from the Bookstore)
9 am to 4 pm

This forum aims to move the conversation forward by understanding the impacts from climate change to Alaska and what the state and community policy makers can do about them as well as actions for individuals to take. Public Administration graduate students from UAA will present policy actions both during the afternoon sessions and during lunch.

The event will be recorded and broadcast on 360 North, tentative broadcast date of November 21st. Info will be posted on our website.

These forums are expensive to host. We appreciate all the support from our sponsors and partners. Please consider adding your name to our supporters by making a donation at or sending us a check to PO Box 241672, Anchorage, 99524.

Questions? Please contact Hope to see you on Saturday.

 [More Feedburner issues, so reposting and deleting the original.  Sorr

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