Obama re-elected: much better news for our climate chances than Romney - but big oil still funding pseudoscience to stir up conf

Published by: Climate and Health Council on 8th Nov 2012 | View all blogs by Climate and Health Council
He may not have achieved much on the climate front in his first term in office, but unlike Mitt Romney, Obama does at least seem to understand the extent of the threat posed by climate change to human wellbeing and survival.  And - athough constrained by the Senate and political will on the ground - is likely to make more progress on emissions reductions or at least have a better chance of it than Romney.

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At the same time, PwC's recent report finds that we need deep reductions in carbon intensity of 5.1% per year to 2050 - over six times greater than the 0.8 per cent average annual cuts achieved since 2000 - to avoid dangerous climate change, which will be a real challenge for even the most committed nations.

And all the while, fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil are funding pseudoscience that will help to keep the public in a state of doubt and confusion for a few years longer so their profits aren't compromised.  The libertarian US Cato Institut based in Washington, DC, recently published its new report, Addendum: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,  - and it is designed to look just like the U.S. government’s official 2009 National Climate Assessment:

This was presented to Congress in 2009 as the federal government's best single evaluation of the science and potential impacts of climate change.  Eleven authors of the original government report wrote a recent letter protesting what they called the “deceptive and misleading” Cato report:

“The Cato report is in no way an addendum to our 2009 report.  It is not an update, explanation, or supplement by the authors of the original report.  Rather, it is a completely separate document lacking rigorous scientific analysis and review.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists' 2007 report, Smoke, Mirrors, and Hot Air, detailed ExxonMobil’s campaign to use front groups to fund misinformation about climate change. They documented that Michaels was affiliated with no fewer than eleven groups funded by ExxonMobil.  Two of the six-member author team on this new Cato report were also highlighted in their 2007 report - Robert Balling was affiliated with no fewer than five “front groups” funded by ExxonMobil.

Source: http://www.ucsusa.org/publications/got-science/2012/got-science-november-2012.html

 

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