The Copenhagen climate change conference is coming and, quite frankly, I don’t expect it to change a thing: the focus will still be on ensuring economic growth in the face of a heating Earth, and most of the money pledged will go into building walls (both metaphorical and actual) to make people feel like they are being protected from the striking changes in environmental conditions expected when the full impact of climate change starts to hit us. If anything is agreed then it won’t be anything like enough to even slow down the impact of climate change, let alone stop it — as leaders in a world dominated by consumption and industrial might, the decision makers at Copenhagen can either say goodbye to power and the way of life they have become accustomed to; or they can make us all think everything is going to be fine in their hands.
That’s my position, and it isn’t going to change: you have my word. On the other hand, there are an increasing number of good people who really do want to change the way that they live; oridinary people who are growing increasingly restless and just need a bit of help to guide them down the road out of the industrial, consuming way of life. These are the people that the latest climate change denial groups, CO2 Is Green and Plants Need CO2, are determined to push back into the wheels of the machine.
Both of them are fronted by H. Leighton Steward, a geologist and wetland geographer who has taken a recent interest in denying the science of climate change (remember, even the conservative IPCC are more than 90% sure that [civilized] humans are behind the suddenly changing climate). He has the following biography (my emphasis):
Leighton Steward is a geologist, environmentalist, author, and retired energy industry executive. He has written about the reasons for the loss of much of the Mississippi River delta (Louisiana’s National Treasure) and has given advice on how the nation can achieve “no net loss” of wetlands in the future; advice that has been accepted by the EPA and U. S. Corps of Engineers. Leighton was lead author on a book about nutrition and health (Sugar Busters) that gave advice on how to lose weight and prevent and or treat diabetes. The book became a #1 New York Times Best seller for sixteen weeks and made a significant contribution to the changes that have occurred regarding the availability of no-sugar-added, higher fiber, and low-glycemic products in the super markets. More recently, he has written a book (Fire, Ice and Paradise) that is an endeavor to educate the non-scientist about the many causes of global climate change so that the reader will be better prepared to understand what they hear, see, and read about in the media and from the politicians. In recognition of his many environmental efforts, Leighton has received numerous environmental awards, including the regional EPA Administrator’s Award for environmental excellence.
He is Chairman of the Board of The Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at SMU, was Chairman of the National Wetlands Coalition, and was twice Chairman of the Audubon Nature Institute. Leighton currently serves on the boards or boards of visitors of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, EOG Resources, The Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Southwest Research Institute, and is an emeritus member of the Tulane University board.
Leighton’s current interest lies in helping to educate the general public and the politicians about the tremendous benefits of carbon dioxide (CO2) as it relates to the plant and animal kingdoms and their related ecosystems and habitats, and the general health of humanity.
H. Leighton Steward
EOG Resources, Incorporated
Houston , TX
Sector: BASIC MATERIALS / Independent Oil & Gas
74 Years Old
Mr. Steward is author-partner of Sugar Busters, LLC, a provider of seminars, books and products related to helping people follow a healthy and nutritious lifestyle. He retired from Burlington Resources, Inc., an oil and gas exploration, production and development company, in 2000, where he had served as Vice Chairman since 1997. Mr. Steward is former Chairman of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association and the Natural Gas Supply Association, and is currently an honorary director of the American Petroleum Institute.
Isn’t it strange that he missed out so many things that would link him to the oil and gas industry so intimately; aspecially the API which is one of the most active climate change denial advocacy groups in the world, and whose 1998 Global Science Communications Plan was leaked to DeSmogBlog. Among the explosive statements contained in this pro-oil plan were the following words:
Unless “climate change” becomes a non-issue, meaning that the Kyoto proposal is defeated and there are no further initiatives to thwart the threat of climate change, there may be no moment when we can declare victory for our efforts. It will be necessary to establish measurements for the science effort to track progress towards achieving the goal and strategic success.
“Victory” was essentially to be achieved when the public were utterly confused about the realities of climate change, and thus could be manipulated to support the views of the oil and gas industry — the “strategic success”.
H. Leighton Steward is a director of this organisation, yet he describes himself as an “environmentalist”.
Given the rather inauspicious motives of the two groups, CO2 Is Green and Plants Need CO2 it’s clear that they are dangerous. I encourage you to spend a little time navigating the sites and seeing exactly how much peer-reviewed science they quote in defence of their position: you will find none. What you will find are lots of former oil cronies and PR companies employed by the oil and gas industry. One of these PR companies is The Patriot Group, whose Principal, Ryan Gravatt has set up a Facebook Group on behalf of Plants Need CO2.
In fact, Facebook is a major part of the efforts of these groups: the CO2 Is Green Facebook Group is rather slick, and has been expertly managed so that “discussions” are filtered to different tabs, and “fans” are banned from posting should they say anything too challenging.
This is where you come in. In order to counter the toxic messages these groups are putting around (remember, they use no objective science and are funded by the oil industry), there are two really good things you could do:
1) Repost the videos and links to their web sites with a clear message that these groups are a complete joke and are surely hoaxes because they are so laughable. Make the same kinds of comments on their YouTube videos and channels:
2) Join the Facebook groups and cause havoc. Post contrary comments and links (if you are allowed to) everywhere:
Keith Farnish is an environmental blogger and campaigner who has written a book which might help fix this mess, called “Time’s Up! An Uncivilized Solution To A Global Crisis.“