As The World Burns  

Posted by Big Gav

I've had a post on this topic gestating for a very long time now, so naturally someone else has beaten me to it.

If you're interested in the global warming "debate", have a read of "As The World Burns" in Mother Jones, which does a great job of explaining both science and the background behind the disinformation campaign being waged (largely by Exxon) to try and delay action like carbon taxes and implementation of the Kyoto treaty.

It was around eight in the morning in the vast convention hall in Kyoto. The negotiations over a worldwide treaty to limit global warming gases, which were supposed to have ended the evening before, had gone on through the night. Drifts of paper—treaty drafts, industry talking points, environmentalist press releases—overflowed every wastebasket. Delegates in suits and ties were passed out on couches, noisily mouth breathing. And polite squadrons of workers were shooing people out of the hall so that some trade show—tool and die makers, I think—could set up its displays.

Finally, from behind the closed doors, word emerged that we had a treaty. The greens all cheered, halfheartedly—since it wasn't as though the agreement would go anywhere near far enough to arrest global warming—but firm in their conviction that the tide on the issue had finally turned. After a decade of resistance, the oil companies and the car companies and all the other deniers of global warming had seen their power matched.

Or so it seemed. I was standing next to a top industry lobbyist, a man who had spent the last week engineering opposition to the treaty, huddling with Exxon lawyers and Saudi delegates, detailing the Venezuelans to change this word, the Kuwaitis to soften that number. Right now he looked just plain tired. "I can't wait to get back to Washington," he said. "In Washington we'll get this under control again."


If this sort of thing doesn't drive you crazy, then you might enjoy playing Tim Lambert's "Global Warming Skeptic Bingo" next time you have to listen to one of these nuts spouting some stream of fetid non-science.

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