Meet the Masterminds

Call this phone number “4 FACTS” and you’ll hear a recorded message warning that the U.N. is rushing into a climate treaty that will have major impacts on the U.S. economy, jobs, and lifestyles. The message continues to claim that the still-unwritten treaty will exempt 132 of 166 nations — this despite President Clinton’s Oct. 22 announcement of the U.S. bargaining position that no nation should be exempted. The message then goes on to ask for your name and address so you can be sent additional information.

The Web site offers a selection of gloomy economic analyses, anti-treaty “grassroots” commentary, and greenhouse counter-science. It also directs readers to a list of just eight “other sites” out of several thousand relating to climate change. These seven are:

  • The Science and Environmental Policy Project, founded in 1990 as an affiliate of a Moonie think tank. Its director Fred Singer is one of a half- dozen pro-industry scientists who regularly appear before congressional committees and Wise Use conferences to lambast mainstream scientific thinking on global warming. His last scientific peer-reviewed publication was in 1971.

  • The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based conservative think-tank that promotes “free-market environmentalism” and issues policy papers attacking environmental science and environmental organizations.

  • World Climate Report, funded by the Western Fuels Association to counter mainstream theories on global warming. Its editor Patrick Michaels is another of industry’s favorite “climate skeptics.” Michaels has admittedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in research funding from the oil and coal industries.

  • The American Petroleum Institute is of course the voice of the half-trillion-dollar-a-year oil and gas industry, which would be hardest hit by any reduction of CO2 emissions. Not surprisingly, they argue that such reductions are unnecessary. Surprisingly, British Petroleum has broken ranks, admitting that the science of climate change appears sound, and pledging to reduce its own company emissions, and increase investment in solar and other energy alternatives. BP’s position does not appear on the API web site.

  • The Global Climate Coalition is similar to the Global Climate Information Project. It was founded in 1989 by several dozen major corporations to “counter the myth of global warming.” It continues to promote this strategy of sheer denial, while the Information Project focuses on the alleged dire economic consequences of a global agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions.

  • The George C. Marshall Institute is another conservative think-tank and long-time “Star Wars” promoter funded by Scaife, Bradley and other right-wing foundations. It was the first player to attack the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s 1995 finding that the Earth is facing — or has already entered — a period of climatic instability.

  • The “Cooler Heads” Coalition

    For a comprehensive listing of science-related climate change Web sites, try the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program.

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