Mission: Kill Kyoto


“The U.N. Global Climate Treaty isn’t global” — because it doesn’t exist yet. The treaty is to be negotiated in Kyoto, Japan next month by more than 100 countries who signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) at the so-called Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

This ad, one of a series of five, was produced by the Global Climate Information Project, a $13 million industry-funded advertising campaign led by Shandwick Public Affairs, a Washington, D.C., P.R. firm. Their goal: to undermine the Kyoto treaty and any other attempts to limit CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, emissions that have been linked to anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.

The most interesting aspect of this ad is that it reflects a change in strategy by the fossil fuels industry: Where they once argued that the science of climate change is unproven, now they complain that a global agreement to cut greenhouse emissions will create an unfair and unbearable economic burden for the United States. (With 4 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. generates about 22 percent of all greenhouse gases). This change of approach may have less to do with the growing scientific consensus that climate change is real and underway, than with polls showing a majority of the U.S. public now believes global warming is real, and wants preventative action to be taken.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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