Mission: Kill Kyoto

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“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.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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