By Naomi Klein July 10, 2015 JUNE 29TH—PACKING
When I was first asked to speak at a Vatican press conference on Pope Francis’s recently published climate-change encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” I was convinced that the invitation would soon be rescinded. Now the press conference and, after it, a two-day symposium to explore the encyclical is just two days away. This is actually happening.
As usual ahead of stressful trips, I displace all of my anxiety onto wardrobe. The forecast for Rome in the first week of July is punishingly hot, up to ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. Women visiting the Vatican are supposed to dress modestly, no exposed legs or upper arms. Long, loose cottons are the obvious choice, the only problem being that I have a deep-seated sartorial aversion to anything with the whiff of hippie.
Surely the Vatican press room has air-conditioning. Then again, “Laudato Si’ ” makes a point of singling it out as one of many “harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more.” Will the powers that be make a point of ditching the climate control just for this press conference? Or will they keep it on and embrace contradiction, as I am doing by supporting the Pope’s bold writings on how responding to the climate crisis requires deep changes to our growth-driven economic model—while disagreeing with him about a whole lot else?
Global Climate Change
July 9, 2015 4:26 PM EDT ››› DENISE ROBBINS
A new report exposes the many ways that Big Oil has been working to deceive the public on climate change over the past several decades. The media has fallen for many of its tactics, effectively allowing the industry to change the debate on climate science and hide the industry backing behind its front groups and campaigns.
For nearly three decades, top executives at ExxonMobil have known that fossil fuel emissions harm the climate, according to a document uncovered by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). And since then, the UCS report shows, Exxon and other major oil companies have been working to “deceive the public” about the truth on climate change.
The UCS report — titled “The Climate Deception Dossiers: Internal Fossil Fuel Industry Memos Reveal Decades of Corporate Disinformation” — is based on a trove of internal company and trade association documents and identifies seven tactics that oil companies have used to sow misinformation and sway public opinion in its favor. Several of these tactics involve spreading “disinformation,” and the media has taken the bait. Here’s how:
Including False Balance In Climate Change Coverage
A key document uncovered by UCS is a 1998 memo from the American Petroleum Institute (API) that includes a draft “Global Climate Science Communications Plan.” The plan’s stated goal is that a “majority of the American public, including industry leadership, recognizes that significant uncertainties exist in climate science, and therefore raises questions among those (e.g. Congress) who chart the future U.S. course on global climate change.” API’s plan says one of its hoped-for “victories” is for media coverage to “reflect balance on climate science.” And indeed, false balance is rampant in mainstream media coverage of climate science. For example, in 2014, every broadcast Sunday news show except CBS’ Face the Nation aired segments that included false balance on climate science.
Global Climate Change
Huge waves were crashing into the coast of Zhejiang province
Powerful typhoon Chan-hom has made landfall along the coast of China’s eastern Zhejiang province.
Almost one million people have been evacuated from coastal areas in anticipation of the typhoon carrying wind speeds of 173km/h (107mph).
Chan-hom’s path is expected to take it south of Shanghai later on Saturday.
The storm left five people dead in the Philippines earlier in the week. It also hit Taiwan and Japan, uprooting trees and injuring several people.
Chan-hom first hit Zhejiang province on an island near the city of Ningbo at around 16:40 (08:40 GMT), the National Meteorological Center said.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
A China Central Television reporter was shown broadcasting knee-deep in a flooded street.
The BBC’s John Sudworth in Shanghai says more than 400 flights have been cancelled there along with a number of public events, and the government has told people they should stay at home.
Global Climate Change