Daily Archives: November 25, 2015

Research Confirms ExxonMobil, Koch-Funded Climate Denial Echo Chamber Polluted Mainstream Media

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS) shows that the climate denial echo chamber organizations funded by ExxonMobil and Koch family foundations produced misinformation that effectively polluted mainstream media coverage of climate science and polarized the climate policy debate.

The abstract and full text of the study can be found here: Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change.

The analysis of 20 years’ worth of data by Yale University researcher Dr. Justin Farrell shows beyond a doubt that ExxonMobil and the Kochs are the key actors who funded the creation of climate disinformation think tanks and ensured the prolific spread of their doubt products throughout our mainstream media and public discourse.

“The contrarian efforts have been so effective for the fact that they have made it difficult for ordinary Americans to even know who to trust,” Dr. Farrell told the Washington Post which was first to cover the news of the study’s release. “This counter-movement produced messages aimed, at the very least, at creating ideological polarization through politicized tactics, and at the very most, at overtly refuting current scientific consensus with scientific findings of their own,” Dr. Farrell said.

From PNAS’s press briefing note about the article by Dr. Farrell:

Corporate funding likely influences the nature and content of polarizing texts pertaining to climate change, according to a study. Political polarization has become a hallmark of climate change policy discussion, with multiple groups in various sectors contributing to public discourse regarding climate and energy. To quantify the influence of corporate funding in climate change discourse, Justin Farrell analyzed more than 39 million words of text produced by 164 organizations active in the climate change counter-movement between 1993 and 2013. The author examined the ideological content of the produced texts, as well as the funding behind the organizations that produced the texts.

Organizations with corporate funding were more likely to have produced polarizing texts, the author found, with ExxonMobil and the Koch family foundation acting as influential funders (emphasis added). Further, according to the author, corporate funding may have influenced the ideological content of produced texts. The results suggest quantitative evidence of the influence of funding in the climate change debate that had previously been hypothesized, and suggests an analytical model for integrating texts with the social networks that created them, according to the author.

…(read more).

See:

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change

http://www.pnas.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/content/early/2015/11/18/1509433112

Abstract

Drawing on large-scale computational data and methods, this research demonstrates how polarization efforts are influenced by a patterned network of political and financial actors. These dynamics, which have been notoriously difficult to quantify, are illustrated here with a computational analysis of climate change politics in the United States. The comprehensive data include all individual and organizational actors in the climate change countermovement (164 organizations), as well as all written and verbal texts produced by this network between 1993–2013 (40,785 texts, more than 39 million words). Two main findings emerge. First, that organizations with corporate funding were more likely to have written and disseminated texts meant to polarize the climate change issue. Second, and more importantly, that corporate funding influences the actual thematic content of these polarization efforts, and the discursive prevalence of that thematic content over time. These findings provide new, and comprehensive, confirmation of dynamics long thought to be at the root of climate change politics and discourse. Beyond the specifics of climate change, this paper has important implications for understanding ideological polarization more generally, and the increasing role of private funding in determining why certain polarizing themes are created and amplified. Lastly, the paper suggests that future studies build on the novel approach taken here that integrates large-scale textual analysis with social networks.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Boy dies of Ebola in Liberia, first such fatality in months


CCTV Africa

Published on Nov 25, 2015

A 15-year-old boy has died of Ebola in Liberia. This is the first such fatality in months after the country was declared free of the disease in early September. Here’s more on that story

Harvard Extension School
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Public Health

Explaining the Refugee Crisis


World Economic Forum

Published on Nov 25, 2015

http://www.weforum.org/

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Evolution and language


potholer54

Published on Nov 25, 2015

Sources to be added soon

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Acronym TV- ISIS Threatens Attack on America, Trump: Making American White Again + more \


Occupy.com

Published on Nov 25, 2015

This week on Acronym TV
– ISIS is planning an Attack on America. What lessons can we learn from the post 9-11 era to plan for, and respond to such an attack?

– Is Journalism becoming the new terrorism? The post-Paris media climate is a hostile blood thirsty one, and the causalities are starting to pile up. With renewed assertions that Edward Snowden has blood on his hands, and by proxy, his so-called ‘enabler’ Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept. As Glenn Greenwald writes, “media outlets are viewed principally as corporate assets rather than journalistic ones: Their overriding goal is to avoid saying or doing anything that will create conflict between them and those who wield the greatest power.”

– Donald Trump’s Silent majority is not so silent anymore, and they are starting to scream “White Power.”

Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Grow Food, Fight Climate Change!


IFOAM – Organics International

Published on Nov 25, 2015

The current food system is responsible for at least a third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In fact, when it comes to GHG emissions, the agricultural sector is second only to the energy sector. This video talks about the causes of this and how shifting to Organic Agriculture can help in the battle against climate change.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

To End Poverty, Eliminate Gender-Based Violence


World Bank

Published on Nov 25, 2015

1/3 of women worldwide have or will experience intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. This is not only a grave social issue, but one with economic consequences that contribute to ongoing poverty. Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director at the World Bank, explains the role that social norms play in perpetuating violence against women and how the World Bank is working to eliminate this social ill.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Exposing the Climate Change Witch Hunt


The Big Picture RT

Published on Nov 25, 2015

Here now to discuss the latest in Representative Lamar Smith’s witchhunt against climate science with Thom – is Michael Halpern – Program Manager at the Union of Concerned Scientist’s Center for Science & Democracy.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Expanding the Reach of Climate Information Services together with Farmers


CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)

Published on Oct 28, 2015

Novel approach uses participatory learning to help farmers apply climate information in their daily decisions. The project is carried out by the Walker Institute, as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice