The IREA memo

A leaked memo from the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) gives us inside view of how some of the Global Warming disinformation campaign is financed. There’s this:

We decided to support Dr. Patrick Michaels. … In February of this year, IREA alone contributed $100,000 to Dr. Michaels. In addition, we have contacted all the G&T’s in the United States … and obtained additional contributions and pledges for Dr. Michaels’ group. We will be following up the remaining G&T’s over the next several weeks.

and this, on the ludicrous CEI ads:


[CEI] has been running two ads in ten states that were financed by General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. …. We have met with Koch [Industries], CEI and Dr. Michaels and they meet among themselves periodically to discuss their activities.

Kevin Grandia checked with GM and Ford and they both denied financing the ads. I wonder who did pay for them?

RealClimate debunks the science in the memo. Ross Gelbspan covers the history of previous disinformation campaigns by coal interests. Richard Littlemore rounds up the news coverage on the memo.

Comments

  1. #1 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 28, 2006

    But no word on how alarmist disinformation is spread by politicians through selective government funding and how that disinformation is used to justify the expansion of the power and control that politicians have over our lives and our economies?

  2. #2 Tim Lambert
    July 28, 2006

    Are you against flouridation as well, nags?

  3. #3 Kevin Grandia
    July 28, 2006

    I always love how the defenders of the climate change skeptics try to sideline any claims of energy sector funding of science as a wild eyed “conspiracy theory,” yet they are the first to argue that there is some massive government/scientific conspiracy to make up the global warming crisis.

  4. #4 Pinko Punko
    July 28, 2006

    Kevin, well stated. Ugh, these things make me sick to my stomach. Who is clinging to ideology, nags? Your obsession with smaller government causes you to deny the existence of problems bigger than the free market, because of course you deny that such problems could possibly exist. Where are the market forces operating? They are operating in the fact that monopolies are pushing for their short term bottomg line and not long term interests. The rest of us poor shmucks have long term interests. That is why we need non-sucking “nanny” govt. I for one would welcome our climate scientist overlords over CEI chumpwads anyday.

  5. #5 B
    July 28, 2006

    “But no word on how alarmist disinformation is spread by politicians through selective government funding and how that disinformation is used to justify the expansion of the power and control that politicians have over our lives and our economies?’

    Surely, you must be referring to the Bush administration.

    There have been lots of words written about that over the past few years, for anyone who cared to do a little reading outside the mainstream media.

  6. #6 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 28, 2006

    Are against flouridation as well, nags?

    Water fluoridation? Yes, I’m against water fluoridation and proudly so. Thanks for bringing this up. Who would want scrapings from the inside of ALCOA’s aluminum smelting smokestacks in drinking water? Drinking water should consist of Hydrogen and Oxygen, not industrial pollution in the form of fluorsilicates. What kind of a conspiracy nut does that make me to want clean drinking water?

    I always love how the defenders of the climate change skeptics try to sideline any claims of energy sector funding of science as a wild eyed “conspiracy theory,” yet they are the first to argue that there is some massive government/scientific conspiracy to make up the global warming crisis.

    Strawman. I never claimed conspiracy.

    Where are the market forces operating?

    They are creating new technologies to make us more energy efficient, and coming up with alternative energy sources.

    They are operating in the fact that monopolies are pushing for their short term bottomg line and not long term interests.

    Monopolies are created by government. It is our free society that breaks them down. Two guys in a garage in San Jose with the freedom to invent, a creative spirit, and of course, an infusion of capital, brought down the feared IBM “monopoly”.

  7. #7 Lettuce
    July 28, 2006

    But no word on how alarmist disinformation is spread by politicians through selective government funding and how that disinformation is used to justify the expansion of the power and control that politicians have over our lives and our economies

    Well into the second term of the Bush II Administration and complete Republican corporatist domination of Washington and the media, they’re still flogging the notion that “selective government funding” stands in opposition to the astroturfing science of the corporations.

    Some fairy tales never get old.

  8. #8 Kevin Grandia
    July 28, 2006

    So you are not implying a “conspiracy” when you state:

    …. selective government funding and how that disinformation is used to justify the expansion of the power and control that politicians have over our lives and our economies?

    Do you notice, how often the skeptic defenders use the “strawman” defence as well?

  9. #9 QrazyQat
    July 28, 2006

    The feared IBM monopoly was brought down by a Justice Department court action that went on for several years. Now you can complain that it shouldn’t have been so — certainly we have problems with Microsoft, and their winning the PC OS contract was an indirect consequence of the Justice Dept action against IBM. IBM’s own internal policy, bringing in a bean counter instead of a marketing guy to lead the company in the 1980s didn’t help in the least. But certainly Apple — perhaps more accurately Commodore and Tandy, plus Apple — had a little to do with the IBM situation, but very little.

    As for using the word “conspiracy” — no, nags, you didn’t. What you did was describe a conspiracy — an immense and unlikely conspiracy — and claim it existed, while not actually using the actual word.

  10. #10 NJ
    July 28, 2006

    Drinking water should consist of Hydrogen and Oxygen, not industrial pollution in the form of fluorsilicates.

    God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids.

  11. #11 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 28, 2006

    … they’re still flogging the notion …

    Who’s “they”?

  12. #12 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 28, 2006

    So you are not implying a “conspiracy” when you state:

    …. selective government funding and how that disinformation is used to justify the expansion of the power and control that politicians have over our lives and our economies?

    Don’t mistake incompetence and over-eager politicians wanting to pass their “feel good” meausres – regardless of the consequences – for a conspiracy.

  13. #13 Davis
    July 28, 2006

    Monopolies are created by government. It is our free society that breaks them down.

    I really hope you’re being hyperbolic, and not completely serious, when you make a blanket statement like that.

  14. #14 Hank Roberts
    July 28, 2006

    Nanny would I think agree with Huey Long:

    [link](http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=4&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ssa.gov%2Fhistory%2Flongsen.html&ei=CpbKRKW7GK_yYMb9kZQE&sig2=214MkMmjCH6zJehWX7IhjA)

    Annotation: This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current policies or procedures

    (You bet!)

  15. #15 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 28, 2006

    Nanny would I think agree with Huey Long:

    ?!?!

    What part of “nanny government sucks” don’t you understand?

  16. #16 Pinko Punko
    July 29, 2006

    I cannot personally attack nags for attributes he/she/it/bird has shown with its own comments. I respect the rules of Deltoid. I merely encourage other commenters to read my mind, for my thoughts are baroque in their extravagance, but oddly not hyperbolic. I bid those on this side of the earth goodnight and coming up on good afternoon to Tim L.

  17. #17 Ian Gould
    July 29, 2006

    “Monopolies are created by government.”

    Not for the first time, you display an ignorance of both economics and history which is truly frightening.

  18. #18 Eli Rabett
    July 29, 2006

    Nanny, what you wanna bet that fluoridation does not use the scrappings from aluminum smelters?

  19. #19 SkookumPlanet
    July 29, 2006

    Here’s an idea. Even if one stipulates the GW skeptics campaign is correct, it’s instructive to note the following.

    1) The petro-energy industry is one of the wealthiest on the planet. They fund a negative psychomarketing campaign likely more than research on GW. No, we don’t know the figures, that’s my point. They complain mightily about a narrow range of such research yet clearly could have contributed to the science over decades if they desired. I could find not a single mention of funding science in the IREA memo. Funding decisions often reveal priorities.

    2) They go to extraordinary lengths to keep their shenanigans secret while damning opponents for misdeeds ranging from fraud to stupidity. We see only that portion they want seen, necessarily overt elements in a hidden campaign. On the other hand, “selective government funding” is public information.

    Such details get lost in a “debate” between dueling “facts”, a campaign tactic itself. There are numerous ways to lie. When tools and behaviors are off-kilter to professed values, principles and ideals, you can bet the professed values, principles and ideals are a form of lie.

    The genesis and funding of the “alarmist disinformation” is openly discussed, even by it’s promulgators. Yet that’s equated with a covert, well-funded campaign designed and executed by top persuasion industry professionals. Their fingerprints are all over it. The evidence plays out in lots of details in many forums, including blog comments.

    Exxon and the effected industries absolutely have legitimate concerns but chose to address these through illegitimate means. They still have effective alternative options. They made a business decision to go after specific and general science, individuals, the press, and other components of our social institutions. [See Sen. Inhouse for details.]

    That business decision I can only infer and can’t judge as such. But I can judge it as one who thinks the U.S. has created the best governing/social-organizing system in human history, our competitive enterprise system being only a part thereof.

    These are not cost-free tactics, but the costs are dispersed across time and commons and so generally not perceived short-term. Damaging fundamental elements of our ancestor’s collective enterprise for temporary individual or institutional gain is moral and ethical bankruptcy, and those ignoring the reality of that damage become a party to it. History will judge it so.

  20. #20 JB
    July 29, 2006

    Companies like Exxon-Mobil have nothing to gain from legitimate climate research.

    If such companies had their pwn scientists doing research and these actually found that AGW was worse than projected by IPCC, they would be highly motivated to keep their findings secret (which, as the tobaco example shows, is difficult if not impossible — and potentially very costly if word eventually gets out that one has been supressing the data).

    On the other hand, if their own scientists found AGW was less than projected by IPCC, who would believe them? Even if their results were legitimate, they would be perceived as being “tainted”.

    Therefore, no matter what way they look at it, from their standpoint, it is much better (cheeper in the short and long run) for companies like Exxon-Mobil to do no research and simply continue promoting the “uncertainties” of climate science. The less that is known, the better, from their standpoint.

  21. #21 Ian Gould
    July 30, 2006

    “Who would want scrapings from the inside of ALCOA’s aluminum smelting smokestacks in drinking water? Drinking water should consist of Hydrogen and Oxygen, not industrial pollution in the form of fluorsilicates. What kind of a conspiracy nut does that make me to want clean drinking water?”

    One who beleives that big business and government are conspiring to poison the population in order to increase ALCOA’s profits – which is rather ironic considering your regular attacks on people for being “anti-business”.

  22. #22 Hank Roberts
    July 30, 2006

    > drinking water should consist of hydrogen and oxygen

    I hope you’re being rhetorical. If you’re actually practicing this — using distilled/demineralized water for drinking — you’re putting your and your family’s health at risk.

    If you make decisions without information, based only on some personal theory about how the world ought to work, you’re going to have unexpected consequences.

    Try Google Scholar. Here’s one:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=100&hl=en&lr=&newwindow=1&safe=off&q=cache:Th4dDJVc7LwJ:www.who.int/entity/water_sanitation_health/dwq/en/nutdemineralized.pdf+%22distilled+water%22+%2Bdrinking+%2Bbones+%2Bhealth

    “The final report, published as an internal working
    document (WHO 1980), concluded that “not only does completely demineralised water (distillate) have unsatisfactory organoleptic properities, but it also has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism.”
    After evaluating the available health, organoleptic, and other information, the team recommended that demineralised water contain 1.) a minimum level for dissolved salts (100 mg/l), bicarbonate ion (30 mg/l), and calcium (30 mg/l),; 2.) an optimum level for total dissolved salts (250-500 mg/l for chloride-sulfate water and 250-500 mg/l for bicarbonate water); 3.) a maximum level for alkalinity (6.5 meq/l), sodium (200 mg/l), boron (0.5 mg/l), and bromine (0.01 mg/l). These recommendations are discussed in greater detail in this chapter. “

  23. #23 Simon Donner
    July 31, 2006

    The “Canada Free Press” mentioned in the letter is a right-wing website, not to be confused with the “Canadian Press”, which is Canada’s AP-like news wire service.

  24. #24 Sortition
    July 31, 2006

    I would like to inform Nanny and his kind that the government-free paradise to which he aspires already exists in many areas on this earth. Nanny should consider moving to the Congo or some such country and take part in the high standard of living enjoyed by the fortunate inhabitants of those countries.