Fifth Estate on the Denial Machine

The CBC’s Fifth Estate has produced a documentary on the global warming denial industry:

The documentary shows how fossil fuel corporations have kept the global warming debate alive long after most scientists believed that global warming was real and had potentially catastrophic consequences. It shows that companies such as Exxon Mobil are working with top public relations firms and using many of the same tactics and personnel as those employed by Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds to dispute the cigarette-cancer link in the 1990s. Exxon Mobil sought out those willing to question the science behind climate change, providing funding for some of them, their organizations and their studies.

There’s a link that lets you watch it online.

They point out how Tim Ball has been fluffing up his credentials. I wonder if he’ll sue them too.

Via Desmog blog.


  1. #1 E. Powers
    November 18, 2006

    I just watched a hilarious movie titled “Thank You For Smoking”, a comedy about a smooth-talking tobacco lobbyist. I couldn’t help seeing the parallels between the argumentative strategies that the tobacco lobbys used to deny public health issues and the arguments GW deniers spout. For that matter, strategies might seem similar to those of creationists, homeopaths, holocaust deniers, OJ Simpson attorneys…

  2. #2 Kgrandia
    November 18, 2006

    And check out the [friggin rant]( one of the editor of Canada’s right wing rag, the National Post, went on about CBC and our involvement in the documentary.
    This is the same guy who called us the “Al-Jazeera of Climate Science” and my boss the “imam of anti-corporate fundamentalism.” And everyone thinks Canadians are so polite!

  3. #3 KGrandia
    November 18, 2006

    As usual, I didn’t read Lambert’s entire post(sorry, short attention span) — we would love to get Ball in court and challenge all of the junk science he has been spouting (also find out once and for all who’s been lining his pocketbook), in fact, I think Lambert mentioned at one point that he might be interested as well. Too bad it has to come to this, but with idealogues like Ball that fancy themselves to be super-smart “contrarions,” it seems the only way to give their heads a shake.

  4. #4 crf
    November 19, 2006

    Few people in Canada take the National Post editorials seriously. The National Post has poor circulation, mainly because it bafflingly tries to appeal only to 60+ year old men who pine for the good old days. It’s the paper of irrelevance.

  5. #5 Dan
    November 19, 2006

    Classic. The fifth estate captured the following claim (although it has probably been repeated by the speaker numerous times):

    “I am one of the few people qualified to speak about climate change.”


  6. #6 richard
    November 19, 2006

    “Few people in Canada take the National Post editorials seriously.”

    Perhaps not, but the other ‘national’ daily (Globe and Mail) has a set of columnists that have also bought into the ‘claims’ of Tim Ball et al. Regardless of the lack of merit of their case, they have certainly done a great job of selling their tall tales.

  7. #7 Dan
    November 24, 2006

    Even the CBC, despite their more enlightened specials on the topic, have promoted these people as the “other side” of a media-fueled debate. In fact, the CBC often goes to the knee-jerk deniers for interviews rather than quote actual, active climate scientists.

    News item – Greenhouse gases barely impact climate: scientists
    (that should read “scientists”)

    News item – Expert puts chill on global warming
    (the same so-called-in-error expert who says that the planet is cooling)

    News item – An open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
    (from the New Flat Earth Society)

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