Scientists are often so focussed on measuring the evidence required to determine how things work that they either forget or do not have time for the needs of public education, and the directions the nation will take in applying the knowledge gained by science. James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore have recently produced a book entitled “Climate Cover-Up”, in which they examine the powerful public relations forces brought to bear against mainstream climate science, physics and chemistry, in order to blunt the message that we need to take steps to avoid future harm.
As a PR professional himself, Hoggan felt a strong need to keep the work of PR honest, and he recognized the methods that were used in the attacks on the science findings. He says “it is infuriating, as a public relations professional, to watch my colleagues use their skills, their training and their considerable intellect to poison the international debate on climate change.” Some of the arguments of the self-appointed skeptics are lacking in both common sense and modern science, but other tactics and campaigns are skillfully designed to appear to show debate among informed physical scientists regarding whether there is an effect caused by atmospheric change at all.
Hoggan and Littlemore track the funds and describe the motives behind the campaigns, noting that “few PR offences have been so obvious, so successful and so despicable as the attack on the scientific certainty of climate change.” They call the unprecedented PR attack “a triumph of disinformation – one of the boldest and most extensive PR campaigns in history”.
Speaker: Richard Littlemore
Richard has spent 20 years in daily newspapers (the Ottawa Citizen, the Winnipeg Tribune and the Vancouver Sun), before turning his hand in 1995 to freelance journalism and public affairs. He wrote the David Suzuki Foundation’s first public information package on climate change in 1996 was vice-chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District'’s Air Quality Committee in 1996 and 1997 and sat as a delegate to the Canadian government'’s (failed) Kyoto Implementation Process from 1997 to 1999.
In addition to his DeSmog endeavors, Richard is a regular speech writer for many business and academic leaders and is a senior counselor and the lead writer at James Hoggan and Associates. Most importantly, he is a parent to three teenage boys who, like all children of their generation, deserve to inherit a world uncompromised by climate change.
Moderator: Dan Johnson
Date: Thursday, February 4, 2010 Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm Location: Room PE 250 University of Lethbridge 1st Choice Saving Centre Cost: Free to everyone, refreshment supplied