From: Bruce Sterling []
Sent: Friday, February 04, 2000 1:14 PM
To: Viridian List
Subject: Viridian Note 00133: Greenhouse Credibility

Key concepts: Clinton, World Economic forum, denial
industry, Environment and Climate News

Attention Conservation Notice: who cares what the Chief Executive of the United States says about the environment.

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(((It's really fun to watch the infowar struggle between the Greenhouse denial industry and people in touch with reality. As social struggles for social credibility go, it's very much like tobacco and cancer. "Everybody does it, "no such thing," "doctors smoke it," "you can't prove it," "maybe it exists but it wasn't us," violent defense of extensive government subsidies, lots of hired guns in courts and Congress, and, eventually, a move of the industry offshore, out of immediate reach of public indignation. The Greenhouse denial industry has learned a lot by the experience of tobacco and nuclear. In a New Gilded Age of government-for-sale, they have so much soft money that they can spread the wealth by advertising in each other's fanzines.

(((Those who don't believe that there is a thriving denial "industry" should subscribe immediately to "Environment and Climate News: The Monthly Newspaper for New-Era Environmentalists."

(((It's published by the Heartland Institute, a Chicago- based crank-wing think-tank. It's lavishly financed by those paragons of iniquity, the Greening Earth Society aka Western Fuels Association (Fredrick D. Palmer is the president of both organizations.) A truly marvelous publication whose every page makes rivetting reading, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE NEWS is violently and reflexively wrong on every conceivable quasi-environmental issue: genetics, national parks, WTO, FDA, EPA, urban zoning, plant safety inspections, you can name it.

(((The coollest part of the reading experience is watching 'em all come out of the woodwork in fellow-traveller solidarity. Heartland Institute, Greening Earth Society, Western Fuels, Lexington Institute, Cato Institute,, People for the USA, Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Center for Policy Analysis, and a nice, juicy, supportive ad from the National Association of Manufacturers. It would have taken a lot of honest journalistic work to compile an enemies' list like that. Why bother, when you can get it every month for free, plus a two-page list of their press contacts? I'm seriously contemplating taking out a small but useful Viridian ad in ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE NEWS. After all, we're "new-era environmentalists" if anybody is.

(((In the meantime, all marginalized and discredited, we climate alarmists are left with meager moral support from the President of the United States and a Swiss convention of the world's richest people.)))

Source: Clinton State of the Union address

"The greatest environmental challenge of the new century is global warming. Scientists tell us that the 1990s were the hottest decade of the entire millennium. If we fail to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, deadly heat waves and droughts will become more frequent, coastal areas will be flooded, economies disrupted.

"Many people in the United States and around the world
still believe we can't cut greenhouse gas pollution without slowing economic growth. In the Industrial Age that may have been true. In the digital economy, it isn't.

"New technologies make it possible to cut harmful
emissions and provide even more growth. For example, just last week, automakers unveiled cars that get 70 to 80 miles a gallon == the fruits of a unique research partnership between government and industry. Before you know it, efficient production of biofuels will give us the equivalent of hundreds of miles from a gallon of gas.

"To speed innovations in environmental technologies, I
propose giving major tax incentives to businesses for the production of clean energy == and to families for buying energy-saving homes and appliances and the next generation of super-efficient cars when they hit the showroom floor. I also call on the auto industry to use available technologies to make all new cars more fuel efficient right away. And on Congress to make more of our clean- energy technologies available to the developing world == creating cleaner growth abroad and new jobs at home."

Source: World Economic Forum

"Business leaders say climate change is our greatest challenge

"Davos, Switzerland, 27 January 2000 == The greatest challenge facing the world at the beginning of the century, according to hundreds of business and government leaders at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, is climate change. The surprise verdict was reached after five of the world's leading thinkers presented their visions for the future and the participants voted electronically on their scenarios. An end to traditional ethics and an ineffective international system came in second and third."

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