IT'S LYIN' TIME AGAIN
By Jeff Stark
With apologies to Buck Owens, who penned and performed the country classic "It's Cryin' Time Again" we note that it is now lyin' time again. We know that because nowhere is that more obvious and widespread than in the ranks of the climate deniers. They "don't believe" the science that is the foundation of the movement to combat global climate change. The lies coming from this small but vocal minority assault us every day. They come from social media and corporate boardrooms. They recycle the same lies over and over as new converts behave as if they invented fiction after fiction and dismiss believers as uninformed conspiracy mongers. The most distressing thing about this phenomenon is that its main propagator and cheerleader is our current President.
Some of these lies are downright dangerous. Witness the now well-known and disgusting rumors about the Clintons running a pedophilia ring from a New York city pizzeria. While it strains the brain to think that anyone would believe something so easy to disprove. In this particular case it resulted, in part, in a murder committed by a conspiracy believer who drove halfway across the continent on a mission of misery. A deranged man, his hatred ignited by a website, he shot and killed a patron of the pizzeria. Even sadder, this violent crazy is not alone. Lethal and inflammatory are no longer the standout stupidity province of the deniers. Sadly they are part and parcel of our daily lives. Even worse is the fact that lying in the public sphere is not restricted to crazy loners. More and more lying is becoming a practice perfected and presented in the corporate boardroom.
One example of the corporate collusion is illustrated in the recent news bulletins that Exxon Mobil, which is routinely ranked in the top ten of worldwide corporations, is being sued by the state of New York, among others. The suits, which have been years in the making, contend that the oil giant has had a long term plan to deceive investors and analysts. The result has been a global conspiracy (a real one this time) which includes financial fraud and environmental disaster. Investors suffered financial loss when the firm presented to investors and industry analysts the lie that climate change represented little risk to Exxon Mobil. They also suffered, as we all did when the firm actually kept two sets of books. One recorded reality the other the lies of corporate execs regarding the future costs of climate change regulations and risks. All of this, and much more, has recently been reported in depth and detail in the New York Times.
Is lying a form of pollution? It meets many of the criteria. It is poisonous, persistent and widespread. When it comes to the public utterances of politicians, particularly the guy with the orange hair, lying has become pandemic and endemic. It is a permanent part of the political playbook and its growth appears to be unstoppable. It infects us all, to one degree or another, and is so much a part of daily life that we have, as a nation, lost our ability to be guided by truth.
All of this is troubling in the extreme as we approach what many observers believe will be the most important and impactful election in America's history. Virtually all Americans have suffered through a period marked by corruption, death and destruction which has been the daily fare offered up by Donald Trump and his gang. We must hope that we can hold off disaster until the November election.
WHAT WE CAN DO
We can take some solace in the fact that Trump and his fellow prevaricators may have overdone their lack of truth telling. The solace comes from the fact that the deniers are increasingly being presented with truth-tellers who are responding in more creative and effective presentations that rebut the rants and ravings of the liars. The truth-tellers are becoming more effective in presentations that are easier to understand, and are backed-up by effective and convincinig multimedia presentations now proliferating on the World Wide Web.
One of the most effective, amusing and well produced of those Internet resources is a website called Skeptical Science. This is a content-rich site. It features easy to understand presentations featuring solid science. For those of us who need ammunition for dealing effectively with the drivel that most deniers depend on Sensible Science is a powerful too. Check it out here.
Fortunately for us all Skeptical Science is not alone in providing us with the means to go toe-to-toe with climate science deniers. Check out our Resources section below for a wide variety of websites and other tools we can all USE to make it "... no more lyin' time again."
Just for fun, here is a link to a Google search for soft core climate science for climate change warriors.
Skeptical Science is the perfect jumping point into the climate deniers web presence.
Before the Flood is among the most effective climate change denier opponents. Check them out for a list of the top ten climate deniers HERE
This powerhouse is also promoting, and making available, a Leonardo DeCaprio film entitled BEFORE THE FLOOD. Sponsored by National Geographic this exceptional film features input from Martin Scorcese, and other industry leaders. THe film is available for non-commercial showings. For a preview of BEFORE THE FLOOD click here.
For a deep dive into the suits against Exxon Mobil and other oil companies check out this BING search and the reporting by the New York Times
For those of us ready to get into the movement to defeat climate change CLICK HERE
CUTIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY a community-oriented public interest group is promoting, in the US Congress, a carbon pricing bill that will reduce US greenhouse emission by 40% in 12 years. The bill is entitled thenergy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Find out how we can help support this effort in our home towns.