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Lying to the public is a worldwide industry. In the case of denial of climate change it has inflicted on our children and succeeding generations a planet with a reduced capacity to sustain them.


There’s a little item in the Weekly Guardian this week that signals a considerable advance toward the world at last facing up to climate change. It says that Edelman, America’s biggest public relations firm will not take on campaigns that deny global warming. On its website is the following statement.

“Edelman fully recognises the reality of, and science behind, climate change, and believes it represents one of the most important global challenges facing society, business and government today. To be clear, we do not accept client assignments that aim to deny climate change.”

Coincidentally, on Saturday the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, answered a journalist’s question as to whether the average Kiwi is better informed about science, more cautiously but in the same vein, to say,

“The very polarised views on things like climate change….have been replaced by much more balanced statements".

Balanced? That is one way of putting it. Never mind, it’s progress.

I can’t help making the connection with last week’s furore over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics. The allegation of widespread public torturing of the truth in New Zealand in the name of political advancement and commercial gain makes dismal reading.

Lying to the public is a worldwide industry. Deception for gain is an ancient art. “Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware” is a warning from Roman times. In our age we have the sayings, “There’s a fool born every minute” and “Never give a sucker an even break”.

What has this got to do with children? In the case of denial of climate change it has inflicted on our children and succeeding generations a planet with a reduced capacity to sustain them. That is a reason for shame on our generation. Even so it is good to see one of the leaders in an industry that is still in a position to limit the harm take the step it has.

 

[1] Goldenberg, S. (2014) Top PR firm shifts policy on climate. The Guardian Weekly, 15.08.14, p.12.

[2] Morton, J. (2014) Helping to muster best brains for NZ. Weekend Herald, 16.08.14, p.19.

[3] Hager, N. (2014) Dirty politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment. Nelson: Craig Potton Publishing.

Climate change deniers denied

 
 
 
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