Climate Crisis: It’s Here, Now!

By Citizen Green

If you’ve been hoping that the climate changes predicted by scientists were off in some distant future belonging to our children, think again. Catastrophic events due to global warming have escalated during the last year, already devastating the lives of 385 million people. In the past year we’ve experienced more severe weather events than ever before in human history. Evidence of climate crisis has arrived in the form of unprecedented floods, droughts, fires, and record heat waves. And it’s not going to subside – in fact it’s just getting going.

Look at this partial list of disasters since 2010:

– A great flood in Australia covering a land area larger than France and Germany combined – Nightmarish fires and drought in western Russia resulting in the deaths of 56,000 people due to heat and toxic CO2 smoke
– One million square miles of the Amazon rainforest hit with drought
– This year in June nearly half of China was hit with massive drought conditions
– 20 million people were affected by floods in Pakistan
– In South Korea water levels from floods reached the 4th story of high-rises
– Floods displaced 2 million people in Colombia
– In India last month floods submerged hundreds of villages
– The largest storm ever to make landfall, super typhoon Megi, hit the Philippines in October, 2010 affecting vast areas of Asia and eastern Europe
– Devastating mudslides and floods in Brazil caused great loss of life and property
– The hottest temperatures ever recorded in China reached 122°; in Iraq it got up to 127°

If you think “well, that’s happening far away in remote parts of the world where disasters always occur”, think again. Climate crisis is occurring right here at home right now.

In the US, in the past year we’ve already seen:
– More than 3,000 daytime records for heat, but even more night time record highs
– Record flooding of the Mississippi
– Nashville, Tennessee experienced a “once in 1,000 year” rainfall causing the largest flood in its history; people there had no flood insurance because no one expected to need it
– A record number of homes have been destroyed in Texas due to colossal wildfires fanned by relentless drought (and no amount of praying from Rick Perry slowed down the fires)
– In June, in only a few days more than one million acres were ravaged by wildfires in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Georgia, as well as Texas
– In Arizona 50 mph winds pushed a 10 foot wall of flames toward a populated area, forcing 7 thousand people to flee; drought and high winds fed the flames
– A 65,000 acre wildfire is devastating the Boundary Waters in northeastern Minnesota, one of the most beautiful areas in the US; acrid smoke is reaching southern Wisconsin and Illinois
– We’re experiencing a record wildfire season with more than 4.3 million acres burned, with thousands of people being forced to evacuate

According to Tom Tidwell, the director of the US Forest Service, “we’re seeing prolonged droughts, we’re seeing more weather extremes.”

In addition, we’ve experienced the 10 hottest years on record since 1998. 2010 was the hottest year ever recorded.

The Deniers: The Petroleum Industry’s Strategy
After reading these facts, don’t you find it curious that this global calamity is not getting more coverage than Anthony Wiener’s stupid blunders? There is a reason for this. For the past 20 years the petroleum industry has orchestrated a campaign of doubt and denial of climate change, employing the services of the same criminal outfit used by the tobacco industry to deflect the scientific evidence that cigarettes cause cancer.

The Marshall Institute, a so-called conservative think tank, is behind the strategic campaign to deny climate change. Frederick Seitz, a high profile physicist, co-founded the Marshall Institute. This demon gained earlier notoriety for his support of the Viet Nam war. In bed with the government, he received numerous awards and honors for his ties with the military industrial complex. Seitz favored a “muscular military strengthened by the most technologically advanced weaponry.”

Seitz’s Marshall Institute was hired by the tobacco industry to manipulate public attitude toward the tobacco-cancer connection. They calculated that it would not be necessary to disprove the science that linked cancer and tobacco. It would be enough to plant seeds of doubt in the public mind. Because of Seitz’s disinformation campaign, it took decades for public opinion to accept the science of the cancer-tobacco link. During this period 100 million people died from tobacco related causes.

The Marshall Institute had been used by the Reagan administration to defend funding for Star Wars, claiming that the Soviet Union represented a viable threat. The Soviet Union fell within less than a decade.

Today the Marshall Institute is funded by the petroleum industry. With funding from the carbon polluters, the Marshall Institute uses a similar strategy to deflect the science of climate change from public discourse. Their strategy involves creating an atmosphere of uncertainty, using loud, abrasive members of the radical right, high profile figures who have been thrust into the public eye with oil money. These people, like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, mock the scientific evidence of climate change. News sources like Fox provide a stage for manufacturing doubt. They persuade that without sound science, it makes no sense to take preventative measures.

While the climate change deniers charge that scientists are confused about their data, in fact, there is consensus about climate change among 97-98 % of the leading scientists in the world’s major research institutes. Here is some of the rhetoric the deniers use, which you have no doubt already heard:
– The earth is cooling
– The science is wrong
– CO2 isn’t dangerous
– That’s Goregate stuff
– The scientists manipulate the data, they disagree, don’t believe them

In another article coming soon, we will explore how pollution is causing these climate catastrophes. All this information and much more can be found online at the Climate Reality Project. On September 14-15 Al Gore, the founder and chairman of the Climate Reality Project, hosted a 24 hour streamed presentation of the current state of climate change on ustream. This historic event had 24 presenters from 24 time zones in 13 languages, all sharing one message about the Reality of Climate Change. Each presentation had a slide show with facts about climate change, along with a clear, easy explanation of the science of climate change from Bill Nye. A panel discussion followed, with scientists and humanitarians who are working to get the urgent message out about climate change.

2 thoughts on “Climate Crisis: It’s Here, Now!

  1. Don’t take my word for it. Vice President Al Gore presented this information about Frederick Seitz and the Marshall Institute on the 24 Hour Climate Reality Project, watched by millions of people around the globe. Up until today, the Wikipedia entry on Frederick Seitz confirmed everything Mr. Gore’s program stated about Seitz and the Marshall Institute’s propaganda campaigns against the tobacco-cancer link, acid rain, Star Wars, and the petroleum industry. At the moment that information has disappeared from Wikipedia.

    I’ve numbered the transcription’s sections to make it easier to follow. Beginning in paragraph 4 below you will find details about Seitz, the Marshall Institute, and their disinformation and lies, funded by tobacco and petroleum, that contributed to countless deaths.
    Here is the transcription from and a link to the 24 Climate Reality Project. See Hour 2: 1’10” to 6’29”

    1. Host: “What does the tobacco industry and cigarettes causing cancer have to do with climate change? Right now the same strategies implemented by some of the same people are being used to foster the same potentially deadly doubts. (Voiceover) “It is the judgment of the committee that cigarette smoking contributes substantially to mortality from certain specific diseases and to the overall death rate”.

    2. Narrator: In 1964 the Surgeon General published a comprehensive report linking cigarette smoke with cancer and other deadly diseases. Yet it would take decades before the public accepted the true dangers of smoking. (footage from ads saying you will be “feeling better” from smoking) How did the tobacco companies manage to lie to the public in the face of all the scientific evidence? They realized that the science didn’t need to be disproven. It was enough to create doubt in the minds of the public to keep them from recognizing the truth.

    (more ad footage “Tens of thousands of doctors in all branches of medicine in all parts of the country are asked that question “What cigarette do you smoke, doctor?” The brand named most was Camel.”)

    3. Narrator: The cigarette companies sought to reassure the public that their product wasn’t dangerous (ad with glamorous woman saying how wonderful she feels from smoking) even though it was, and they knew it to be so at the time.

    (image) Tobacco company memo: Aug 21, 1969 “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the “body of fact” that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy. Within the business we recognize that a controversy exists. However, with the general public the consensus is that cigarettes are in some way harmful to the health. If we are successful in establishing a controversy at the public level, then there is an opportunity to put across the real facts about smoking and health. Doubt is also the limit of our product.”

    (ad claiming that scientific examinations of smokers revealed no adverse effects)

    4. Narrator: Where did this fake science come from? The tobacco industry funded private institutes and individuals to create phony science and disseminate it, creating the appearance there was a debate where there was none. (Big image of Frederick Seitz) Much of this phony science came from this man, Dr. Frederick Seitz, and the institute he co-founded, the Marshall Institute. Their principle strategy was to defend the products by insisting the science was unsettled, therefore it was premature for the government to act. The Marshall Institute used this same strategy to campaign against the dangers of acid rain, ozone depletion, and DDT. (ad “Used right, it is absolutely harmless to humans and animals” – showing man spraying children with what is assumed to be DDT from a huge hose)

    5. Narrator: Then, in the 1990s, they began a new doubt and denial campaign that would prove more deadly than anything that had come before. This time, Seitz and the Marshall Institute were being funded by the petroleum industry. With funding from oil and gas companies, think tanks and front groups were formed. Their purpose was to raise questions about the reality of climate change and convince politicians and the media that the science was unsettled.

    (Montage of deniers) Pat Buchanan “the science is suggesting that maybe all of this isn’t really happening, or it’s not really dangerous, or it’s not really man-made”. Dr Jay Lehr of the Heartland Institute which worked with Philip Morris in the 1990s to raise questions about the science of health risks linked to second hand smoke (the Heartland Institute argues that global warming is beneficial to the planet) “Global warming is the biggest delusion of our lifetime. Man doesn’t control his climate”. Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and others mocking and disputing climate change and global warming. Bill O’Reilly “God controls the climate”.

    6. Narrator: Underlying it all is a simple concept. The public can’t understand the complex science of climate change, so convince them that the scientists don’t fully comprehend it yet, either. And then persuade them that without sound science it makes no sense to take preventative action.

    Montage: Tobacco executives under oath saying that nicotine is not addictive. Michelle Bachmann “carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas.” Sen. Jeff Sessions R-Alabama “The more CO2 in the atmosphere the better plants grow.” Congressman John Shimkus from Illinois claiming that “there is a theological debate that this is a carbon starved planet.” Voices: “The earth is actually cooling now. Turns out the globe may be cooling.” Rep Dana Rohrabacher R-California “The science is wrong, the economics is wrong.” Sarah Palin “snake oil science stuff; global warming Goregate stuff.” Rick Perry “there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated uh, data.” Glenn Beck “do I believe scientists? Nooo!”.

    100 Million people died in the last century of tobacco related disease.

    7. Narrator: The truth can remain hidden for so long. In reality there is no remaining reasonable doubt about man’s influence on climate change. This time, it is not the lives of millions at stake, but billions.
    Ends with shot of the tobacco hearings “I, too, believe that nicotine is not addictive”

  2. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, we are all entitled to our opinions but not our own facts. Your statements about the Marshall Institute are factually incorrect. You would do your readers and others favor by a good editing to eliminate the misstatements you have made–eg hired by the tobacco industry, funder by the petroleum industry, etc.

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