Saturday, September 26, 2009

Major Shifts in Climate Politics, Science Fly Under Radar

Today's Washington Post takes a look at some polluter-funded front groups that have recently sprung up to fight clean energy & climate legislation. In a classic example of reporting to the controversy, the article tries to paint the debate as getting more and more heated ... but cites evidence that clean energy and climate action are actually getting more and more accepted.

Here's how one section starts:
The new [polluter front] groups join an increasingly fractious debate over climate legislation that has roiled corporate and environmental groups alike.
Yowza! Sounds like the gloves are off, right? Lay it on me! Tell me how this is just the latest battle in that classic war, uncaring businesses versus treehugging environmentalists!
Earlier this month, Duke Energy, Alcoa and Alstom all pulled out of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, an industry group whose ads have asserted that the House climate bill would make energy unaffordable. "We thought [the bill] had evolved in ways to be affordable for our customers," said Duke spokesman Tom Williams.

This week, a group of large corporations -- including New Mexico utility PNM Resources, California utility PG&E, power generator Exelon and Nike -- denounced the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's opposition to climate legislation.
Huh. That's odd. So big businesses are actually joining forces with the environmentalists to stand up against denial and inaction?

Wow. That sounds like a pretty interesting story. But the Washington Post really likes having simple stereotypes -- makes articles so much easier to write! -- so they managed to shoehorn that square peg into the round hole anyway and claim it's all about biz vs. enviros. I'm sure Edward R. Murrow would be proud.

Also, buried on page A4 is something about how climate change is accelerating faster than anyone previously predicted and our continuing inaction is screwing our children, grandchildren, and anyone who manages to survive beyond that. But since it was further down in the paper than four stories about ACORN, two ladies underwear ads, and ran on the page just below "Marmaduke," I'm sure it wasn't important and no one should bother reading it.

Cross-posted from Blue Virginia
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