Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Virgin Islands Subpoenas Think Tank that Denied Climate Change

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As I have noted before in this blog, many governments and environmental groups are pushing back against the disinformation campaign by think tanks and some corners of the energy industry. It looks like big lawsuits are looming with some potential criminal charges against organizations that sought to purposefully deceive the public by denying the realities of global change science even when their own scientists acknowledged or were conducting research on climate change.

There is growing information available to the public about the role of various industries in attempting to deceive the public on environmental or health issues. Perhaps the best book on the subject, in case you are looking for background, is Deceit and Denial, the Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution. I wrote about this book last year as one of my top green beach reads. It highlights how the deception and denial tactics of industry led to deaths, widespread environmental contamination, and serious public health problems within the petrochemical and lead industries.

News came out this week that The Attorney General of The Virgin Islands is investigating the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) to assess their role (if any) in deceiving the public on climate change science and on discrediting climate scientists. The CEI has been one of the most critical voices on climate change science. A quick Internet search about them will give you plenty of information about the types of initiatives they have supported to try to destroy national and international policy efforts focused on addressing global climate change.

Things are moving fast on the legal efforts to bring to justice organizations that sought to deceive and deny the science of climate change to the public. I am sure this is not the last we will hear on this issue as the world continues to see the impacts of climate change. Everyone, particularly those in vulnerable coastal areas like The Virgin Islands, will be looking to find out who is responsible for trying to stop effective policy back in the 1990's and early 2000's when we had a chance to develop sound agreements.

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