Congress Set To Vote On Koch Brothers Wealth Enhancement Act Of 2014 (Keystone XL)

There have been so many lies told about the Keystone XL Pipeline by self-interested corporations and whoring pundits that many of the facts get obscured in the bitterly polluted atmosphere. That trend is escalating as Congress prepares another pointless vote to advance the project despite President Obama’s vow to veto it should it arrive at his desk.

Koch Brothers Keystone

On this weekend’s Sunday news programs representatives of the oil industry, and their lackeys in Congress, made a concerted effort to muddy the debate again by deceiving viewers with demonstrably false assertions.

Among the deceivers was Russ Girling, CEO of the pipeline builder TransCanada, who told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that “the 42,000 jobs created by the Keystone XL pipeline are ‘ongoing, enduring jobs.'” This statement was reiterated after Raddatz explicitly challenged Girling on the figures. However, PolitiFact investigated the matter and found Girling’s statement to be false:

“Importantly, as Raddatz said, these jobs would only be supported during the construction phase, which is expected to take one to two years. After construction, the pipeline would employ about 50 people, primarily for maintenance.”

So Girling was only off by about 99.9 percent. This is typical of the disinformation campaign orchestrated by the fossil fuel folks who brazenly put their profits above the health of people and the planet.

This propaganda on behalf of greedy polluters is facilitated by the Republican PR division, otherwise known as Fox News. In recent weeks Fox has disseminated the same dishonest analyses on several programs. Among them were Happening Now where last week host Heather Nauert made the false claim of 40,000 jobs created, and Fox & Friends where co-host Anna Kooiman did the same the week before.

The truth that there will only be about fifty permanent jobs created shows just how distant reality is from the unscrupulous mouthpieces of the Dead Earth trade. But that isn’t the only falsehood they are spewing. The entire project is a scam devised to enrich oil exporters. The product that would flow through the pipeline is Canadian oil destined for markets in Europe and Asia. The President noted this on Friday advising people to…

“Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

Will the truth prevail in the debate that is being rushed through the Senate this week? Will the fact be addressed that the project cannot even proceed until the states through which the pipeline passes grant permission? And will the American people finally realize that the Koch brothers have more sway with the Republican congress than they do, and do something about it?

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Global Climate Enemy Number One: Rupert Murdoch

The perilous state of the planet’s environmental health is a continuing concern among those who know the most about it: scientists, climatologists, and environmental advocates. Indeed, 97% of the scientists who have studied the matter agree that Climate Change is a fact and that it is caused by human activity.

In the face of that overwhelming consensus, Climate Change deniers continue cling to myths and fake research that is funded by fossil fuel interests and promoted by politicians who are bought and paid for by the same. The anti-science dimwits hold steadfastly to delusional beliefs that Climate Change is a hoax, or even a scam designed to enrich researchers and activists. That absurd contention is belied by the fact that there is much more money in Climate Change denial (via the billionaires in the energy industry) than in scarce grants to universities and research laboratories.

A recent survey by Ipsos MORI asked respondents from twenty countries to indicate whether or not they agreed with this statement: “The climate change we are currently seeing is largely the result of human activity.” The country with the greatest number of respondents who disagreed with that statement was the United States (We’re #1 – in climate denialism). We were followed closely by the United Kingdom and Australia.

Hmm…What do those three countries have in common? Well, they are all English speaking countries. And they are also all countries where the media is dominated by Rupert Murdoch. Can it be a coincidence that the people in these nations have a larger percentage of anti-science views than nations where Murdoch’s influence is not as strongly represented?

Rupert Murdoch

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Murdoch has taken some brazenly contradictory stances on Climate Change. On the one hand, he has directed his corporation to meet stringent carbon emission standards and even bragged publicly about achieving a goal of carbon neutrality. But simultaneously, his Fox News Channel took a starkly contrary position. Fox News Washington managing editor, Bill Sammon, went so far as to issue a memo instructing all personnel to…

“…refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”

Indeed. Unqualified, politically motivated critics have called into question the overwhelming evidence that Climate Change is occurring and that it is man-made. This obvious contradiction was justified by a Fox PR flack who painfully struggled to explain that the corporate policy “doesn’t bring with it an editorial mandate.” In other words, on the business side they will behave responsibly with regard to the environment, but on the air they will lie their asses off. In fact, Fox News’ efforts to deliberately misinform their already intellectually confused audience continues unabated. The Union of Concerned Scientists did a study proving that the coverage of Climate Change by Fox News was nearly all (93%) misleading:

“The analysis finds that the misleading citations include broad dismissals of human-caused climate change, rejections of climate science as a body of knowledge, and disparaging comments about individual scientists. Furthermore, much of this coverage denigrated climate science by either promoting distrust in scientists and scientific institutions or placing acceptance of climate change in an ideological, rather than fact-based, context.”

This is what happens when a single entity is permitted to control vast swaths of the mediasphere. False perceptions of otherwise non-controversial facts can be spread widely. This is particularly problematic when a significant percentage of the media marketplace is comprised of people who are willfully gullible and easily duped. And a powerful and determined media mogul like Murdoch can produce the gullibility he requires for his message to take hold by inundating the audience with fear and promises of salvation in exchange for their loyalty.

That is pretty much how Fox News helped to create and grow the Tea Party. And now we have a nation that has the dubious honor of being the home to more science-challenged boneheads than any of twenty other surveyed nations. Thank you Rupert Murdoch. And Britain and Australia thank you too.

The New GOP Majority Whip Is A Climate Change Denying Koch Brothers Flunkey

When Eric Cantor lost his primary bid to run for reelection to his Virginia congressional seat, he set off a game of musical chairs within the Republican leadership ranks in the House. Today the GOP caucus chose Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to replace Cantor as Majority Leader. Subsequently, they needed to fill the new vacancy in the Whip’s post. for that role they chose Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise.

Rep. Steve Scalise

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Scalise is regarded as a far-right conservative aligned with the Tea Party. He is currently the chair of the Republican Study Committee, an offshoot of the GOP caucus with an avowed ultra-rightist slant. Wikipedia notes that…

“The organization has long had ties to outside groups closely allied with the most conservative elements of the Republican Party, such as the National Rifle Association, The Heritage Foundation, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America and the conservative magazine National Review, as well as the libertarian Cato Institute.”

Last year Scalise authored a resolution that falsely asserted that “a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy” and “to American families and businesses,” and that it would “fall hardest on the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes.” The bill was backed by the Koch brothers who spent heavily on lobbyists to insure its passage.

But for a real taste of the idiocy that is being incorporated into the highest ranks of the GOP elite, you need look no further than Scalise’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last year where he had this to say about Climate Change (video below):

“He [President Obama] talked about global warming at his inauguration, I found it ironic that the President was wearing a trench coat it was so cold, but he’s talking about global warming.”

So Scalise is one of those anti-science dimwits who doesn’t know the difference between weather and climate. He believes that the 97% of the scientists who affirm that climate change is real and man-made are perpetrating a hoax. He is an advocate for Big Oil, going so far as to defend BP after the disastrous 2010 calamity in the Gulf of Mexico, saying that “This job killing ban on drilling is causing more problems right now than” the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

And now he is the Republican Majority Whip and the third highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives. Well, at least for the next few months, when there will be another vote. If Democrats will get off their duffs and vote in November, we may not need to worry about him or the rest of the Republican Dark Agists.

WARNING: Climate Science Imposter On The Loose On Fox News

Be On The Lookout: In recent days a disreputable character has been making the rounds on Fox News claiming to be a co-founder of Greenpeace while peddling PR spin straight from the ivory tower suites of the energy industry.

Fox News

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This imposter is Patrick Moore. He was last seen on the Sean Hannity program where he continued to misrepresent his association with Greenpeace. Hannity’s introduction was typically dishonest and dripping with animus as he declared that “For years the left has been spinning their lies about global warming, all in an effort to push through their radical agenda.” And he took full advantage of Moore’s subterfuge by noting that his climate science denial was surprising “coming out of your mouth.” What is surprising is that Moore is getting away with passing himself off as a co-founder of Greenpeace and an environmentalist.

The recent sightings of Moore in the media have been exploited by conservative outlets eager to dismiss the broad agreement in the scientific community that the Earth’s climate is changing at a rapid pace, and that it is caused by human activity. In fact, 97% of the scientists in the field have affirmed this in peer reviewed publications and research.

That hasn’t stopped Moore from conducting his charade wherein he asserts that there is “zero evidence that the earth is warming because of human activity.” His persistence is understandable with the knowledge that he is a paid representative of a variety of nuclear power and energy firms. Without any credentials in the field of climatology, Moore makes broad allegations that are not supported by verified research. Then he invents a vast liberal cabal that he claims is conspiring to build some sort of holy congregation of environmental opportunists:

“It is a powerful convergence of interests among a very large number of elites including politicians who want to make it seem as though they’re saving the world, environmentalists who want to raise money and get control over very large issues like our energy policy, media for sensationalism, universities and professors for grants […] it is a kind of nasty combination of extreme political ideology and religious cult all rolled into one.”

Contrary to his false identification as a co-founder of Greenpeace, Moore actually became affiliated with the group’s Canadian branch after it was already operating for a year. He left Greenpeace in 1991 to cash in on the lobbying fees he could collect from America’s pollution industries. And that’s what he has been doing for the last twenty-plus years. Greenpeace set the record straight about Moore a couple of years ago refuting any claim that Moore represents Greenpeace. They posted a detailed description on their website that revealed the facts of their past association and Moore’s current pro-pollution activities:

“Patrick Moore, a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry, the logging industry, and genetic engineering industry, frequently cites a long-ago affiliation with Greenpeace to gain legitimacy in the media. Media outlets often either state or imply that Mr. Moore still represents Greenpeace, or fail to mention that he is a paid lobbyist and not an independent source.”

This is just another example of how Fox News deliberately deceives their audience. With full knowledge of the false representations, and utter disregard for the truth that qualified scientists provide, Fox dispenses a litany of lies that keeps their viewers ignorant. For more information about Moore’s deceit, and the cooperation from Fox News and other rightist media organizations in proliferating his hoax, see the analysis by Media Matters.

The Tea Party’s Climate Change Denialism Is Scaring Off The GOP Regulars

The Tea Party has always been the GOP’s far-right flank. Despite its small membership and radical views, it has mustered up an undue measure of influence in the Republican Party due to its fanatical posturing and wealthy financial backers. Now a new study by the Pew Research Center sheds light on a profound split between Main Street Republicans and the deep right-field Tea Party. Pew’s research reveals that…

“Just 25% of Tea Party Republicans say there is solid evidence of global warming, compared with 61% of non-Tea Party Republicans.”

So a solid majority of Republicans recognize the reality of Climate Change that is affirmed by 97% of scientists who have studied the matter. But only 25% of Tea Partiers respect the peer-reviewed evidence of Climate Change. While some of the Tea Partiers say that they don’t have enough information as to whether the Earth is warming, a majority of the skeptics stubbornly insist that it’s “just not happening.”

This split between the Tea Party and the rest of their Republican pals in the public at large is not reflected in the GOP representation in Congress where a majority of the GOP caucus aligns itself with the deniers. Nor is it represented in the conservative media that stridently rejects any suggestion that the planet faces any climate risks. The inevitable result of that divergence is that a portion of the population is woefully misinformed about Climate Change. Even worse, the bias disseminated by right-wing media foments a distrust in science and scientists in general.

Fox News
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Consequently we see absurd departures from reality that are based strictly on partisan propaganda. When the White House issued an executive order to facilitate “efforts to improve climate preparedness and resilience; help safeguard our economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources,” Fox News covered the event by saying that “Obama uses executive order in sweeping takeover of nation’s climate change policies.” The report had an alarmist tone in warning that the order will “potentially skirt legislative oversight and push a federal agenda on states.” Fox ignored the actual substance of the order that explicitly stated that “This order shall be implemented consistent with U.S. obligations under international agreements and applicable U.S. law, and be subject to the availability of appropriations.” The language addressing appropriations specifically bows to the oversight authority of Congress that Fox denied existed.

Fox’s report further injected a partisan intent on the part of the White House to deliver climate policy implementation to a cabal of Democrats. Three separate times in the report Fox noted the presence of Democrats on the task force that the executive order created. Why that should surprise anyone is a mystery. The President is entirely within his rights to appoint members of his party to executive branch committees. More importantly, why would anyone go out of their way to put the sort of climate science deniers that dominate the Republican Party on a committee tasked with mitigating the effects of Climate Change? It would be like asking atheists to lead the Christian church’s membership drive.

By disseminating false and misleading information about Climate Change, Fox News has been a significant factor in dumbing down the small portion of the electorate that is glued to their network. The more gullible among them, specifically the Tea Party faction, have become ardent opponents of reform measures to address Climate Change. And now it appears that they have drifted so far from the GOP mainstream that they have little in common with the average Republican’s position on this issue.

Nevertheless, the Republicans in Congress will continue to obstruct reasonable reforms that are supported by the majority of America, and even the majority of their party. That defiance is directly attributable to their fear of Tea Party primary challenges and their dependence on Tea Party billionaires like the Koch brothers. Until the GOP unshackles itself from their extremist wing and exhibits a willingness to cooperate on issues where they share common ground, voters must replace them with either common sense Republicans or Democrats. And if the Pew study is any indication, Republican voters are getting ready to do just that.

Rush Limbaugh’s Spiritual Guidance On Climate Change Refuted By 200 Evangelical Scientists

Last month Rush Limbaugh put on his pastor’s bonnet and proceeded to hand out religious advice to his audience of glassy-eyed dittoheads.

Limbaugh: In my humble opinion, folks, if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming. You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something he can’t create.

Rush Limbaugh

How Limbaugh arrives at this spurious conclusion is never clearly explained. Obviously humans control many things that they can’t create. We split atoms, we clear-cut forests, we drive animal species into extinction, we destroy cancer cells, we defy gravity. What would make Limbaugh think that our excessive disbursement of pollutants wouldn’t have an effect on the atmosphere?

Limbaugh also makes a logical leap that a belief in God, which has a faith, rather than intellectual basis, can be a foundation for intellectually refuting science. It’s like saying that if you believe in Santa Claus, then intellectually you can’t believe in Hasbro. But it’s not as if Limbaugh’s ecumenical guidance has ever been held in high esteem. And that is still the case today as a coalition of 200 evangelical scientists smack down Limbaugh’s absurd biblical analysis, saying that they “were appalled at the ignorance behind Rush Limbaugh’s statement but we weren’t surprised.”

“For us, global warming is not a matter of belief – it is about applying our understanding of science to the climate of this planet. The author of Hebrews tells us, ‘faith is … the evidence of things not seen.’ We believe in God through faith. Science, on the other hand, is the evidence of our eyes. We can measure the extent to which natural levels of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere regulate and maintain our climate. We can track how excess heat-trapping gases, beyond what would naturally occur, are being added to the atmosphere every day by human activities. We can calculate how this artificially warms the Earth’s surface, increasing risks of extreme heat, rain, and drought. We can see how these impacts often fall disproportionately on those with the least resources to adapt, the very people we are told to care for by our faith.

“While our expertise allows us to understand the complexity of a changing climate and its causes, it is our faith that compels us to speak out and motivates us to push forward despite the opposition from voices like Rush Limbaugh and gridlock in Washington.”

In July these observant scientists sent a letter to Congress urging them to reduce carbon pollution and adopt policies consistent with God’s instructions to care for his creation. They cite scripture and verse attesting to the fact that Christians have a responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth.

This is something that Limbaugh apparently cannot comprehend in his pedestrian, political, and self-serving exploitation of faith. And it is evidence that anyone who takes Limbaugh’s spiritual advice is as foolish as anyone who takes his political advice. All of it is crafted without facts or reason, specifically for an audience that Limbaugh himself characterizes as so incapable of cogent thinking that they can only repeat his ignorant nit-witticisms.

Glenn Beck’s Inner Dictator Emerges With Climate Change Denialism And Conspiracy Theories

Anyone who has seen Glenn Beck’s Acute Paranoia Revue is familiar with his Messiah complex and his extremist and delusional worldview. Despite his frequent characterizations of President Obama as a tyrannical despot who seeks to enslave all Americans and, indeed, the world, it turns out that Beck himself is the petty dictator who denies those around him the freedom to live as they chose.

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Glenn Beck

Last week Beck delivered a sermonette (video below) in which he threatened his staff that they would be fired for purchasing compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). He went even further to forbid the purchase of recyclable spoons, cardboard, or pretty much any product that helps to protect the environment.

Beck: I am dead serious. I fire the person that starts to purchase fluorescent light bulbs unless that is the only light bulb for a specific reasons and I want to be CC’ed on what that reason is.

So if you work for Glenn Beck and you just want to buy CFLs because they last longer than conventional bulbs and save money on energy bills, you’re out of luck. If you disagree with his anti-science stance on global warming, you better keep your mouth shut, and restrict your purchases to only the most polluting products. Beck will not permit you to make your own choices and still allow you to keep your job. You must submit to his will, because as long as you work for him, you have no free will of you own.

The reason Beck has laid down this edict is because he views environmental responsibility as tantamount to treason. It is a typically myopic viewpoint that ignores the benefits of energy conservation, and a clean, healthy environment, apart from any consideration of climate change. He is so opposed to anything that smacks of sustainable living that he would prefer poisoning the air and water to taking measures to reduce pollution.

Beck: If you’re doing anything in this company because of global warming, you’re fired. Global warming is a pile of crap. A load of socialist, communist crap.

You see, all of the science professionals and climatologists, 97% of whom agree that the climate is warming and that humans are the cause, are really just commie subversives bent on world domination. The facts, as succinctly put in that liberal, anti-capitalist rag Forbes Magazine, are irrelevant to Beck. And any attempt to think for yourself is also evidence of your betrayal of loyalty to Master Beck. You have been warned.

Hell Freezes Over: Fox News Embraces Russian Climate Denialism

Executives at Fox News have made it clear that their official editorial position on Climate Change is that it is either a hoax or unsettled science and that credible arguments exist on both sides of the debate. Fox News Washington managing editor, Bill Sammon, went so far as to issue a memo instructing all personnel to…

“…refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”

Indeed. Unqualified, politically motivated critics have called into question the overwhelming evidence that Climate Change is occurring and that it is man-made. In fact, despite the characterization of environmental activists as “terrorists” by some at Fox News, 97% of of the scientists that actually study the climate agree that the planet is warming at an unprecedented rate and that this presents a crisis that requires immediate reformative action.

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Ben Stein on Climate Change

Nevertheless, Fox News continues to deliberately misinform their audience on behalf of the right-wing political establishment and the fossil fuel industry who finance their campaigns. The Union of Concerned Scientists did a study of the coverage of Climate Change by Fox News and found that nearly all (93%) of the reporting was misleading.

“The analysis finds that the misleading citations include broad dismissals of human-caused climate change, rejections of climate science as a body of knowledge, and disparaging comments about individual scientists. Furthermore, much of this coverage denigrated climate science by either promoting distrust in scientists and scientific institutions or placing acceptance of climate change in an ideological, rather than fact-based, context.”

So it should come as no surprise that this weekend Fox News aired a segment on Obama’s “Green Energy Agenda” with a brazenly biased video introduction that featured only critics of the President’s policies, including notorious climate denier Mark Morano. This led to anchor Doug McKelway’s peculiar remarks preceding an on-air debate:

“Dissent is indeed growing based in part on criticism from dozens of highly credited skeptics who say that temperature averages have stalled for the last fifteen years. In fact, some scientists from Russia are now predicting a new mini-ice age based upon the lack of sunspot activity.”

When was the last time that Fox News favorably cited Russians as credible experts on anything? That’s how desperate Fox is to cast doubt on a subject that almost every scientist agrees on.

The claim that temperature averages have stalled contradicts the fact that 2012 was the hottest year on record and that six of the last ten years were among the warmest ever recorded. So much for the “dozens” of skeptics whose credentials are unverifiable because McKelway declined to name any of them. Even if he had, it would be hard for them to compete with the hundreds of actual scientists on the other side.

Obviously McKelway was complying with the Sammon Directive to give equal weight to dubious hacks who have no background in climate science. Fox has a preconception on this issue that is written in stone and they are vigorously engaged in pushing their false narrative regardless of the facts. They have abandoned all sense of shame for their obliviousness to honest reporting to the extent that they even embrace sources that they would ordinarily ridicule. Can you image what Fox’s response would be to a Democrat who cited Russian scientists to support Climate Change? It would be a three day long scandal, at least, with the Democrat being accused of communist sympathies.

The Bible Proves That Climate Change Is Real, But Science Cannot Prove That Rush Limbaugh Is

Yesterday, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas (where else?) spoke at a hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline and revealed his divine justification for denying the science behind climate change. Barton’s source for his reasoning was the biblical story of Noah and the great flood:

Barton: “I would point out that if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change and that certainly wasn’t because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.”

That’s correct. There is no evidence that the flood was caused by hydrocarbon energy exploitation. However, that does not mean that it wasn’t caused by mankind in some other manner. Barton may be listening to too much of Glenn Beck.

Glenn Beck's Ark

Let’s take a look at the factual basis for the argument that Barton is propounding. The bible’s account of Noah asserts that sometime after he was 600 hundred years old he was singled out by God as the only righteous man of his generation and was instructed to build an ark that would preserve the continued existence of every species of life on the planet. So Barton’s opposition to the findings of 1,000’s of atmospheric scientific studies begins with an angry deity, a 600 year-old man, and a magical boat.

More to the point, according to the bible, God was motivated to destroy the vast majority of Earth’s lifeforms due to the prevailing “wickedness of man.” Therefore, it was indeed the behavior of humans that resulted in the climate change that occurred in Noah’s day. That would set the precedent for faithful Christians to concede that humans are responsible for climate change in the present, just as they were in the past. And it could even be the result of the same divine umbrage at our species, because it would be difficult to argue that there isn’t an abundance of wickedness here on Earth today. And for all we know, that wickedness, from God’s perspective, might be related to our defiling of the planet for which he commanded us to be “good stewards.”

In addition to Barton’s rejection of science, his ideological compatriot, Rush Limbaugh, also entered the fray in defense of his science adviser, a thirteen year old kid who called his radio program. Limbaugh proclaimed that “much of science today” is “just a branch of the Democrat Party.”

Rush: “The global warming scientists are just Democrats, folks. They all have a political preference. They’re all part of an agenda … at the end of the story they have to put in this snarky comment that basically implies this kid Alex doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Science responded by noting that Limbaugh is a yet unproven hypothesis who, if he exists, also has an agenda and a political preference. Science further states that they will put up their rigorous, peer-reviewed studies against any ill-informed opinions from children and drug-abusing talk radio hosts.

Heartland Institute: Osama Bin Laden Was Pro-Life. Are You?

In the annals of advertising, there are some notorious chapters wherein misguided persons or organizations justified displaying disgusting and hateful images and messages on billboards. However, it will be a long time (I hope) before anyone comes close to sinking as low as the Heartland Institute has done with its new series of advertisements promoting its upcoming anti-environment conference in Chicago.

Heartland Billboard

The Heartland Institute is a far-right think tank that denies the scientific reality of climate change. It is notoriously anti-science and has previously taken positions that rejected claims that tobacco was bad for your health. The reason for their advocacy of the absurd is that they are funded by corporations with vested interests in deceiving the public (i.e. Phillip Morris, ExxonMobil, Pfizer, etc). Additionally, they receive grants from ultra-conservative zealots like the Kochs, Scaifes, Waltons, etc.

This billboard campaign is particularly repulsive in that it associates honest and clear thinking advocates for the environment with some of the most horrific creatures of crimes and atrocities. In addition to the Unabomber, the Heartland’s campaign features Charles Manson and Osama Bin Laden. The argument they are making is that these monsters believed in climate change and therefore you are also a monster if you believe in it. That is not an implied interpretation. It is what they say explicitly in their own justification:

“These rogues and villains were chosen because they made public statements about how man-made global warming is a crisis and how mankind must take immediate and drastic actions to stop it.” […]

“Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the ‘mainstream’ media, and liberal politicians say about global warming. […]

“The point is that believing in global warming is not ‘mainstream,’ smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. […]

“The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”

Aside from being grossly insulting, the Heartlanders are 100% wrong. The vast majority of scientists, climatologists, and other experts agree that climate change is occurring and that human activity is at the very least a significant contributor. There is no dispute among reputable scientists. The only dispute comes from conservative politicians, pundits, and researchers working for the corporations profiting from the destruction of the planet’s ecosystem.

The tactic of recruiting murderers and madmen for this campaign disparages all of the sincere people who are fighting for a better, cleaner, healthier world. But it also opens the door to reciprocal attacks on the Heartlanders. For instance:

Heartland Billboard

That’s right. Osama Bin Laden, Timothy McVeigh, Scott Roeder, Eric Rudolph, and others, were all anti-abortion extremists and terrorists. Does that mean that all pro-life activists can be lumped together with these despicable characters just because…

“…what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the [National Right to Life Committee], journalists for the ‘mainstream’ media, and [conservative] politicians say about [abortion]?”

See how easy this is? Hitler was anti-union. Stalin opposed gay marriage. Anders Breivik hated Marxism. I could go on. The obvious conclusion is that conservative principles inspire mass murderers, right?

The propaganda purveyors at the Heartland Institute have demonstrated that they are not a serious organization whose opinion matters to people who truly care about this issue. The media ought not to provide a platform for their views and politicians who associate themselves with this group should be asked whether they endorse the hate mongering that flows from these phony Heartlanders. There is simply no room in the debate for this sort of irresponsible rhetoric. Especially when it comes from an enterprise that has been lying about the substance of the matter for years.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Global Warming And The Media

The anti-science, faith-based zealots at Fox Nation examined the results of a Gallup poll on global warming and concluded that the headline revelation from the survey was that “42% Of Americans Feel The Media Exaggerates Global Warming.”

Fox Nation

Confident that their readers would never bother to look up the Gallup data themselves, the Fox Nationalists blatantly misrepresented the polls results. A full reading of the survey’s results would have revealed that 55% of respondents regard media coverage of the seriousness of global warming as either correct (24%) or underestimated (31%). That’s a clear majority that is 13 points higher than those who believe that the seriousness is exaggerated.

What’s more, the Gallup poll shows that those who regard the coverage as exaggerated are predominantly Republicans (67%), while a minority of both Independents (42%) and Democrats (20%) share that view. Additionally, a majority (53%) believe that global warming is caused by pollution resulting from human activities, and 58% correctly observe that most scientists affirm the existence of global warming. When asked how much they personally worry about global warming, 55% say a great deal/fair amount, four points higher than last year. And again, those numbers include majorities of Independents and Democrats with Republicans and conservatives bringing in the rear.

No wonder the source to which Fox Nation links to support their article is a trifling right-wing blog called Weasel Zippers, rather than to the Gallup poll itself. That’s consistent with their mission to keep their audience as ill-informed as possible.

It’s actually pretty encouraging that most Americans still recognize the risks association with global warming despite the massive campaign by right-wing media (led by Fox News) to belittle it. But it is nonetheless disheartening that any American buys into Fox’s lies. Every time it snows in Connecticut in the dead of winter, some Fox anchor uses that as evidence that global warming is a hoax, but they never report on significant heatwaves and droughts (as in Texas) or that the planet has been recording the hottest temperatures on record for the past decade.

If it weren’t for the concerted effort on the part of conservative media (and their corporate allies) to distort the truth about this issue, there would be an even bigger majority with rational positions on global warming that aligns with the consensus view of the worldwide scientific community. And then we might even be able to do something to resolve the problem, prevent predictable sickness and death, and preserve the viability of the planet as a habitat for life. But then is that really more important than oil company profits and the economic growth of multinational corporations?

Sarah Palin’s Anti-Reality Energy Rant Invites Mockery

The increasingly irrelevant VP-losing, half-term serving, un-reality TV has-been, Sarah Palin, has climbed atop her Facebook soapbox once again to show the world that she has not yet exhausted her supply of incoherent policy positions and dopey cliches.

In a posting titled, “Obama’s Anti-American Energy Policies Invite the Next Crisis,” Palin gets just about everything wrong and calls President Obama a traitor in the process. The woman who coined the term “death panel” obviously has no better understanding of international energy markets than she does of health insurance reform. And the purpose of her posting is to advance the same tired myth about oil production and prices that she and the GOP have been peddling for years.

Srah Palin - Mythbusters

The posting begins on a note of delirium with Palin asserting that Obama “likes to take credit for actions initiated by the last administration.” Credit? Credit for what? Destroying the economy? Starting two wars? $4.00 per gallon gasoline? I think the word Palin is looking for is blame. And since Obama certainly doesn’t want any of that, her point is pure lunacy. Particularly the part where she says…

“[Obama]’s not interested in lowering the price of gas because exorbitantly high gas prices are one of his campaign promises.”

Of course. Because every political analyst knows that higher gas prices are the one sure way to guarantee reelection. It’s almost as good as high unemployment, which Republicans have also accused Obama of causing deliberately (to enslave people, or something).

The crux of Palin’s argument is a regurgitation of the standard Republican mantra to “drill, baby, drill.” She and her GOP comrades have invented a theory that gas prices are increasing because of low supply and that if we have more of it prices would decline. The problem with that theory is that all of the evidence refutes it.

McClatchy: “U.S. demand for oil and refined products — including gasoline — is down sharply from last year, so much that United States has actually become a net exporter of gasoline, unable to consume all that it makes.”

So what benefit would there be to producing more domestic oil if we are just going to ship it to other countries? If more supply would lower prices all we would have to do is stop exporting the gas we are producing now, but the domestic market would not support that. So what is the cause of higher prices? According to experts it is the inordinate impact of speculators and the instability in the Middle East, a point on which both Palin and Obama agree. However, Palin’s solution is “to drill here and drill now,” which we already know is no solution at all.

In a speech on energy yesterday, Obama responded to criticisms from his opponents by noting that “Only in politics do people root for bad news.” Palin took that missive as advice and declared that “I guarantee the rising prices will only get worse.” Nowhere does Palin cite the basis for her guarantee, nor how the guarantee will compensate anyone foolish enough to put their faith in it. I’d want to get it in writing. Obama also mocked the right’s energy strategy as a political stunt:

“You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. And I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling.”

Once again, Palin took Obama’s mockery as a model for her platform. She literally proposed a 3-point plan, the day after Obama predicted it, that consisted of drilling (in Alaska), drilling (in Canada), and more drilling (for natural gas). And all the while she continues to ignore the reality that there is no deficiency in supply. In fact, the right’s (and Palin’s) favorite energy boondoggle, the KeystoneXL pipeline, is specifically designed to transport oil from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico so that it can be exported. If it were intended for domestic use they could build a much shorter pipeline to refineries in the Midwest.

There is a reason that Sarah Palin has become so irrelevant, and it has to do mostly with what she does and says herself. This Facebook energy treatise is merely the latest example of her monumental inability to shape a coherent thought. To say that she invites mockery is an understatement. She literally begs for it.

GOP Mocks Rachel Maddow In Support Of The Keystone XL Pipeline

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) just released a video that they are directing to constituents in 48 congressional districts represented by Democrats. The video is a satire of an MSNBC promo for the Rachel Maddow Show. Here is Maddow’s video:

And here is the NRCC version:

Not surprisingly, the NRCC has chosen to mislead their audience on several points.

First, there is nothing analogous between the construction of the Hoover Dam and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Hoover was a public works project that was built, and is currently run, by the government for the benefit of the American people. Keystone is a project of private, for-profit enterprise, that benefits wealthy individuals and corporations.

Secondly, the point Maddow was making about Hoover is that it was an historic achievement of ingenuity and resolve that exemplified the heights of human accomplishment that can be realized when a nation unites to pursue a noble goal. Keystone, on the other hand, is a garden-variety oil pipeline that exemplifies the greed of corporations that place profit over the safety and well being of people and their environment.

This is another example of the GOP siding with Big Business over average Americans. The NRCC falsely claims that the Keystone project will create 130,000 jobs and produce energy security. The truth is that it will only create a few thousand temporary jobs and much of the refined oil will be exported to other countries.

The press release for the NRCC’s video accuses the targeted representative of siding with “wealthy anti-energy activist donors.” It does not identify who the donors are or how they became wealthy via anti-energy activism, which is not generally considered a particularly profitable vocation. It also does not mention that House Speaker John Boehner has received a million dollars from fossil fuel enterprises and has investments in at least seven companies that stand to profit from Keystone.

However, what’s really funny about this satire is that it fails utterly in its goal. Why would the GOP produce a video satirizing a promo for a program on MSNBC? Their constituents are notoriously glued to Fox News and talk radio. Consequently, hardly any of them will have ever seen the Maddow video that the NRCC is mocking. That diminishes the comedic value pretty much entirely.

While Fox News will likely give it some free air time (it’s already posted on Fox Nation), they will just be preaching to the choir, which won’t help them to persuade the public at large that the pipeline is a good idea. But in the process they have tacitly conceded the point that Maddow was making with regard to the value of ambitious public works projects. They are telling their audience that commitments to large infrastructure ventures are beneficial and deserving of support.

So the result is that the Republicans have produced a satirical video that isn’t funny and affirms the investment philosophy of the Democrats. Thank you, NRCC.

Fox Nation Only Likes Their Own 9/11 Truthers

Yet another example of the unique tunnel-blindness of Fox News and their rightist colleagues.

Fox Nation Touré

The Fox Nationalists are clearly disturbed by the conspiracy theorists who believe that the truth about the 9/11 attacks has not yet been told. Consequently they use that as an excuse to dismiss remarks by MSNBC’s Touré regarding global warming. The Fox Nation item links to an article by their pals at NewsBusters:

“On Friday’s Dylan Ratigan Show, MSNBC contributor Touré, who is also a 9/11 truther, wondered if Hurricane Irene is an example of global warming. He speculated, ‘When you talk about an unusual weather event happening in New York and this sort of thing, is this really evidence of global warming to see this sort of a massive storm happening here?’

“Touré is routinely featured on MSNBC, despite his tendency to tweet in support of 9/11 conspiracy theories.”

What a travesty! Hosting a 9/11 Truther to give commentary about unrelated news events? The only thing that could be worse would be to give a 9/11 Truther his own daily show. Like…um…Fox did with 9/11 Truther, Judge Andrew Napolitano

The Fox Nation/NewsBusters gang whines that “It’s a bit much to blame this hurricane on global warming. It’s even weirder when a conspiracy-minded 9/11 truther does it.” I wonder why I haven’t yet seen Fox post an article dismissing everything Napolitano says because of his conspiracy theorism.

And, by the way, Touré is factually correct in his questioning about hurricanes and global warming. The science is pretty well established that the impact of climate change will include more frequent and more severe weather events. But Fox won’t let facts interfere with their bashing of anyone with whom they disagree. They don’t even care if their bashing happens to snag one of their own.

FLASHBACK: Winter As Evidence That Climate Change Is A Hoax

Remember way back in January when mysterious atmospheric conditions resulted in tiny flakes of frozen water descending from the heavens and covering everything in a blanket of white frost?

Most people with active brain functions understood that it was something we professionals like to call “Winter,” but Fox News reported it as proof that Climate Change did not exist. Their logic was simple: If it was snowing then how could the climate be warming?

So why are there no reports from Fox News today when most of the country is sweltering under record high temperatures?

Fox News

Last January everyone on Fox was stunned that winter brought snowstorms, and that was enough to dismiss the fact that 2010 was the hottest year on record, capping the hottest decade on record. But now that summer is burning up a nation already suffering from severe draught, Fox News is silent on the matter. And this is precisely the same stupidity the Fox crew demonstrated last summer.

To be clear, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Doocy, et al, were idiots to assert that there was no Global Warming just because the seasons had changed. And I am not asserting that the Earth is warming just because summer has arrived. The evidence of Climate Change is in the hundreds of studies performed by scientists that document historical trends and project future probabilities. People who mistake weather for climate ought not to be displaying their ignorance on television. But then again, displaying ignorance on television is Fox’s business model. They would have 24 hours of dead air without it.

Fox News vs Fox News vs Girl Scout Cookies

This morning on Fox News there was a segment featuring two Girl Scouts who had initiated an ambitious campaign to save endangered orangutans. Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen were researching the project when they discovered that the palm oil used to make the famous Girl Scout Cookies was a major factor in the depletion of the rainforest that is the orangutan’s habitat. Thus began their effort to get the Girl Scouts to find an alternative to the palm oil in the cookies.

Anchor Jon Scott complimented the girls saying that “You’ve got quite a story to tell and quite a determined nature to take into college. […] Congratulations. I’m sure the orangutans are very happy.” Co-host Jenna Lee effusively praised them and suggested that they be “signed up” right away.

This would seem seem like a rather typical, albeit inspiring, human interest story for most news organizations, but for Fox News there is always something nasty squirming beneath the surface. And the nasty squirmer is frequently Glenn Beck. On May 6, these industrious Girls Scouts were cited by Beck in an entirely different, and decidedly negative, context.

In a program about “Indoctrination in the Classroom,” Beck runs through a list of incidents involving young activists that he portrayed as reckless and insubordinate. I covered the program at the time noting Beck’s animosity toward youth in general. His targets included students in Tucson who protested the elimination of Mexican-American studies classes. He also criticized a group of young environmentalists who are taking action to protect the environment that they will inherit. And he had this to say about the little troublemakers who were messing with his cookies:

Beck: “We also have two Girl Scouts in Michigan leading a campaign against their organization’s cookies saying the heavy use of palm oil contributes to destroying the rain forest and killing endangered species like orangutans.

“Keep killing the orangutans. The cookies are yummy.”

What a jerk! Here are the two girls, to whom Beck was being so arrogantly disrespectful. They hardly deserve that sort of treatment. In fact, they have been remarkably successful in getting the Girl Scouts to address their concerns. Yet Beck still laments the devolution of schools where he now believes that “our children are not only being short-changed, they are being turned in to slaves eventually.” He goes on to complain that “They are removing God and the Bible out of schools and replacing him or it with intellectual neutrality.”

Intellectual neutrality in an academic institution? Oh, the horror! The only place I see slavery being imposed is by the likes of Beck who think that kids should keep their mouths shut and refrain from committing themselves to improving their world. Even Beck’s colleagues, Scott and Lee, applaud these young activists. Here’s hoping that Madison and Rhiannon continue to speak out and provide a positive role model to other young people.

Rupert Murdoch’s Climate Change Hypocrisy

The folks at Climate Progress have compiled a pretty comprehensive report documenting the hypocrisy of Rupert Murdoch and his cable news mouthpiece, Fox News. They cover the vast territory between the private and public pronouncements of the rightist propaganda empire.

This is an area that News Corpse has covered in the past exposing the dishonesty of Fox anchors like Glenn Beck and Neil Cavuto, as well as the editorial deceit of Fox’s Washington managing editor, Bill Sammon, who has issued directives to engage in deliberate disinformation.

The evidence of a so-called “news” network speaking out of both sides of its microphone are neatly detailed in the Climate Progress article. It shows that Murdoch and Fox are actively seeking to fleece both sides of the flock when it comes to the debate over Global Warming. They want to present a public image as a good corporate citizen for their business partners and clients, but they are also determined to advance the science denial rhetoric that their political allies and viewers expect.

That’s how you can have statements from Murdoch bragging about the environmental responsibility of News Corp as they achieve carbon neutrality, and later watch Sean Hannity as he declares that Climate Change is a hoax. It’s how you can observe the incongruous spectacle of Beck accusing all Global Warming activists of being socialists while a special, green-tinged Fox logo spins at the bottom of the screen during “Green Week.”

Keep it up Rupert. You are building an empire that is rapidly losing the trust of all sentient beings. But at least you can take pride in the knowledge that you are making your viewers more stupid with every minute they watch.

Glenn Beck’s Youth Bashing Crushed By Van Jones’ Optimism

Glenn Beck has spent much of the past two years dismissing young people as ignorant, brainwashed, and/or “useful idiots.” He regards them as societal appendages whose obligation is to be obedient and silent. Most recently he blamed the uprisings in the Middle East on unruly kids led by Google executives and intent on forming alliances with western leftists and Al Qaeda to invoke Shariah law from Tripoli to Topeka.

Today Beck replayed old clips of Al Gore motivating young environmentalists by telling them that “There are some things about our world that you know that older people don’t know.” That is objectively true for every new generation. If it were not it would mean that civilization is standing still. We are supposed to get smarter as time goes by. Aren’t we?

Not according to Beck. In Beck’s world Gore’s remarks are an appalling affront to parental authority. As is the speech that Van Jones gave at the Power Shift Conference for young leaders this past weekend. Beck played a short video of Jones encouraging members of the audience to be forthright in their advocacy for a clean environment. As usual, Beck cut the video so as to mislead his viewers. What he left was this snippet:

“When you go home, shift the power at the Thanksgiving table. When your Uncle Joe, who loves Fox News, starts talking to you and starts dominating the discussion.”

That’s where Beck cuts it off to insert his response:

“I will tell you this, in a side note. That is why I’m leaving this network. This network has this audience cornered. You are here because it is telling you the truth. We have got to get to the youth.”

First of all, that is not why Beck is leaving the network. He is leaving because he was fired for alienating over 300 advertisers and losing half of the audience. Secondly, Beck doesn’t explain what audience he alleges to have cornered, but presumably it is not the youth audience. In fact, Beck’s viewers, like Fox in general, skew older than any program on cable news. That aside, it is important to hear the rest of Jones’ thoughts to understand the depths of Beck’s intention to deceive. Just following the point where Beck cut the tape:

“When you go home, shift the power at the Thanksgiving table. When your Uncle Joe, who loves Fox News, starts talking to you and starts dominating the discussion, and starts making you feel small, and that your ideas don’t count, and that you’re some kind of bizarre freak, shift the power. Because this movement is not just for Democrats, and it’s not just for lefties. This movement is for everybody. And you have the opportunity to say to your Uncle Joe, ‘Excuse me sir. Don’t you believe in liberty? And if you do, how can you live in a country where every American is forced to be an energy consumer for the rest of our lives?

“Shouldn’t we have the right as Americans to be energy producers?’ Shouldn’t we be able to put up solar panels on our own houses? Shouldn’t we be able to put up wind turbines in our backyards? Shouldn’t we be able, as Americans, to power our own community? Shouldn’t we have the right and the liberty to be energy producers and not be dictated to twelve times a years by energy companies that dictate how much we’re gonna pay for energy, when we’re gonna pay it, how many asthma inhalers we’re gonna have as a consequence? Shouldn’t we have the liberty, as Americans, to power this country in a new way?”

Beck surely knows that the rest of that segment was entirely respectful toward Uncle Joe. He knows that there was no attempt to dishonor the role of parents or elders. He knows this yet he purposefully manipulates the message to cast young people in a negative light. And he has the gall to do this while declaring that he wants to “get to the youth.” That’s a goal he also spoke of in Albany on Saturday, where he said that he planned to build a way to deliver news directly to the youth of America. Does he plan to do that by frightening them as he does his radio and television audiences? Because that won’t work with this demographic. They are far more independent and self-directed. And for all the disrespect that Beck hurls at them, he cannot win them over with lies and fear mongering.

And just for the heck of it, here is Jones’ inspiring conclusion to the speech (which you can watch in full here):

“I love liberty. Given what’s happened with my ancestors, nobody loves liberty more than I do. But the pledge of allegiance doesn’t stop there. The pledge of allegiance says ‘liberty and justice for all.’ ‘Liberty and justice for all.’ And that’s what your movement is about. Liberty, yes, and justice. Justice for the immigrant. Justice for the lesbians and the gays. Justice for the African-Americans. Justice for women. Justice for the rural poor. Justice for the Native Americans. Liberty and justice for all. Shift the power!”

Fox Nation Loves Corporations, Hates Mother Earth

The Fox Nation is featuring a story about an initiative at the United Nations to protect the environment and it is, not surprisingly, creating a flurry of outrage.

Fox Nation - Mother Earth

The item, which links to an article on, is titled “U.N. Proposal Would Give ‘Mother Earth’ Same Rights as Humans,” and describes the draft document that seeks to create parity in the environmental debate.

“The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to ‘dominate and exploit’ – to the point that the ‘well-being and existence of many beings’ is now threatened.”

The article quotes supporters noting that there are plenty of advocates for commercial and state interests that seek to exploit natural resources and that this initiative seeks only to provide balance by creating an advocate for the welfare of the planet.

The outrage expressed by the Fox Nationalists is typically hypocritical of those who defend corporate power over individuals. They have no problem with Supreme Court decisions that define corporations as persons, but to do the same for the Earth is something they regard as unthinkable. Never mind that corporations are notoriously insensitive to the harm they cause to the planet and its inhabitants. And forget that the Earth and its ecosystem is something we all rely for our existence.

The only voices the right believes should be heard are those who oppose the environment. And the real shame is that these rightist eco-terrorists are actually successful in persuading some Republicans and Tea Baggers that Climate Change and other risks to the environment are hoaxes and nothing to be concerned about.

Rupert Murdoch Falls For Global Warming Hoax

The big environmental news of the day is that News Corp CEO, Rupert Murdoch, has announced a major milestone in his empire’s march to “energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.” In a memo to employees he wrote…

Murdoch: I am proud to announce that News Corporation has reached its first major sustainability milestone: We have become carbon neutral across all of our global operations and we are the first company of our kind to do so.

With this statement Murdoch has revealed himself to be another cog in the worldwide conspiracy to concoct a crisis over claims of Climate Change and the environmental risks associated with it. Never mind that, according to Murdoch, News Corp will save tens of millions of dollars a year as a result of its eco-initiatives, in addition to reducing its output of carbon emissions by fifteen percent. The larger issue is the deception for which Murdoch is responsible and his promotion of Global Warming as a credible theory.

Rupert Murdoch

Fox News has been a stalwart clarion for exposing Global Warming as a hoax. Their indisputable proof generally consists of video of snow storms in New England during February. Sean Hannity has said that such compelling evidence proves that, “The debate’s over. There’s no global warming.” Glenn Beck contends that Climate Change is a conspiracy to enrich General Electric and other environmental profiteers. The network’s Washington managing editor, Bill Sammon, ordered his anchors and reporters to “refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed,” and to “IMMEDIATELY” (his emphasis) point out that the data has been “called into question.” He fails to note that the data was called into question by representatives of ExxonMobil.

With this history of attacking the proponents of Climate Change science, we should expect Fox News to begin its probing new series denouncing Rupert Murdoch as a deceitful purveyor of environmentalist propaganda any day now. He ought to replace Al Gore as the new eco-terrorist of the year. Perhaps they will even examine his relationship to environmentally friendly technology providers in the newsprint and workspace energy fields. There may be a financial incentive for his deceit. If so, I’m sure Fox will get to the bottom of it. Right after they’re done exposing the plot against incandescent light bulbs and the Global Teachers Union Caliphate.

Liba Rubenstein, News Corp’s global energy initiative director, confirmed the company’s commitment to the environment as well as its respect for an independent press saying that…

“Our corporate commitment from an operational and business leadership perspective doesn’t bring with it an editorial mandate.”

In other words, despite the fact that the parent corporation is convinced that Climate Change is a real problem, they will permit Fox News to continue to deceive their audience by falsely asserting that Global Warming is a hoax, even as Fox is required to participate in the reforms sent down from corporate. So we can expect Fox News to continue to bash environmental science, but I wouldn’t expect them to report on this announcement from their boss.