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May 17, 2006

"Carbon Dioxide...We Call It Life" Environment  Politics

Not an April Fool's joke, apparently, nor satire. Reuters:

A little girl blows away dandelion fluff as an announcer says, "Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution; we call it life," in an advertisement targeting global warming "alarmists," especially Al Gore.

The television ads, screened for the press on Wednesday and set to air in 14 U.S. cities starting on Thursday, are part of a campaign by the Competitive Enterprise Institute to counter a media spotlight on threats posed by worldwide climate change.

The spots are timed to precede next week's theatrical release of "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary film on global warming that features Gore, the former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate.

Against backdrops of a park, a beach and a forest, one celebrates the benefits of greenhouse gas-producing fuels.

"The fuels that produce CO2 (carbon dioxide) have freed us from a world of back-breaking labor, lighting up our lives, allowing us to create and move the things we need, the people we love," the ad runs. "Now some politicians want to label carbon dioxide a pollutant. Imagine if they succeed — what would our lives be like then?"

The other ad questions media reports of the threat of climate change, especially a Time magazine issue devoted to the topic, and shows film of a glacier melting and then runs in reverse to show the glacier reconstituting itself.

"We had started work on this several months back, but we sort of changed course once the flood of glacier-melting stories began," said Sam Kazman, an institute lawyer who worked on the ads. "So we did want to get out there before the Al Gore film got into national opening." [...]

"They fly in the face of most of the science," Charlie Miller of Environmental Defense said of the institute ads. "The good news is that there's not a trade-off here between prosperity, jobs, growth and protecting the Earth. We can do both." [Emphasis added]

Kinda takes your breath away. What dimwits.

[Thanks Jeff]

Posted by Jonathan at May 17, 2006 11:37 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


This puts me in mind of Al Gore's appearance on Saturday Night Live last weekend. In an alternate universe, Gore was elected handily in 2000, global warming was stopped, but the unintended consequence was that glaciers were now on the attack against northern Maine and the upper peninsula of Michigan.

No one is that dim on their own, really. I wonder where the funding for the Competitive Enterprise Institute comes from. Could the oil companies be far behind?

Posted by: bill at May 18, 2006 03:58 AM

Just the usual "conservative" think tank - global warming denial is part of their stock in trade: propaganda services to whichever sunset industry needs some aggressive protection in the media.

I noticed a memetic engineering company watching the web for "al gore" and "climate change" references recently - maybe this is who they were working for...

Anyway - "Source Watch" is always a good site to check out when you want to know an organisation's track record, associates and funding history:


They describe the CEI thusly:

"It postures as an advocate of "sound science" in the development of public policy. In fact, it is an ideologically-driven, well-funded front for corporations opposed to safety and environmental regulations that affect the way they do business."

If you look at the list of funders (which they aren't very transparent about) you will notice a few oil companies - Exxon seemingly being their primary funder (surprise, surprise)...

"CEI does not publish a list of its institutional donors, but the following companies and foundations are known to have given $10,000 or more:

* Aequus Institute
* Amoco Foundation, Inc.
* Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
* Carthage Foundation Scaife Foundations
* Coca-Cola Company
* E.L. Craig Foundation
* ExxonMobil ($405,000 during 2002) [1] (http://www2.exxonmobil.com/files/corporate/public_policy1.pdf)
* CSX Corporation
* Earhart Foundation
* Fieldstead and Co.
* FMC Foundation
* Ford Motor Company Fund
* Gilder Foundation
* Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (Koch Family Foundations)
* David H. Koch Charitable Foundation (Koch Family Foundations)
* Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation (Koch Family Foundations)
* Philip M. McKenna Foundation, Inc.
* Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation
* Philip Morris Companies, Inc.
* Pfizer Inc.
* Precision Valve Corporation
* Prince Foundation
* Rodney Fund
* Sheldon Rose
* Sarah Scaife Foundation (Scaife Foundations)
* Texaco, Inc.
* Texaco Foundation

Other known CEI funders include:

* American Petroleum Institute
* ARCO Foundation
* Armstrong Foundation
* Burlington Northern Railroad Co.
* Cigna Corporation
* Detroit Farming Inc.
* Dow Chemical
* EBCO Corp.
* General Motors Corporation
* Jacqueline Hume Foundation
* JM Foundation
* Vernon K. Krieble Foundation
* John William Pope Foundation
* Smith Richardson Foundation
* Roe Foundation
* Alex C. Walker Foundation "

Posted by: Big Gav at May 18, 2006 07:23 AM

This is relevant to the topic too:


Posted by: Big Gav at May 18, 2006 07:27 AM

Thanks Big Gav for the background info on CEI, and the link to Source Watch.

When you have leadership and big media dodging reality, organizations like this will be more open about who supports them because it adds unchallenged credibility to their cause.

These ads are an outrage.

Posted by: Jeff at May 18, 2006 03:13 PM

Good source for the funding on such "think tanks" is
Exxon Secrets site - http://www.exxonsecrets.org

it shows a web of organizations and related people who are working as a front to discredit climate crisis.

Posted by: Alan Oldfield at May 22, 2006 11:37 AM