Friends of Science; Friends of Tobacco

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It seems that the professional pasts of some members of Canadian climate change spin machine “Friends of Science” go well beyond the oil and gas industry.

Dr. Fred Seitz, listed as a member of the Friends of Science at the inaugural oil industry funded Ottawa kick-off, has admitted to helping tobacco giant RJ Reynolds spread out million of dollars in health research grants during the 1970’s and 80’s. Seitz’s role was to assist Big Tobacco in creating the illusion that there was still some debate over whether tobacco was a proven danger to health.

Which coincidentally is the same PR technique that Friends of Science is using to delay action on climate change; creating the public perception of a scientific debate in order to undermine support for the Kyoto accord or for any real public policy action.

Same techniques. Same experts And, we would argue, same degree of credibility.

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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