Tobacco hack turned climate change flak

Tobacco hack turned climate change flak
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Posted first by thinkprogress.org, check this spin-job by the literallyBonner Cohen unbelievable Bonner Cohen. Like many other former tobacco industry apologists, Cohen has reshaped himself as an expert on the science behind climate change.

Here’s the whole interview, and below is a good example of Bonner’s spin, and a comparison to his old arguments on second-hand tobacco smoke: 

Caller: “I do believe in global warming… how do you foresee the future if we keep going with the pedal to metal so to speak?”

Bonner: “Your grandchildren would be best served, when considering climate change that we not allow ourselves to be driven by idle speculation, not by computer models. Simply look at the scientific data and see if in fact we are experiencing anything out of the ordinary.”

“…. what i think is vitally important is that for everyone, that we make the decisions that we make with respect to our environmental and energy policies based on the best available scientific data that we have. We cannot afford to do that based on speculation alone.”

Speculation? What is speculative about the science academies of every G8 nation agreeing that climate change is happening and is caused by humans burning fossil fuels? But what do you expect from a guy who, on the issue of second-hand smoke, claimed:

“The science [on tobacco smoke], of which the EPA avails itself, is that which happens to fit the political agenda of the moment …. the one certainty following the EPA‘s report on tobacco smoke, is that the available science is inconclusive.”

Surpisingly, Bonner does admit that the “think” tank he works for, the National Centre for Public Policy Research, recieves funding from the fossil fuel industry. To quote:

Host: “Our guest also serves as a Senior Fellow at the NCPPR, which is…”

Bonner: “A think tank here in town…”

Host: “How are you funded?”

Bonner: “Mostly through individual donations….”

Host: “Energy industry at all?”

Bonner: “Yes, some”

Host: “Which forms?”

Bonner: “It would, ahh, it would, ahh, from… from the, ahh, fossil fuel industry.”

Big surprise.

It is clear that on the issue of climate change, as it was on the issue of second-hand smoke, that our granchildren would be best served by tuning out the Bonner Cohens – people who will take money from, ahh, just about anybody and then bend the truth to whatever extent is necessary to defend their case.

Tobacco hack turned climate change flak

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

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 DeSmogBlog, 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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