Oprah touts Exxon/Ford lobbyist as climate change "expert"

Oprah touts Exxon/Ford lobbyist as climate change "expert"
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While Oprah is to be congratulated for her “Global Warming 101” special yesterday, it is discouraging to see Competititve Enterprise Institute’s Marlo Lewis being touted as an “expert” in the science of climate change. As regular readers of DeSmog know, the CEI has been one of the leaders of the industry-backed war on climate change science. Further, Marlo Lewis is NOT a climate change expert, he is a lobbyist/PR pro with no scientific credentials. To be fair, Oprah also includes other non-scientists like Leonardo DiCaprio as a source on climate change, but last time we checked Leo is not part of an industry-funded campaign, he is speaking for himself. 

Oprah’s millions of viewers would have taken away an entirely different opinion of Lewis’s “science” if it was pointed out that the organization he represents has received millions from the companies, like Ford Motor and ExxonMobil, that stand to lose financially if the US tackles climate change and reduces C02 emissions.

Not to mentions the CEI‘s laughableC02, we call it life” ad campaign.

It is this type of “false balance” in the media that drives the DeSmogBlog. When there is a broad sweeping scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that humans are the cause, it is the media’s role to reflect that consensus and not contribute to the efforts of fringe scientists and their vocal think tanks efforts to sow doubt and confuse the public.

Here’s a video of Marlo Lewis spinning the Exxon-friendly message that “Co2 is a good thing.” While your watching the video, keep in the back of mind “lobbyist group funded by Exxon” and you’ll get the idea of why it’s important for people like Oprah to provide appropriate context if she and the media insist on using individuals like Lewis as “expert” sources on climate change.

Oprah touts Exxon/Ford lobbyist as climate change "expert"

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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