Stewart Fist, journalist, columnist and film-maker.
HOMES FOR THE
ETHICS & MORALITY
GROWING OLD & GRUMPY
|The evolution of climate denial|
|Chemical and Atomic energy environmental problems. |
Toxic chemicals entering the environment; waste dumps; radiation leaks. General air pollution in all cities. Activist attacks were directed at specific companies and their chemicals (Agent Orange, CFCs/ozone, DDT)
Lobbying line: The industry defences were focussed on challenging specific toxicology findings.
• Some attempt at establishing industry-friendly standards (Good Laboratory Practices - GLP) and later Good Epidemiology Practices (GEP).
|Tobacco industry takes the lead.|
Primary health problems now accepted with smokers: the main problem is second-hand smoke in workplace.
Lobbying line: They claim that the regulators [EPA/FDA/OSHA] are politicised and used "junk-science". The EPA uses meta-analysis, and their findings are merely "statistical". Most workplace air-quality problems are due to 'Sick Building Syndrome' (SBS) from a lack of system maintenance.
•The beginning of a generalised anti-science, movement - plus blaming irresponsible building owners.
• They try to set new scientific standards for regulation (GEP - Good Epidemiological Practices).
|Mining and energy industries take the lead.|
Acknowledgement that energy industrial by-products are the main problems along with methane from agriculture (cows farting). Toleration is needed; this is the price of our good life-style.
Lobbying line: Our focus must be on the economic value of cheap energy and good food and the efficient manufacture of products. We must tolerate some unwanted emissions and their consequences.
• The companies and their allies now promote economic cost-benefit analysis as the basis for all regulation, with Risk Assessment the new regulatory discipline to replace toxicology and epidemiology.
|Libertarian think-tanks and the political right take the lead in defending corporate primacy.|
Businesses and jobs are under threat from Greens and other activists who want governments to act precipitously.
Lobbying line: They say these problems are global and Australia is only a minor contributor in economic terms, so we must not take the lead; this will sacrifice our national trading advantages.
• These are global problems which will only be solved over time when the major nations and the third-world take action first. Coal exports help the third-world to develop.
• Climate scientists and rat-bag 'green' activists are probably exaggerating the problems anyway; climate change may turn out to be beneficial.
Primary lobbying index
This is an early stage of development of this web-site. I intend to create separate pages here showing through primary documents, how lobbyists (within companies, external and third-party think-tanks) operate to mislead the public and politicians. Even when the politicians aren't convinced, often all they need is expressions of "Doubt" so they aren't required to act.
Examples: Here are a few preliminary examples of various global lobbying projects employed by the tobacco and other industries. These are relatively simple to unravel if you are willing to follow the explanations and read the relevant selections of the primary documents from 14 million confidential files now held at the University of California, San Francisco's library archives.
You won't find these with Google. The archives are too big and are required for normal university activities. I have extracted full documents and sections of document here to make it easier for all concerned.
I know from experience that you will rarely find a single document (a "smoking gun") that is totally convincing to everyone. However anyone can be led through a trail of a dozen or so selected original documents and they will quickly see what these lobbyists were up to. These examples leave little room for doubt.
It is important to realise that the desired outcome of these industries with problems was never complete denial. They simply hoped to generate doubt in the minds of the general public, and give compliant politicians an excuse for inaction. "Doubt" was the desired outcome.
Some preliminary examples:
- A scam operation run around the world by Philip Morris's top Australian lobbyist, Andrew Whist, with the CEO of the Australian Lawn Tennis Association, Wayne Reid. They also created a couple of international versions. The aim was to preserve the right of tobacco companies to sponsor sports, and so have always at hand major teenager role-models and their sporting associations willing to speak up in public for the rights of cigarette manufactures to advertise and promote their products.
- This was a real scientific organisation (it had genuine membership) consisting of a few dozen psycho-pharmacist who did research into addictive substances and narcotics at various universities. Under Professor David Warburton of Reading University in the UK, ARISE ran biannual conferences in various exotic parts of the world. These attracted local media attention by the choice of celebrity speakers (usually Bernard Levin or Auberon Waugh). These conferences, with free travel and accommodation for participants, were totally funded and controlled by the chocolate manufacturers, alcohol companies, and (of course) tobacco. Waugh and Levin were paid to do their set piece as intellectual curmudgeons, complaining that a host nation wanting to ban cigarette advertising or sponsorships was on a "slippery slope", run by "Wowsers", and already a socialistic "Nanny State".
- We now know a lot about the Atlas network, its history, and how it funds its activities around the world by performing lobbying services for various industry groups ... especially those with poisoning and polluting problems. They now claim to have 500 think-tanks in this Libertarian network and they work in parallel with conservative business groups and a global political network (International Democratic Union).
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