Sunday, April 20, 2008

Who's paying for the "Global Climate Scam" billboards?

There's a large billboard near my Saint Paul home advertising "".

The url resolves to a typical denialist site -- all bluster and delusion. There's nothing unusual about the whacky website, but I was curious who's paying for the billboard, and what they want.

It turns out that "Minnesota Majority", a local right wing organization, displays the same content and is probably paying for the billboards. I haven't been able to discover where their money is coming from, and why they're suddenly keen to spend it on climate change denial.

Companies that have invested heavily in coal would be the obvious suspects. If we really have hit Peak Oil (I'm deferring judgment until August) then oil companies ought to be buying up coal reserves. The primary challenge to that strategy would be a carbon tax, or the regulatory equivalent. Coal produces so much carbon dioxide that any carbon-tax equivalent could do real damage to a coal-centric investment strategy.

It would be logical for these companies, assuming they are blithering idiots, to do everything possible to maximize their coal reserve value -- including climate change deniers.

So if I were a real journalist, I'd be looking for an Exxon connection to Minnesota Majority's new found fascination with climate change. I'd also look to see whether Exxon is putting its money into oil exploration or into coal reserve ownership.

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