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NAMING NAMES: Indentifying the Good Guys and the Bad Guys in the Fight for the Environment
Cheryl Seal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here is an initial list of "good guys and bad guys" in the world of environmental information and action. It is just a starting list - we will add to it over time and/or add notes as necessary. We also encourage our readers to do their own research and report new names or notes as they manifest themselves.
BAD GUYS: The bad guys made the list for filling one or more of the following criteria: Funded by a corporation or rightwing group with something to materially gain by the group's activity; deceptive links (sound-alikes, name-stealing, link sabotage), lack of appropriate credentials (when calling themselves "scientists" or "experts"), dedicated to disseminating debunking (ie, antienvironmental, pro-corporate) information with most funds spent on their PR rather than on constructive activity, the use of speakers, writers, or editors who are known to be corporate-funded :"regulars," history of promoting corporate agendas, and any type of intentional deception. The Cato Institute not only filled all the criteria, it managed to underscore the last item (deception) this week. After we brought attention to their tobacco ties a few weeks ago, the site hastily threw up a seemingly anti-tobacco article link onto its homepage. However, if you do a site search of "tobacco," you'll pull up the true history of the outfit. Many of these outfits will pull this chameleon routine to temporarily hide when they hear whistles blowing but don't be fooled - dig around and you'll demask them! Other tips for spotting "Trojan Horses" : Anything calling itself a think tank, a center for public policy or an institute should be considered "guilty" until proven otherwise, that's how popular these buzz words are with rightwingers. Also, rightwingers seem to love to tack the words "independent," "freedom," "choice" or "rights" onto everything associated with greedy self-interest and environmental damage, so these words worked into the title are often dead give aways.
BAD GUY LIST
CATO INSTITUTE: One of the furthest to the right and most slippery, A "hangout" for corporate mouthpiece Stossel
GEORGE C. MARSHAL INSTITUTE: Is anti-Kyoto, pro-Missile Defense schemes, uses Seitz as one of its "experts."
TOWNHALL.COM: Designed to sound "down-homey" but is a front for anti-environmental agenda
HEARTLAND INSTITUTE: Serves as middle man to many rightwing/corporate special interests
HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Sets itself up as "mainstream" think tank, but actively seeks to manipulate media
HOOVER INSTITUTE: Condy Rice and many other Bush people are from this ultra-conservative, hawkish "think tank." This outfit is on campus of Stanford University
BAKER INSTITUTE: Where Bush gets bulk of his warped foreign policy and energy policy ideas. Huge complex at Rice University in Texas (where else?)
CONSUMER ALERT: Even its name is deceitful--everyone checks out consumer alerts, right?
GLOBAL CLIMATE COALITION
JUNKSCIENCE.COM: So blatantly kissing corporate butt that you can almost taste it (i.e.- yuck!!!)
OREGON INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE AND SCIENCE: They peddle kits for surviving the nuclear war they anticipate (and do not work to prevent)
WESTERN FUEL ASSOCIATION: Has spent untold millions to buy its way into schools, search engines, think tanks, and politicians' back pockets.
NATION CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS: Tries to sound like they ARE part of the government
COALITION FOR VEHICLE CHOICE: More interested in protecting SUVs than the environment.
THE INDEPENDENT INSTITUTE
SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMAENTAL POLICY PROJECT
GREENING EARTH SOCIETY
PACIFIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE
COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE
CITIZENS FOR A SOUND ECONOMY
DEFENDERS OF PROPERTY RIGHTS
AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORTM
GLOBAL WARMING INFORMATION CENTER
STILLWAITING FOR CREENHOUSE
WORLD CLIMATE REPORT
GOTO.COM: This is a search engine, but their policy actually encourages site sabotage, bogus links, and "best placement regardless of legitimacy to highest bidder." The bogus sites on this engine tend to top the list in searches.
WASHINGTON TIMES: Anyone who uses this rag as a source of news and, worse, editorial comment, should (unless they happen to be a Moonie, in which case, they are just quoting their boss's mouthpiece) be given as much credibility as someone who invokes the "wit and wisdom" of Rush Limbaugh.
CO2 SCIENCE INSTITUTE
AMERICAN COUNCIL ON SCIENCE & HEALTH
GOOD GUYS: made list if: appropriate credentials of researchers or advisors, sources of funding are noncorporate (or a corporate donor has no vested interest in the group - we have no problem with Exxon funding a ballet company, for example), dedicated to positive action and/or has an established track record of concrete achievements (a group of citizens which saves ten acres of wetlands have achieved something a million times more concrete and worthwhile than a corporate front group which has succeeded in foisting their propaganda off onto school children), does not use deception to attract supporters, selects scientific information (in case of science journals) based on stringent quality criteria (i.e. peer review), is motivated by altruism (i.e., not self-interest).
EPA GLOBAL WARMING SITE: Hopefully Bush won't make Christie dismantle it
INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE: The big enchilada on global warming
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
BBC: MAKING SENSE OF GLOBAL WARMING
GLOBAL WARMING CENTRAL
SIERRA CLUB GLOBAL WARMING CAMPAIGN
NATIONAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH INFORMATION OFFICE
UN FRAMEWORK CONVENCTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
NASA GODDARD INSTITUTE SPACE STUDIES (they do alot of atmospheric monitoring
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES(they have disowned Seitz, I am sure!)
DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION (NOAA)
JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY
JOURNAL OF APPLIED METEOROLOGY
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS
JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
EOS, TRANSACTIONS, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH UNION
UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF SCIENTISTS
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICAL SCIENTISTS
U.S GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
EVANGELICAL ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK (creationcare.org)
ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP
CLEAN AIR TRUST
AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC AFFILIATION
WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND