In the House Oversight Committee’s hearing on political interference with the scientific evidence of climate change, Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) proclaimed in disbelief and frustration that, “Today we have a planet that’s smoking!” He, like many before him, likened the campaign to cast doubt on global warming with the tobacco industry’s campaign in the 1990s to distort information on the health impacts of smoking cigarettes.
In early 2007, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a report along those same lines, exposing the disinformation campaign by ExxonMobil which used tobacco industry-like tactics. They also published an online periodical table that serves as an A-Z Guide to Political Interference in Science, which one of the witnesses to the House hearing brought up in her testimony.
And wait, there’s more. The UCS paired up with the Government Accountability Project on a report that describes how the White House silenced scientists on climate change. Some 1,600 scientists were surveyed, but only 279 responded, 150 of which reported that they had experienced interference of some kind.
We have a planet that’s smoking and the White House is filtering. Sounds like oil isn’t our only addiction. Menthol, anyone?