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February 21st 2010 print

Assault on reason

The Age: “Australia green groups have called a strategy meeting to devise ways to hit back at the climate sceptics movement, amid fears they are losing the PR war.”

The Age reports on a closed meeting by wealthy Green groups to plan their attack on climate sceptics:

Australia green groups have called a strategy meeting to devise ways to hit back at the climate sceptics movement, amid fears they are losing the PR war.

The groups, including Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society, World Wide Fund for Nature, Australian Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Earth, have acknowledged that the public mood has shifted following the collapse of the Copenhagen climate talks and blows to the credibility of the IPCC.

James Norman, of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said the strategy of ignoring climate change sceptics had not worked as it had been taken as confirmation of their claims. ”The stakes are too high to remain silent or disorganised in the face of this systemic disinformation campaign,” Mr Norman said.

He said the global campaign was being funded by anti-climate-change think tanks such as the American Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the British International Policy Network, which had both received grants from oil company ExxonMobil.

”I wouldn’t be surprised if they (ExxonMobil) have connections here in Australia as well,” he said.

Think tank the Climate Institute, lobby group Get Up, and the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union will also attend the Sydney meeting, which is not open to the public or the media.

Greenpeace spokesman James Lorenz said the meeting was ”a good opportunity for environmental organisations to put their heads together and have a think about what’s going on”. Groups would plan strategies for the year.

Report published here…