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Defending Hot Air: TASSC Takes On Global Warming
The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition is an industry-funded PR front group run by the APCO public relations firm which works to hang the label of "junk science" on environmentalists. TASSC is using a thousand-dollar "Global Warming Sweepstakes" to generate letters to President Clinton on the issue of global warming.
"To enter the Global Warming Sweepstakes, a contestant must visit the Junk Science Home Page (http://www.junkscience.com) and, according to contest rules, send an e-mail to President Clinton expressing an opinion whether the U.S. should sign a treaty limiting emission of so-called 'greenhouse gases,' " announced a Nov. 12, 1997 TASSC news release.
Although the rules state that "It does not matter which position is expressed," the Junk Science Home Page offers assistance in the form of a model letter urging Clinton "NOT to sign a global warning treaty," along with dozens of "informational articles," all of which ridicule the idea that global warming is a serious problem. Some sample titles:
- "Kangaroo Court: The Working Group on Public Health and Fossil Fuel Combustion," explains the issue as follows: "A kangaroo court of junk scientists predicts that 8 million people will die during 2000 to 2020 from particulate matter air pollution associated with fossil fuel, unless the world limits greenhouse gas emissions to levels advocated by European nations."
- "Apocalypse Not," by science writer Gary Taubes, argues that "Predictions that global warming will spark epidemics have little basis."
- "The Sky Isn't Falling and the Sea Isn't Rising," by S. Fred Singer, says that "Global-warming devotees have been making alarmist predictions about the rising sea levels they think will follow an increase in the earth's average temperatures."
Industry PR about the global warming problem seems to be succeeding. On Nov. 10, the Associated Press reported that "a global poll surveying environmental attitudes in 24 countries suggests Americans are the most skeptical of the need for drastic and potentially costly steps to minimize climate change. . . . Most respondents worldwide endorsed immediate strong action, but half the respondents in the United States said no major action should be taken until more facts were known."