Former Greenpeace activist turned industry PR consultant, Patrick Moore, regularly appears as an opinion columnist or interviewee in news outlets around the world.
Television ads from a new Montana-based group called CO2 Is Green claim: "There is no scientific evidence that CO2 [carbon dioxide] is a pollutant. In fact higher CO2 levels than we have today would help the Earth's ecosystems." The ads urge voters to contact their Senators and Representative, "and remind them CO2 is not pollution." The ads are meant to stoke opposition to climate change legislation.
Tar sands oil, "which is mined and boiled off instead of pumped out of the ground, is some of the dirtiest petroleum on Earth," with three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventional oil. Yet the Consumer Energy Alliance recently launched an ad campaign supporting tar sands oil.
"For America's No. 1 taxpayer watchdog, as Citizens Against Government Waste calls itself, the jet engines seem easy prey. The federal government is already spending billions for Pratt & Whitney to develop engines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Why spend billions more for General Electric to do the same?
Fake "grassroots" groups have started springing up like toadstools after a rain, and this time they're coming at us from every angle: they're on TV, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube: "Americans for Prosperity," "FACES of Coal, "The "Coalition to Protect Patients' Rights," "Americans Against Food Taxes," the "60 Plus Association," "Citizens for Better Medicare," "Patients First" ... It's making our heads spin! Issues affecting some of the country's biggest industries, like health insurance reform, a proposal to tax sodas and sugary drinks, and the FDA's possible reconsideration of the plastic additive Bisphenol A, have boosted corporate astroturfing up to a dizzying pace. With all these corporate fronts coming out of the woodwork, how can citizens tell true grassroots organizations from corporate fronts operated by highly-paid PR and lobbying firms? Here are some tips to help readers spot this kind of big-business hanky-panky.