A book I am reading at present – Joseph Romm‘s Hell and High Water – drew my attention to an essay on climate change written by Frank Luntz, a political consultant who worked to oppose the regulation of greenhouse gasses.
The leaked memo, entitled “The Environment: A Cleaner, Safer, Healthier America,” provides a glimpse into the strategies of climate delayers that is both informative and chilling:
“The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science…
Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly…
Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.”
The cynicism of it all is astounding. To see something as vital as climate change treated as a superficial, partisan rhetorical battle is extremely dispiriting.
The actual document is also oddly unavailable online. I had to use the Wayback Machine to find a PDF of the original leaked document. I am hosting it on my own server to aid people in locating it in the future. Clearly, I cannot vouch for its veracity personally. That said, articles in The Guardian and on George Monbiot’s site accept the document as genuine.