Daily Archives: February 29, 2012

Tea Partiers launch Birther SuperPac.


selling crazy:

Believe it or not, the so-called birthers are back. As if the post Citizens United world of campaign finance wasn’t sketchy enough, along comes a new super PAC created specifically to regurgitate racist conspiracy theories claiming President Obama is not a natural-born American, and thereby supposedly barred from holding the presidency.

The group has already started running ads.

The new super PAC, the Article II Political Action Committee, claims to be “dedicated to the development and organization of a virtual army of patriots whose mission is to ensure that all citizens and elected officials clearly understand the true intent and meaning of the presidential eligibility clause in Article 2 Section 1 of the United States Constitution, the supreme law of the land.” The PAC launched on December 8 and was registered with the Federal Election Commission on December 13, 2011.

Release of the Obama birth certificate last year didn’t deter this group even a bit. They’ve repeatedly claimed that many of Obama’s documents, including his certificate of live birth, are forgeries and they’ve developed a long list of new rationales for their racism.

…Aggressive moves by the Article II PAC group have generated dissention in the birther ranks. Orly Taitz, once a close ally to several of the Article II figures (and a member of Tea Party Nation), openly trashed the group and called on her followers to stay away from it and any blogs that advertise for the group. Taitz wrote on her blog, “Even though I’ve been working on this issue for 3 years and have done 99% of the work in this area, I never received 1 single cent from this group. Not only that, several member of this group engaged in vicious defamation of my character. None of these bloggers is an attorney.

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Unqualified climate denier teaches college class in Ottawa.

An energy industry public relations man and lobbyist with no background in climate science has infiltrated Carleton University in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, teaching a course on climate change denial that other Carleton professors describe as “a source of embarrassment to the institution.”

Tom Harris, who originally trained as a mechanical engineer, has been a strategist for the climate change denial industry for at least a decade. A favourite presenter misrepresented as a PhD at the Heartland Institute’s regular climate change denial conferences, Harris has worked directly for companies like the international PR giant APCO Worldwide or for energy industry lobby firms such as Toronto’s High Park Group. More recently, he has launched or led at least three phony “grassroots organizations” – energy industry front groups that promote confusion or denial in climate science.
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Guest Blogger on Feb 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Bogus climate course “a source of embarrassment to the institution”

– Richard Littlemore, in a DeSmogBlog repost

An energy industry public relations man and lobbyist with no background in climate science has infiltrated Carleton University in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, teaching a course on climate change denial that other Carleton professors describe as “a source of embarrassment to the institution.”

Tom Harris, who originally trained as a mechanical engineer, has been a strategist for the climate change denial industry for at least a decade. A favourite presenter misrepresented as a PhD at the Heartland Institute’s regular climate change denial conferences, Harris has worked directly for companies like the international PR giant APCO Worldwide or for energy industry lobby firms such as Toronto’s High Park Group. More recently, he has launched or led at least three phony “grassroots organizations” – energy industry front groups that promote confusion or denial in climate science.

…..
Harris’s ridiculous claims have been laid bare in a new report by the Canadian Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS), which has gone through videotapes of lectures from Climate Change: An Earth Sciences Perspective (ERTH2402), identifying 142 errors, exaggerations or outright prevarications.

The existence of this course represents a coup for the climate change denial movement, which as documented with the release of internal documents from the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, has been trying to infiltrate the U.S. school system with a K-12 curriculum promoting the notion that climate change is not real, not caused by humans or just too confusing to understand. (Heartland, a prominent proponent on behalf of its tobacco industry sponsors, has, in fact, been promoting climate disinformation in schools for many years.)

Notwithstanding, Harris has proved to be a popular teacher, who readily gives out high marks to the students who most willing to parrot the denier line that he and his (often industry-associated) guest lecturers promote.

One of the biggest problem that CASS reported in trying to assess the content in Harris’s course is that he generally does not refer to primary sources – to references in peer-reviewed literature against which his contentions can be tested. Instead, he constantly tells students that he has been in personal or email contact with prominent scientists who have given him information – the vast majority of which is dubious, outdated, unsupported by science or simply wrong.

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