mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author

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Global Warming ⬠Bush’s Climate of Fear

INTRO:

Welcome to Spotlight, Link TV’s weekly series of investigative reports from around the world. I’m Mark Hertsgaard in San Francisco.

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This episode the spotlight is on global warming censorship in the United States.

2006 may be remembered as the year the American public finally woke up to global warming.

It was hard not to. Each week brought more news about how rising temperatures were melting glaciers, worsening storms and droughts and threatening the rise of sea levels.

But there was also good news.

California, which ranks as the world’s sixth biggest economy, passed a law requiring greenhouse gas emissions to decline 25 percent by 2020.

Big business began changing too, as Wal-Mart, GE, Goldman Sachs and other firms announced major green energy programs.

Nevertheless, the global warming debate in the United States remains years behind that in the rest of the world.

Why is that?
The film you’re about to see presents claims from US government whistleblowers who say that scientific reports were censored and suppressed by the Bush administration, a charge the administration denies.

And now, Spotlight is proud to present from the BBC in Great Britain, the U.S.
premier of “Global Warming: Bush’s Climate of Fear,” on Link TV, your connection to the world.

OUTRO:

You’re watching Spotlight on Link TV. I’m Mark Hertsgaard.

The film you just saw didn’t mention it, but the Bush White House was actually a latecomer to the global warming propaganda battles.

Since the early 1990s, Exxon-Mobil and other energy companies have spent tens of millions of dollars trying to convince Americans global warming wasn’t worth worrying about.

The energy companies borrowed tactics from the tobacco industry.

Just as Big Tobacco said that science was inconclusive about whether cigarette smoking caused cancer, so did energy companies claim that scientists were divided on whether global warming was real.

One scientist who joined both propaganda efforts was Dr. Frederick Seitz, a former president of the National Academy of Sciences.

My colleagues at Vanity Fair magazine and I recently revealed that Seitz received $45 million from the RJ Reynolds tobacco company in the 1970s and 1980s for research that found no connection between smoking and cancer.

Seitz went on in the 1990s to be the highest-ranking scientist to dismiss concerns about global warming.

For all those years, Seitz received payments from the greatest oil fortune in history, the Rockefellers, whose original Standard Oil company became today’s Exxon-Mobil.

The Spotlight team and Link TV are proud to have brought this film,
“Global Warming: Bush’s Climate of Fear” to American audiences for the first time.

And if you want to find out more about the propaganda battles over global warming, check out the resources listed at the end of this program.

You can also find those resources at our website,
www.linktv.org.

Following those listings you’ll see a clip from next week’s program. Until then, this is Mark Hertsgaard in San Francisco for Spotlight. Thanks for joining us.

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About Mark

Independent journalist Mark Hertsgaard is the author of seven books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden; HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth; and A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. He has reported from twenty-five countries about politics, culture and the environment for leading outlets, including The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Time, Mother Jones, NPR, the BBC and The Nation, where is the environment correspondent. He lives in San Francisco.

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