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2001-02-20

Trust US, We’re Experts!: How Corporations Manipulate Public Opinion

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A UN panel said yesterday that massive flooding, disease and drought could hit countries all around the world overcoming decades if global warming is not halted. Because the poor are less able to adapt, and because farming intropical and sub-tropical regions will be worst hit, the scientists are also predicting that poorer countries, andthe poorest people in rich countries, will suffer the most.

The warnings are part of a new, 1000 page report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whichlinks nearly 3,000 experts in dozens of countries and has been studying the warming problem since 1990.

Scientists have for years agreed that global warming, if unchecked, will bring about massive environmental changes,but the issue has become a sensitive subject. The UN report was subject to line-by-line scrutiny by governmentrepresentatives during weeklong discussions prior to the release.

How did global warming become a controversial subject? According to Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber in their newbook, ??Trust Us, We’re Experts!, oil, coal, auto and manufacturing industries have pumped millions of dollarsinto debunking the global warming science.

Today we will look at how these industries engineered a massive PR machine to create the illusion that globalwarming science is controversial, and at some of the other ways corporations use PR campaigns and experts to shapepublic opinion.

Guest:

  • Sheldon Rampton, Editor of PR Watch, co-author of ??Trust Us, We’re Experts!: How IndustryManipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future, ??Mad Cow USA and ??Toxic Sludge is Good For You.

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