Book Review – Climate Cover-Up

Joanna Schroeder

This week we’re back to climate change, and the author James Hoggan, lays out the “crusade to deny global warming in “Climate Cover-Up.” For those of you familiar with the online green space, you may have come across the blog DeSmogBlog, which is co-founded by Hoggan. This site is dedicated to “out” those companies, experts and scientists who are (or were) trying to deny global climate change and manipulate the public. It also calls out the supporting characters to the deceit – the mainstream media.

ClimateCover-UpLike companies who have been outed in their campaigns against ethanol, Hoggan outs companies like ExxonMobil who had campaigns against the existence of global climate change. Climate changed seemed to gain worldwide consensus in 2006/07 in part due to the success of Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth“. (For Gore fans, he just released his follow-up “Our Choice” last winter.)

Hoggan writes, “…no one seemed to be confused about climate change in 1988. The great scientific bodies of the world were concerned, and the foremost political leaders were engaged. So what happened then and now?” Well, that’s exactly what Hoggan lays out for the reader:  a big fat smear campaign against the earth.

The result is lack of action and trust issues. Not surprisingly, people don’t trust Big Oil or Big Coal, they don’t trust corporations (they believe PR people help deceive the public on behalf of these corporations), they don’t trust our leaders, they don’t trust scientists (too much junk science), they don’t trust the media, they don’t trust their neighbors and ultimately, they doubt their own personal ability to stop climate change.

However, do not despair. Hoggan offers up solutions to cause a “turn-about” and ends with words of hope. He encourages everyone to delve into the science of global climate change and be “hypervigilant about sources, encourages vigilance and encourages leadership. And ends by saying, “So please, be bold. Be courageous. Be positive. Act and demand action….For this bears repeating: the world is worth saving.”

While this book is interesting for those who are concerned about global warming and would like to be more educated about climate change deniers, it may be best suited for public relations professionals. With everyone trusting no one, how we communicate about climate change needs an overhaul.

book reviews, Environment