The grandaddy of music culture mags and the one-time hotbed for gonzo journalism, Rolling Stone is still courageous and trailblazing in much of its investigative reporting. Age be damned. Take climate change, for instance--few media giants are willing to recognize and stand behind the scientific consensus and report on global warming honestly and incisively. Proving it still has cajones, Rolling Stone has rounded up the 17 worst 'Climate Killers': those contributing most to the ongoing warming--or the continued inaction--that's placing our planet in peril.The entire piece is worth a read, so spoiler alert here--I'm just going to include the list and summarize the climate killer's sins. For the record, I don't agree with all of their picks, but I'd say I agree with at least a good three quarters of them.
And on we go:
1. The Profiteer - Warren Buffet
Perhaps a startling choice for number one, he makes the list for investing heavily in dirty old industries--making influential bets on coal that send the message that he banks on the stuff being around a long time. And there's this, from RS:
The climate bill passed by the House, Buffett insists, is a "huge tax -- and there's no sense calling it anything else."
2. "The Disinformer" - Rupert Murdoch
Despite once making a promise to make climate change a focus for his media empire (which includes Fox, the NY Post, and the Wall Street Journal), Murdoch has done almost the exact opposite:
Murdoch and his media operations have become the nation's leading source of disinformation about climate change. In October, Fox Business ran an extended segment on "The Carbon Myth," inviting a hack scientist to "make the case" that more carbon pollution is actually "good for the environment." The Wall Street Journal has continued to lie not only about the reality of global warming but about Obama's efforts to prevent it, denouncing climate legislation as "likely to be the biggest tax in American history."
3. The Fake Protestor - Jack Gerard
He's the head of the American Petroleum Institute, and has spearheaded a number of plans and schemes intent on scuttling climate legislation and portraying respected climate scientists as 'out of touch' to preserve fossil fuel interests.
4. Burning Man - Rex Tillerson
The CEO of Exxon/Mobil. 'Nuff said.
5. The Dirty Democrat - Sen. Mary Landrieu
It's hard to tell if this Louisiana senator is just oblivious in her strong ties to Big Oil and fervent opposition to any sort of climate action--despite representing the state that was hit by Katrina--or if she's actually got something against her own constituency.
6. The Drudge of Denial - Marc Morano
The founder of Climate Depot, the leading climate denier haven for hack science and big coal and oil-funded propaganda.
7. God's Denier - Sen. James Inhofe
This is one entry that should make any such list about climate killers--Inhofe is the biggest blight in the US Congress when it comes to climate issues or simple science. He also claims we wouldn't have to worry about climate change anyways, and that we should leave it to God.
8. The Power Player - David Ratcliffe
CEO of Southern Energy, he runs one of the biggest coal-burning utilities in the world--and actively denies climate change and opposes action on the issue out of sheer business interest.
9. The Arm Twister - Dick Gephardt
The biggest reason clean coal is still such a major force on the US political scene.
10. The Pundit - George Will
George Will has gone from being the 'conservative intellectual' to a cheap pusher of debunked science--or outright lies. His opinion columns for the Washington Post have been proven to cite made-up facts or long debunked science--even earning him a public lashing by the papers' ombudsman.
11. The Know Nothing - Tom Donohue
The President of the US Chamber of Commerce, one of the, if not the leading force in obstructing climate action. Donohue has gone as far as to call for a 'Scopes Monkey Trial' for climate change, and his being so out of touch with reality has caused many businesses (Nike and Apple, to name a few) to defect from the Chamber.
12. The Coal Baron - Don Blankenship
The CEO of Massey Energy, he's another ultra-powerful, anti-science, climate change-denying self-server.
13. The Hack Scientist - Fred Singer
RS says: "A former mouthpiece for the tobacco industry, the 85-year-old Singer is the granddaddy of fake "science" designed to debunk global warming."
14. The Flip Flopper - Sen. John McCain
Once a true 'maverick' (o how it pains me to use that word) force in the GOP working to fight climate change, McCain now opposes climate legislation tooth and nail--despite the fact that his closest allies still support it. And it appears that he does so for purely political, and potentially spite-filled, reasons.
15. The Inquisitor - Rep. Joe Barton
RS says it best:
As ranking Republican on the House energy committee, Barton is a mini version of Sen. James Inhofe. In his view, the climate is changing for "natural variation reasons," and humans should just "get shade" and learn to adapt. "For us to try to step in and say we have got to do all these global things to prevent the Earth from getting any warmer is absolute nonsense," he insists. "You can't regulate God."
16, 17. The Tea Partiers - Charles and David Koch
More super wealthy coal barons, these fellas are responsible for creating the "grassroots" movements that replace true debate with histrionics and yelling.
More on Climate Deniers and Dirty Tricks
The 8 Dirtiest Tricks Played by Foes of Clean Energy Reform
Jon Stewart On Copenhagen, Limos, and Climate Deniers (Video)