by Kert Davies
As news organizations cover the relationship between climate and extreme weather in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, we also need to consider the people attempting to misinform and distort the link. One name comes to mind: Andrea Saul.
Saul happens to be Mitt Romney’s campaign press secretary.
A Greenpeace investigation on Andrea Saul began this year when a sharp ex-journalist tipped us on anti-climate science press releases sent his way while Saul worked for the lobbyists DCI Group several years ago. Upon further digging, it was clear that Saul played a key role in an Exxon-funded campaign to subvert global warming science — running counter-ops specifically denying any connection between global warming and hurricanes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Saul worked with a DCI Tech Central Station team that created fake TV newcasts that “reported” no connection between hurricanes and climate change. These tapes were distributed to Gulf state TV stations. The Saul tape and a Mississippi newscast that aired the piece were preserved by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
So how has Saul used her background in climate disinformation to help run the Romney campaign? Here are some of the things she said while speaking for the Governor:
From a July 2011 Politico story:
“Gov. Romney does not think greenhouse gases are pollutants within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, and he does not believe that the EPA should be regulating them,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. Humans emit it every time they exhale.”
Romney was once an advocate of climate action while Governor of Massachusetts. But he has since flipped on the issue. Ms. Saul responded to critique of Mitt’s Romnesia on global warming as reported on NPR in October, 2011:
“This is ridiculous. Governor Romney’s view on climate change has not changed. He believes it’s occurring, and that human activity contributes to it, but he doesn’t know to what extent… Maybe the bigger threat is all the hot air coming from career politicians who are desperate to hold on to power.”
This is the moment to come together, address climate change, and come up with real solutions to prevent storms like Sandy from becoming worse.
Kert Davies is Greenpeace’s Research Director.
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