November 25, 2009
Hacked into by a person or persons unknown, the unearthed material out of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit’s main server reveals a 62 megabyte zip file confirming that which was already blatantly obvious, namely that the data has been fudged to convince unsuspecting audiences that ‘the debate is over’.
The intruded central computer was not only filled to the brim with obvious and attempted ostracizing of scientists who don’t blindly follow the leader, the files also reveal that the folks of the IPCC made use or considered making use of a disinformation campaign through a ‘communication agency’ called Futerra.
The agency describes itself as “the sustainability communications agency” and serves such global players as Shell, Microsoft, BBC, the UN Environment Programme, the UK government and the list goes on. The co-founder of Futerra, Ed Gillespie explains:
“For brands to succeed in this new world order, they will have to become eco, ethical and wellness champions.”
The document included within the climategate treasure-chest is called ‘Rules of the Game’ and shows deliberate deception on the part of this agency to ensure that the debate would indeed be perceived as being settled. When facts do not convince, they reasoned, let us appeal to emotions in order to get the job done.
Outlining the ‘rules of the game’ in regards to climate change communication strategies, Futerra considers these rules as a “first step to using sophisticated behaviour change modelling and comprehensive evidence from around the world to change attitudes towards climate change.”
“We need to think radically”, proclaim the authors, “and the Rules of the Game are a sign that future campaigns will not be “business as usual.””
First Rule as outlined by Futerra is called “Blowing away Myths”. Pressing the point that any company wishing to sell global warming must be cautious in using the fear-card:
“Fear can create apathy if individuals have no ‘agency’ to act upon the threat. Use fear with great caution.”
Arrogantly stating to “Forget the climate change detractors”, the document goes on to say that “Those who deny climate change science are irritating, but unimportant.” Futerra also stresses that “There is no ‘rational man’” and “Information can’t work alone.”
The second Rule all should abide by is “a new way of thinking”. “Once we’ve eliminated the myths”, the report goes on to say, “there is room for some new ideas.” These include:
“Climate change must be ‘front of mind’ before persuasion works”, Futerra says. “Currently, telling the public to take notice of climate change is as successful as selling tampons to men” and “people don’t realise (or remember) that climate change relates to them.”
Another one: “Use transmitters and social learning”. Futerra proposes targeting ‘trendsetters’ to persuade people to acknowledge climate change as a genuine threat to them: “people learn through social interaction, and some people are better teachers and trendsetters than others. Targeting these people will ensure that messages seem more trustworthy and are transmitted more effectively.”
Under the header of the third ‘Rule’, “linking policy and communication” it is stated that “everyone must use a clear and consistent explanation of climate change” and “government policy and communications on climate change must be consistent.” Indeed. If the lie is to be sold effectively, they must all communicate the same lie. How to best sell it?
-“Create a trusted, credible, recognized voice on climate change.”
-“Use emotions and visuals: another classic marketing tool: changing behaviour by disseminating information doesn’t always work, but emotions and visuals usually do.”
It seems that people have been listening. The advertisement of global warming is thick with apocalyptic visuals, ranging from polar bears crashing to their doom and a large family of hurricanes plaguing the continental United States.
Last but not least, the old Edward Bernays-trick is being proposed, the power of repetition:
“The communications must be sustained over time: all the most successful public awareness campaigns have been sustained consistently over many years.”
Indeed they have. The good news is that with the unveiling of the recent e-mails and documents the lies are being exposed in such a quick pace, the propaganda will be hard pressed to keep up.