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Astroturf in Australia – fake citizen action by fossil fuel lobby

Faked “citizen action” was the brainchild of PR heavyweight Burson Marsteller, whose leaked email “Doubt is our Product” laid bare the ruse behind tobacco’s denial campaign during the tobacco wars.

The same ruse has been used for the last decade by the mining industry to create doubt about global warming….

 a cynical campaign run by ideological advocates Americans for Prosperity, funded by “free marketeer” mining billionaires — the Koch Brothers.

Deception is our product Independent Australia 9 Feb 2012,   Environment editor Sandi Keane exposes the shadowy world of PR, where astroturfing and propaganda is used to coerce the public into sacrificing their own interests for those of big corporations.

Deceiving the public these days is a lucrative industry. Experienced PR practitioners now coerce you through astroturfing and other socially engineered forms of brainwashing to sacrifice your interests for those of their clients – especially those with the biggest war chest – the fossil fuel industry….

Classic examples were Hands Off My Healthcare in the US, and, in Australia, the watering down of tax on miners, the about-turn by the public on the ETS, and the recent success of the Landscape Guardians to stop wind farms replacing coal-fired power in Victoria.

Like the fake flies used as bait to lure unsuspecting fish, fake grassroots are used as bait to lure unsuspecting people, who, in turn provide a veneer of green shoots amongst the plastic to fool other “real” citizens (into getting on board) and an unsuspecting media, helped by complicit governments.

The Landscape Guardians, their front group, the Waubra Foundation, with their links to mining interests, skeptics, the Liberal Party and the Institute of Public Affairs, were first exposed by this author in an investigation in July last year. Their bogus health scare campaign is a classic example of how genuine citizens were duped to disregard the mounting evidence by the large and growing body of evidence (now numbering some 17 reviews) from around the world debunking “Wind Turbine Syndrome”.

As a result, the Baillieu government in Victoria has all but made future wind farming in Victoria impossible, with an estimated $3 billion in investment gone offshore.

In the US, the lavish road show, Hands Off My Healthcare was the biggest fraud played out on the American public so far.

Americans pay more for healthcare than any other Western nation, but the Hands Off My Healthcare campaign duped credulous Americans into believing Obama’s healthcare reform was a socialist plot. This was not the result of citizens’ democracy, but a cynical campaign run by ideological advocates Americans for Prosperity, funded by “free marketeer” mining billionaires — the Koch Brothers.

A search of the media will unearth legions of PR strategists from hacks to heavyweights offering the latest in cynical, self-serving instruments of deceit: phony grassroots organisations or “astroturfers”, its off-spring “crowdturfing” (a combination of “astroturfing and “crowdsourcing”), front groups, bots (robots) and avatars — all designed to deceive the public and skew debate.

Faked “citizen action” was the brainchild of PR heavyweight Burson Marsteller, whose leaked email “Doubt is our Product” laid bare the ruse behind tobacco’s denial campaign during the tobacco wars.

The same ruse has been used for the last decade by the mining industry to create doubt about global warming.

Few mining magnates – or the army of policy wonks, PR hacks, scientists, front groups, think tanks or political parties they fund – doubt the world is warming — just as the tobacco industry was in no doubt about the link between cigarettes and lung cancer……

The battle lines have been drawn. Democracy versus plutocracy.

On one side, the genuine climate scientists, those politicians not yet in the pockets of the miners and those who care about the planet and their children’s future. Their opinions will struggle to be heard as independent mastheads come under siege and ethical PR resources dry up.

On the other, all those who have jumped on board the mining gravy train and turned their backs on our democratic ideals of a fair go for all. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/environment/deception-is-our-product/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=IA+Newsletter%3A+PR+astroturfing+-+deception+…&utm_source=YMLP&utm_term=Astroturfing.jpg

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February 9, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA, spinbuster

1 Comment »

  1. [...] multiple channels at once: dominating the airwaves with advertising and product placement; creating “astroturf” (fake “grassroots organizations” that appeared to just love tobacco); actively suppressing [...]

    Pingback by Toxic Secrets: Pennsylvania’s Act 13 Prevents Public Health Research « Protecting Our Waters | May 1, 2012 | Reply


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