This is a rather interesting study purportedly funded by Oxfam and produced by a digital mapping agency Profero. In the context of the all out war between climate alarmist and skeptics, the study was designed to shed some militaristic insights into the way the former's networks operate, so that these inputs could be used to counter their aggressive onslaught.The study is still to be put in the public domain by Oxfam though extracts were apparently leaked to the a climate warmist website - Left Foot Forward. The diagram below is however suggestive of its contents.
"Combating the growing influence of climate skeptics" as the title of the study goes is in fact a tacit confession by the climate alarmist network that they all but lost the PR war.Factors like Climategate and severe winter in the Northern Hemisphere are readily admitted as not only radically altering their public support base but the tone and tenor of the report additionally paints the bleak picture of doubters clearly succeeding in putting climate alarmists on their back-foot.
That the climate alarmists is demonstrating some element of denial is indicated by the the construction of a network model that still places the likes of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian and the BBC as key supporter propaganda nodules of the climate alarmist network. Much of the global media, including its Indian counterparts, who had been the its staunch propaganda pillars, have been neutralized. In fact, some of the most telling blows on climate alarmism in the recent past has been inflicted by the likes of the Guardian and the BBC.
The study also does not factor-in their modeling, the impact the great climate skeptic surge had in catalyzing major splits and defections within the alarmist scientific community, including the IPCC. Perhaps a more worrisome omission is factoring-in the cleavages within the climate alarmist NGO movement which have now come into open and now more or less, formalized. More radical leftist members within are accusing typical aid agencies of the likes of Oxfam and Christian Aid of supporting 'Green Capitalism'. The clubbing of institutions like the World Bank within climate alarmist supporter network is not going to help matters further and perhaps one of the reasons why this report is yet to be made public.
In short, the rapid battle reversals faced by the global warming movement has left its stock much bewildered, highly demoralized and wandering leaderless and aimlessly around the battle field like a defeated army. In this context, the study offers some constructive guidelines to making of a last ditched stand though falling short however of spelling out a full-fledged counter-offensive strategy.
The Oxfam report deludes itself that tactics alone matters in a PR war. Unfortunately, the most grievous blow that climate skeptics inflicted on the climate warmist movement was robbing them of the credibility of their science - the very soul of the movement itself. Unless this is restored, the climate alarmist movement can have little hope of regaining the momentum and the high moral ground they enjoyed till just a couple of months ago.
Read the full story at the Left Foot Forward website here
An Update on Profero
1. Projected Image
This is how Profero pompously project their image in their website:
"Our agency is a collective of brilliant, original thinkers who have been doing things differently since day one".So how differently do they do things? We can gain an insight by switching back to the Unsimplify website:
"If this sounds complex and challenging then that’s intentional because what Unsimplify does is complex, hence the name."
Taken together, all this means that this corporate group takes great pride making simple things complex! That's what's different how they do things! And to think that Oxfam actually bought this boast, inviting on themselves the very recipe to guaranteed failure.
In contrast to their projected image, the landscape map of Profero shows how sloppy their research is. Rather than capture the full complexity, the diagram suggests that all they could manage was over-simplification.
Profero further boosts
"We pride ourselves in our creative solutions and in achieving exceptional results by thinking beyond the traditional mindset."
Apparently thinking beyond traditional mindsets traps Profero in bias - portraying the IPCC as neutral is one such example.
Profero further claims that they possess
"broad local and global insight".
By portraying the World Bank as a significant supporter (read warmist) player in their landscape map, Profero demonstrated that they held no such insights.The World Bank is considered offensive by much of the NGO network throughout the world and the Profero landscape map will only succeed to fueling their increased suspicion of the whole global warming issue.2. Oxfam's Future Strategy
"We've been working with Oxfam for a number of months on a project to assist them in helping to make sense of how the growth of online peer-to-peer news generation has and could in the future impact their campaigning activities. We were commissioned by Oxfam to do this because they were looking for an approach that goes deeper than just monitoring and mapping online conversations - although this does form a part of what we do"This my suggest that Oxfam is exploring whether blogging can be more impactful as a communication media. for their climate advocacy programmes.The very fact that the study was deliberately leaked to the website Left Foot Forward ("hats off to LeftFootForward for getting the scoop on this piece of work") means that they could be one of the blogs who would shoulder this responsibility, probably with Oxfam' generous funding. Left Foot Forward is probably being built up as the NGO sponsored climate alarmist website just as Real Climate is to the alarmist scientists of the CRU, East Anglia. So this perhaps explains why the report entailed many months of consulting.But for peer-to-peer news generation to succeed as an Oxfam communication strategy, a prerequisite is that peers must be self-motivated. Self-motivation and self-starters are what basically defines skeptics. Unfortunately the media expose of the leading lights of the Global Warming movement as carbon profiteers, Climategate and the multiple errors in the IPCC report, have cast huge blows on the credibility of Global Warming science. The peers within the climate alarmist movement instead of being self-motivated are at the moment, a much beaten lot displaying poor morale. Oxfam's strategies on peer-to-peer news generation will likely to lack impact until and unless credibility of Global Warming science regains faith among the public. This looks a highly unlikely prospect in the short to medium term.3. Quality of Research
"Some of the key conversations in the form of a landscape map as it should be understood in the context of an entire report (120 pages or so) which hasn’t been made public."Perhaps yes. But whatever the intention of the purposeful leak, this had been a total PR disaster starting with the title "Combating the growing influence of Climate Skeptics" which suggest a connotation of defeatism. The landscape diagram was too full of holes that made the climate skeptic community roll over with laughter.The most significant omission are NGOs and environmentalist groups such Greenpeace, WWF, Christian Aid and Oxfam themselves who have a mind boggling spread of money around supporting the Global Warming theory. The most obvious mistake is categorizing media such as Wall Street Journal, Guardian etc within the supporter network. This might have been the case some months ago but not as of now as they take a more balanced stand. Why their map left out the likes of the Economist among the faithful remains totally incomprehensible.The study describes ClimateGate as a the first wave of climate attack and bemoans that no one defended the climate science. It fails to mention that these e-mails reveal collusion, falsification of data, suppression of contrary opinion, political interference and fraudulent scientific conclusions - that moulded public perception away from the science. It makes no mention of the steps needed to restore credibility of the science. This gives the impression that Oxfam is in a state of denial and that as long as warmists continue to act as ostriches, skeptics need not worry. We will still control the way issues are framed and accordingly, the climate debate itself.The element of staleness is provided in the checklist of how "Climate Progressives" (read warmists) can counter skeptic blogs. No one any more get distracted about funding (i.e. opting for ad hominem attacks). This is a two way sword as the likes of Oxfam, Profero and Left Foot Forward may have to disclose first their funds they use for their climate advocacy which they aren't prepared to, and as such a puerile strategy. Moreover, the public now concentrate on the substance of the blog - they reason for much of the the skeptic surge. Innuendo attacks besides only succeed in arousing public curiosity and act in the skeptic's favour.The most that the Unsimplified study could come up as a counter to deniers (read skeptics) is to use of the handy checklist of arguments - refer to Skeptical Science; Real Climate and Climate Safety to cast doubt on the validity of arguments. This a tacit admission that most "peers" lack climate science expertise that they need to refer to sources. This is where climate skeptics score in leap and bounds. They know the climate science well enough on their own The way the hockey stick was exposed as a fraud proved legendary of the extraordinary commitment among skeptics to do research and fine comb data. This fact of their extra-ordinary commitment is admitted by Unsimplify themselves:"A small group of dedicated people coming from a diverse range of positions and perspectives but working together as a loose federation held together by shared values and beliefs succeeded in accomplishing the most impressive PR coup of the 21st century. The climate change skeptics did this by significantly influencing public perception of anthropogenic global warming by single-mindedly applying concerted and consistent pressure at critical junctures in the media ecology here in the UK and abroad."