Letter: Steamboat Institute produces propaganda that needs to be countered | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Steamboat Institute produces propaganda that needs to be countered

On Aug. 10, 2018, then-Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke gave a keynote address at the 10th annual Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference in Steamboat Springs. In response, hundreds of students, environmentalists and citizens gathered around the Routt County Courthouse to protest Zinke’s controversial actions as Trump’s top manager of over 500 million acres of public lands.

Next month, Steamboat Institute will sponsor a March 11-12 conference in Steamboat Springs focused on the issue of climate change and fossil fuels. This will be the first big Steamboat conference for SI, since it moved its freedom conferences out of town to Beaver Creek, since 2020.

I hope that concerned students, citizens, officials and the environmental community will hold a counter-demonstration on March 12 to protest overtly anti-green energy and pro-fossil fuel speakers hosted by Steamboat Institute. I believe SI is engaged in overt propaganda to favor fossil fuel interests, borrowing tactics and techniques developed by tobacco interests to fend off criticism and regulations about a deadly product.

The Tobacco Institute and allies developed what I call the four D’s: defense, including denial that tobacco hurt anyone, doubt about the scientific evidence against tobacco, delaying regulatory action to curb tobacco-based deaths, and despair that anything could be effective against a highly addictive substance.

Those same D’s have been used for years by the coal, oil and gas industries in the face of mounting concerns and evidence that climate change or global warming is real, happening today and could radically damage ecosystems and human ability to exist on a too-hot planet.

Fossil fuel interests and their allies, like SI and invited speakers, have denied for decades that climate change is real, driven by the burning of fossil fuels or would be harmful to humans. Republican politicians have specialized in raising doubts about the science and scientists behind climate change concerns. Politicians and hundreds of paid shills that take fossil fuel money, have delayed any and all steps to reduce the use of fossil fuels or increase investments in renewable energy driven by wind, sunshine, tides or geothermal heat. Finally, there’s despair: that switching from fossil to renewable energy is too hard, won’t work, etc.

Take time on Google and see that all the SI speakers are propagandists for fossil fuels, as is SI itself.

Brodie Farquhar


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