Joseph L. Walker III

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

Joe Walker, aka Joseph L. Walker III, was the public relations representative for the American Petroleum Institute who wrote the 1998 API Global Climate Science Communications Plan memo laying out plans among the major players to increase public doubt about climate change; the memo was subsequently leaked to the New York Times.[1]

In 2007, the Society for Risk Analysis contracted with Walker to write press releases for papers published in their journal Risk Analysis, then edited by Elizabeth L. Anderson, health group VP of Exponent since mid-2006. One such press release was Efforts To Boost Climate Change Concern May Have Opposite Effect, Risk Analysis Study Shows[2], for a paper by Paul Kellstedt, Sammy Zahran and Arnold Vedlitz; the press release appeared Febrary 27, was picked up by columnist John Tierney of the New York Times on February 29[3], and the Heartland Institute global warming skepticism conference started March 2.

Walker's response

Walker has said:

The project with which I was involved on climate change for API in 1998, I believe, was never funded and, to the best of my knowledge, never went anywhere.

and

I have done no work whatsoever for oil interests since I left API in 1999, and have never done any work at all for coal interests.

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References

  1. John H. Cushman Jr. (1998-04-26). INDUSTRIAL GROUP PLANS TO BATTLE CLIMATE TREATY. NYTimes.com. Retrieved on 2010-03-20. “Joe Walker, a public relations representative of the petroleum institute who is leading the project, said in an interview that the plan had been under consideration for about two months and was very, very tentative. Mr. Walker said no industry executives had yet been approached to pay for it. But an eight-page memorandum that he wrote shows in detail how some industry lobbyists are going about opposing the climate treaty.”
  2. Joseph L. Walker (2008-02-27). Efforts To Boost Climate Change Concern May Have Opposite Effect, Risk Analysis Study Shows. E-Wire. Retrieved on 2010-03-20. “McLean, Virginia, Feb. 27 -/E-Wire/-- Mass media efforts to raise American public concern about climate change -- such as Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and the "scientific consensus" media drumbeat - ironically may be having just the opposite effect, according to a new study appearing in the scientific journal Risk Analysis.”
  3. John Tierney (2008-02-29). Global Warming Paradox?. TierneyLab Blog, NYTimes.com. Retrieved on 2010-03-20. “If only the masses could understand the science of global warming, they’d be alarmed, right? Wrong, according to the surprising results of a survey of Americans published in the journal Risk Analysis by researchers at Texas A&M University.”

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