International Journal of Inactivism (now supplanted by Decoding SwiftHack)

2008/12/06

The Way of the Astroturf III: 12 million everyday Americans

cite as: F. Bi. 2008. The Way of the Astroturf III: 12 million everyday Americans. Intl. J. Inact., 1:185–186

way-of-the-astroturfFrom an article by the Heartland Institute:

The American Environmental Coalition (“AEC”), a broad-based coalition of 12 million everyday Americans who are concerned about America’s future and working to keep America beautiful, strong and prosperous […]

Meanwhile, the AEC web site states,

[…] AEC seeks to bring balance to the debate [on environmental policy] by being an alternative source of reliable information to Americans who seek the best way forward for our country.

I guess it’s always interesting when there’s a “broad-based” grassroots organization which is at the same time also an “alternative source of reliable information”, i.e. a wonky ‘academic’ think-tank. Very very interesting, eh isn’t it?

(To add to the fun, the AEC’s whois records show that its administrative contact is Belinda Rankin of Frontiers of Freedom — another right-wing think-tank. And the “12 million” figure, as far as I can tell, was concocted from thin air.)

* * *

With this, I now bring you an updated diagram of think-tanks, which now includes the AEC, the FoF and also the National Center for Policy Analysis. You can view the diagram by clicking on the nice-looking kanji.

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14 Comments »

  1. Frank
    Don’t know if this is part of your data set “It has been found[2] that the web sites of the International Climate Science Coalition, the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, and the Australian Climate Science Coalition are all hosted by a single Internet service provider in Arizona. ”
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Climate_Science_Coalition http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/09/the_australians_war_on_science_20.php#comment-1097024

    Comment by greenfyre — 2008/12/06 @ 23:06 | Reply

  2. re this –
    β€œIt has been found[2] that the web sites of the International Climate Science Coalition, the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, and the Australian Climate Science Coalition are all hosted by a single Internet service provider in Arizona. ”

    Come on, you guys. That’s GoDaddy. A single domain registrar. Not exactly a smoking gun.

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 2008/12/07 @ 01:58 | Reply

  3. …although if (as David says in comment#8 over on Deltoid at the link greenfyre gave, now that I’ve bestirred myself to look) it’s also the same IP address, that is a bit more interesting.

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 2008/12/07 @ 02:03 | Reply

  4. Yep, I have the ICSC and NZCSC and AusCSC in the diagram — it’s near the top. They’re at the same IP address along with a ton of unrelated web sites. Looks like I should update the statement on SourceWatch (I wrote it actually) to be more specific.

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/12/07 @ 03:32 | Reply

  5. Well at least you know your efforts aren’t wasted … people read it and act!

    Comment by greenfyre — 2008/12/07 @ 05:18 | Reply

  6. greenfyre: Well, that remains to be seen I guess.

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/12/07 @ 07:10 | Reply

  7. FYI, Godaddy’s Deluxe Web Hosting plan does allow you to have an unlimited # of websites.

    And Frank – I haven’t said this before, but I _have_ thought it – thank you for your sleuthing on this.

    When i think about how naive i was about this stuff, just a few years ago…the scary thing is that 99% of the public still is.

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 2008/12/07 @ 18:34 | Reply

  8. thank you for your sleuthing on this.

    πŸ™‚ Well, Brian D definitely also deserves credit.

    the scary thing is that 99% of the public still is.

    Indeed. I guess the only thing that’s more scary is that the public won’t really care that much even if they know that much of the inactivist stuff is coming from astroturf groups…

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/12/08 @ 09:22 | Reply

  9. Frank: Similar story breaking on DeSmog.

    I don’t recognize any of the names, but I’m awful at remembering them; anything look familiar?

    Comment by Brian D — 2008/12/15 @ 18:53 | Reply

  10. Addendum: Reverse IP lookup on the core element of the PR network DeSmog noted. All of the echo chambers they found are on the same server, along with a couple others, such as the deliciously-named Consumers for Affordable Energy (also in Lakewood, the irony is that they lobby for shale oil under a banner of “affordable”), NextGenEnergy (a clean-coal advocate, lists Jim Sims as Founder), and the Americans for American Energy (promotes American oil, lists Greg Schnacke as president/CEO).

    There are also several domains on that reverse lookup that lead to a portal placeholder that had last been modified TODAY — several redirected to Policy.Policycommunications.com, but one (secure-energy-systems.com/) directed to an identical page, also modified today, but listed “Secure Energy Systems LLC” as its copyright holder. It could be that not only have we found a new Twisty Maze forming, but that we’ve found one *as it is developed*.

    I’m bringing this up here since I’m awaiting confirmation to comment at DeSmog.

    Comment by Brian D — 2008/12/15 @ 19:09 | Reply

  11. Brian D:

    Wow, cool stuff. No, I don’t recognize any of the names either… It’ll be interesting to see how they’re connected to the network I’ve mapped out. πŸ™‚

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/12/16 @ 02:33 | Reply

  12. Since DeSmog’s admin teams are slow, and I know you’re registered, could you raise this on there for me? I talked to Littlemore about the original Twisty Maze, but he didn’t know where to go from there. Seeing as they’re running a similar story now, and they don’t seem to know all of these sites (and more!) share an IP…

    Comment by Brian D — 2008/12/16 @ 02:58 | Reply

  13. Brian D: done! πŸ™‚

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/12/16 @ 03:37 | Reply

  14. Brian D: more weirdness I found on PolicyCom.

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/12/17 @ 12:43 | Reply


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