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« Costs exceed benefits | Main | Lindzen vs Hasan »

Organised astroturfing

Barry Woods alerts us to Al Gore's organised astroturfing organisation, in which people are encouraged to copy text from the Reality Drop website and paste it into climate-related comments threads.



George Monbiot has been very vocal against this sort of thing. It will be interesting to see how he responds, particularly since the Guardian's own pages are being targeted.

Incidentally, the Met Office are thanked on Reality Drop's "About" page. I wonder what their involvement is?

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Reader Comments (119)

Me and my climate
strolling round the blogosphere
Me and my climate
not a soul ‘cept Barry Woods round here
But when the silence gets
Too much to bear
There’s Richard Betts
Who’ll help clear the air
at Me and my Climate..
(your comment is in moderation while we decide what to do next)

Mar 6, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Clim-Prop? (it is you wot did it, so listen to us and be told what to do to make it better)

Clim-Spin? (no catastrophists we, not now anyway, at least for the time being)

Clim-Wind-Spotting? (we can see which way it is blowing, we may not like it, but what-ho, we can bend)

Maybe I'll just settle for Clim-Emetic.

Mar 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

I got 8. So according to the MO "climate change " is not an on-going process but one that only started around 1900,. If Richard B. wants to know what I think of that quiz, the politest aswer is that the Met Office have moved the goal posts so far they are out of sight.

Mar 6, 2013 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Yes, the Met Office was involved in this. I'd be interested in your views and those of other readers.

Mar 6, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

10 out of 11. I went with the Gore/McKibben/SkS version of the consensus and so I blame them for the mistake.

Most of the questions were things that are agreed upon by all sides.

Mar 6, 2013 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterredc

Mar 6, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Richard Betts

My thoughts are that the questions are clear and good, 8/11 on a quick zip through. The answers provided though are not, besides having an expected environmental slant to them there is predilection to provide a sermon from the AGW gospel where a simple tick or cross would be sufficient, which starts to grate on the nerves and tempts the user to give up and go and do something else that doesn't include brainwashing.
The impression that you are left with is, that you may have done well in the quiz but you should be thinking more like 'us'. A bit like 1984 where to be correct is not enough, you have to believe in the system instinctively, and independent thought is not allowed.
Have you thought about supplementing the answers with a jolt of electricity yet?

Mar 6, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

After reviewing all the suggestions here, bearing in mind that Al is possibly the biggest beast in the climate propaganda jungle, crashing through the undergrowth where others fear to tread and leaving huge piles of stuff which look impressive at first sight, until you notice the stench and the revolting crawly little creatures feeding on them - it has to be GoreDroppings.

To get the concept off to a good start I've just posted a Tweet with the hashtag #GoreDroppings:-

If anybody on Twitter comes across any suspiciously pungent little piles of evidence - maybe they could do the same.

Mar 6, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

I got 11/11. Where did I go wrong?
I couldn’t see any questions which would differentiate warmists from sceptics. “UK winters will get wetter” seemed a bit of a trick question but I answered yes, on the grounds that some will, even if some won’t.
Anyway, I got the comment “Brilliant! all correct! You’re a high flyer! What great knowledge of climate change.” And a picture of a bee.

Mar 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

The original press release, no expense spared, expensive ad agency(see bottom of release)
I wonder how much Skeptical Science got paid.

Long Beach, CA (February 28, 2013) — The Climate Reality Project and Arnold Worldwide today announced the global launch of Reality Drop (, an innovative social media tool that educates users about the reality of climate change and uses modern gaming techniques to combat professional climate deniers.

Developed through a collaboration with the website Skeptical Science, Reality Drop curates hundreds of online news articles daily for articles that demand a response—whether it’s a misleading quote from a climate denier or a heated debate raging in the comments section. Reality Drop also catalogs more than one hundred of the most pervasive and topical climate myths, and distills complex science into simple and succinct rebuttals that can be shared on social networks or on comment threads beneath news articles. Reality Drop makes it easy for users to find the best science-based response, to apply accessible and easy-to-understand language, add their voice to the conversation—and help cool the argument.

“Just like the tobacco companies in the ’50s, the fossil fuel industry has engaged in a well-funded and coordinated effort to mislead the public about the scientific reality of climate change,” said Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, and Founder and Chairman of the Climate Reality Project. “Reality Drop provides an easy, intuitive way for people to arm themselves with the facts, educate their friends, family, and networks, and call on the media to report the truth.”

“When we sat down with Al Gore to talk about ways to move the climate change conversation forward, media coverage had declined sharply over the past three years,” explained Pete Favat, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Arnold Worldwide. “We had to custom-design a strategy that wouldn’t just find the right people passionate about this topic, but also make it easy for them to speak up and take part in real-time discussions that work in our digital culture. Traditional advertising just can’t do that.”

“More and more, readers of online publications are leading by steering the public conversation, which is why Reality Drop is both timely and powerful,” said Maggie L. Fox, President and CEO of The Climate Reality Project. “We hold the media accountable to report the real facts, and we educate our communities about the reality we are facing together. Reality Drop connects and empowers these communities to engage in a fact-based conversation about climate change, and have fun in the process.”

Reality Drop is made possible in part through the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. More information can be found at

To try out Reality Drop and for more information, please visit


About The Climate Reality Project

The Climate Reality Project is one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to mobilizing action around climate change. With a global movement more than 2 million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Leaders, we are spreading the truth and unleashing the cultural momentum to solve the climate crisis. Former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore is the Founder and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @ClimateReality.

About Arnold Worldwide

Arnold Worldwide is a global communications company and one of the top five most creatively awarded agencies of the past decade. Arnold delivers services across all communication touch points – advertising, digital, promotions, direct, design, branded content – and is part of Havas Creative with offices in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Toronto, London, Amsterdam, Prague, Milan, Madrid, Moscow, Lisbon, Sydney, São Paulo and Shanghai.

Mar 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

seems familiar.

Mar 6, 2013 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Barry Woods -
Yes, the idea apparently is to drum the catechism so loudly that its echoes obscure voices of realism.

Mar 6, 2013 at 1:46 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

testing the Gore-bot with a Hansen quote.

- "I say Hansen often manipulates data to get a desired result"

Gore-bot Would maybe say "Just check his check his bio on the NASA GISS website. It actually says : You’ve got to ‘influence the nature of the measurements… so that the key information can be obtained’"

Mar 6, 2013 at 5:06 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"Look how Skeptical Blogs censor us !" Real aim of Reality-drop is maybe to flood skeptical Blogs that they censor .. Cos today they don't, while it's clear big Warmist blogs are run by PR professionals who have "thought police" to routinely delete. INCONVENIENT posts.

Mar 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I noticed our old (and long-banned) friend Zed making annoying and repetitive comments on a Daily Mail Article online and now realise where he got them from. If it's the likes of Zed who will be using this new resource all it'll do is turn people against the "consensus".

Mar 6, 2013 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJockdownsouth

Tried the quiz. In every case the "correct" answer according to the CAGW gospel was obvious. Some of the answers admitted that things aren't so simple. One said that we don't really know but that you got the point for saying that it was GW wot did it. There's a "very likely" in one of the answers which IIRC there is no justification for.

The idea is presumably that people will remember what got the big tick as "true" or "false" rather than the "small print" in the answer.

My guess is this is one of the results of getting PR and social science "professionals" on board. BH readers are well aware this is a current focus of the CAGW crowd.

It's called "propaganda" although the perpetrators would no doubt call it "climate communication".

Mar 6, 2013 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Reality Drop is made possible in part through the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. More information can be found at


This foundation has $5.7 billion dollars of assets

Mar 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

@ geoffchambers

“Brilliant! all correct! You’re a high flyer! What great knowledge of climate change.” And a picture of a bee.

Very funny :)

The MO's conception of a "high flyer" is clearly the product of a climate change model.

Mar 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

High flyers have been known to have their wings drop off.

Mar 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterBob Layson

Spammers all!

Facts at 50 paces!

Words are all they have - to neo-Mrxists/Post-Modernists words make reality.
(Of course they don't live their daily lives that way, they don't say "that's not a truck coming down the street, since I want to cross it now".

Certainly is a need for succinct
Perhaps some here:
but the blame-humans-for-nature crowd will claim their "facts" are just as valid, since the human mind cannot determine true reality.

Mar 8, 2013 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith Sketchley

I see the reference to the Met Office has now been removed from the Reality Drop page. I wonder if the other institutions mentioned there are aware of their 'involvement'.

Mar 8, 2013 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

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