Way back in the day when George Bush Sr. was president, no one doubted the basic science behind climate change and the overwhelming evidence that greenhouse gases could dramatically impact weather patterns, threatening the long-term security of our nation.

In fact as far back as 1998, George Bush Sr. even promised to “beat the greenhouse gas effect.”

So what happened? How is it that 20 years later, with thousands upon thousands of independent scientific studies all corroborating the same inescapable truth – that climate change is happening now and is in large measure related to our consumption of fossil fuels – there continues to be so much confusion?

Here's another question.. by what percentage did the American Petroleum Institute increase its lobbying budget after Obama took office? (If you know the answer and are the first to answer you get a prize.. see below).

According to a new book that just hit the presses called Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming by James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore, Americans are confused for one simple reason – a well-funded, long-term public disinformation campaign.

The American public in particular seems the most skeptical even though the signs of climate change abound in North America – from melting towns in Alaska to melting snowpacks in California. A full 45 percent of the U.S. population doubts that climate change is a serious concern.

Climate Cover-Up summarizes four years of investigative journalism into the inception of the campaign, how it was funded through Washington think tanks and how it used discredited “scientists” and partisan politics to marginalize the climate change issue.

The book arrived just in time for my very long flight to Copenhagen tonight, so I look forward to learning more about this fascinating (and troubling) piece of media history en route to the city where, hopefully, the climate debate will finally be put to rest.

Here's the author being interviewed about the book:

Back to the trivia question. Whoever is the first to provide the correct answer in the comments section below wins a copy of the book.

By what percentage did the American Petroleum Institute increase its lobbying budget after Obama took office (comparing Q2 of '09 with Q2 of '08)?

a. 12%
b. 44%
c. 82%
d. no increase
The great Climate Cover-Up
How one book hopes to change the way people think about climate change and the corporations who pay to deny it.