A U.S. congressional inquiry has found more than a dozen forged letters to members of Congress purportedly from voters opposed to a climate change bill — including a number from old people’s homes.
The creation of such bogus grassroots movements is known in the U.S. as “astroturfing.” The house committee on energy independence and global warming has identified 13 fake letters to members of Congress apparently from old people’s centres and Latino and African-American groups opposing climate change legislation. It is still investigating 45 other letters sent by Bonner & Associates, which was hired to campaign against the climate change bill. The fake letters unearthed so far were sent to three Democrats who represent conservative, coal-mining districts. “We are concerned about our electricity bills. Many of our seniors, as you know, are on low fixed incomes,” said a letter to Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper that claimed to be from the Erie Centre on Health and Ageing. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2009