Ross Gelbspan jumps onto the “Chicken Little” Newspaper Ad Evidence Bandwagon

The namesake of my blog is still alive and kicking. But just like other promulgators of the “fossil fuel execs colluded with skeptic climate scientists to spread disinformation” accusation, he doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut about some of the accusation’s contradictory details. The example I’m referring to in this blog post is the item I mentioned in cursory fashion in my June 17, 2022 blog post about “days-old current [disinformation] headline news,” specifically the June 8 UK Guardian article “Warned of ‘massive’ climate-led extinction, a US energy firm funded crisis denial ads” which, in an effort to claim fossil fuel industry disinformation campaigns exist, very prominently features a “Chicken Little” newspaper that was never published, attributed to a suggested public relations campaign name that was never used.

No joke. Ross Gelbspan inadvertently alerted me to the Guardian article, via his same-day June 8 Facebook post about the article. I would have not heard about it otherwise.

Hold that thought about Gelbspan not keeping quiet until the end of this post.

The Guardian article, meanwhile, blames the U.S. Southern Company for the — again — never-published “Chicken Little” ad, and then predictably cites ex-Ozone Action/ex-Greenpeace administrator Kert Davies’ Climate Files website for the ad. But who does it cite for the tie-in of the ad to Southern? Dave Anderson and his Energy and Policy Institute’s same-day released “Southern Company Knew” 58-page report which dutifully regurgitates the accusation about the “reposition global warming” memo set, an unsolicited proposal to a public relations campaign that was never implemented any of its names, strategies, or audience targeting goals.

The situation of the publication of both the June 8 Guardian article and the Energy and Policy Institute’s same-day report is basically suspect, it’s not any kind of new breaking news, it’s merely the latest wrinkle of the switch back in 2017 from falsely attributing the “reposition global warming” memo set to the longtime ‘fossil fuel industry enemy organization, the Western Fuels Association, to the new enemy du jour, electric public utilities. More specifically, the new enemy du jour organization at that time, the Edison Electric Institute.

I already covered that odd development in my April 11, 2020 blog post regarding the emergence of Dave Anderson and his Energy and Policy Institute, where he seemed to be little more than the latest newcomer in a long line of accusation regurgitators who were enslaved to ye olde “reposition global warming” memo set (and to two decade+ “reposition” memo set promulgator Kert Davies) as proof that energy company disinformation campaigns existed. As I pointed out in my April 11, 2020 blog post, it was ironic that Anderson and his Energy and Policy Institute actually was correct to pin those memos to the Edison Electric Institute, but his monstrous blunder was to claim they “spearheaded the “Information Council on [sic – it’s for] the Environment ad campaign” and ran the above “Chicken Little” newspaper ad. As I also noted in my April 11, 2020 blog post, Edison Electric flat contradicts Anderson’s assertion, and as I subsequently proved in my “The Real ICE ads” posts here and here, the “Chicken Little” newspaper ad was never published.

Adding further insult to his own injury of apparently not being a researcher who does exhaustive inquiries to nail down ambiguous items, similar to Kert Davies, Dave Anderson’s new Southern Company report still cannot decide if the official Western Fuels Association public relations campaign name was the “Information Council on the Environment” or the “Information Council for the Environment.”

Perhaps the question should be asked, is Dave Anderson’s indecision about that is the result of Kert Davies having that same elemental due diligence problem?

But returning to Ross Gelbspan’s June 8 Facebook post linking to the Guardian article, this is odd at a basic level. As often as other prominent promulgators — Naomi OreskesKert Davies, the “Exxon Knew” lawsuits (e.g. the two Hawaii filings) CBS News, etc — have mentioned that specific [never-published] newspaper ad as absolute proof of the fossil fuel industry running disinformation campaigns employing skeptic climate scientist ‘shill experts’ to undercut the certainty of ‘man-caused global warming,’ Ross Gelbspan has never mentioned it, either in his two books, or at his website. The most he speaks of is the one ad that was actually published, the “Minneapolis Colder” one, where his online page is pretty much just a copy of what is seen in his two books.

There’s more. There’s always more. Gelbspan should have kept his mouth shut about the June 8 Guardian article because it is never wise to draw attention to specific assertions and/or situations where careful readers will not react with “Aha, that greatly clarifies everything,” but instead with “Wait a minute, how do you explain why the thing you said here does not line up right with this other person said over there?” These inconsistencies never work out well for the core clique of people who promulgate ye olde “reposition global warming” memo set.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post: “Data showed that the Minneapolis area had warmed 1.0–1.5 degrees in the twentieth century. Oops