Loyal readers here know I have said on more than one occasion that Naomi Oreskes has an inability to keep her mouth shut regarding ancillary details (plural) surrounding the accusation about skeptic climate scientists being ‘liars for hire’ on the payroll of the fossil fuel industry.
She’s done it again.
The “Fossil Fuel Industry Documents” she refers and links to (comically re-emphasized by a Twitter reply from Desmog’s idol-worshiping John Mashey) is the new collection open to public view that was announced by the University of California, San Francisco on June 24th regarding,
More than 1,000 internal documents from the fossil fuel industry illustrating strategies to cast doubt on climate science and delay policy action …
The announcement further notes,
The Industry Documents Library [IDL] was created at the University of California, San Francisco in 2002 to house millions of pages of documents produced during litigation against the tobacco industry in the 1990s. Evidence found in the documents was used by dozens of state Attorneys General to hold tobacco companies accountable for the public health crisis caused by smoking …
In a small technical sense, the first sentence is arguably one of misinformation. IDL, at the time of its creation up until September 2015, was called the “Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.” Its existence came about from the primary input of Stanton Glantz, and I covered how his Library began to stray from its well-intended singular purpose into the political arena of global warming in a pair of blog posts here and here.
The UCSF IDL announcement additionally notes how IDL …
…. worked with the Climate Investigations Center to preserve and provide access to the documents collected for the Center’s online ClimateFiles database. “This partnership with UCSF elevates our ClimateFiles project to the next level,” says Climate Investigations Center Director Kert Davies. “With the Industry Documents Library’s state of the art search engine and unrivaled archival skills, expert researchers from far and wide will now be able to dig into these documents we have been gathering for some 25 years.”
I’ve already dug into the documents, finding key ones elsewhere before they ever landed where they are now. Similar to Oreskes, Davies might want to rethink inviting close scrutiny of this situation.
For example, CIC was established in 2014, only 5 years ago right at the present date. Meanwhile, who’s the imperial “we” there? Well, that Kert Davies, who immediately prior to the time of founding CIC, came out of the ExxonSecrets wing of Greenpeace. His LinkedIn online resumé is slightly contradictory about the startup date for CIC, but if you do the math on his total ‘work’ experience, which includes the old forgotten Ozone Action environmentalist group, it adds up to just shy of 25 years. That Ozone Action, the place co-founded by John Passacantando, which gave the otherwise worthless-as-evidence “reposition global warming / older, less educated males … younger, lower-income women” strategy/targeting ‘memos’ their first major media traction after somehow magically “obtaining them” from some undisclosed source with Ross Gelbspan.
That Passacantando / Davies duo, seen more recently in a 2016 leaked email concerning efforts to delegitimize Exxon. Perhaps stemming in part from that 2012 La Jolla California brainstorming workshop subtitled “Lessons from Tobacco Control” which was conceived by that Naomi Oreskes ……. and attended by that Stanton Glantz, who gladly suggested creating an Industry Documents Library there.
Drop the words “ozone action” within quotation marks into Glantz’s fabulous IDL collection, and it only pops up eight results, all of which are from Davies’ CIC collection, a couple of which only show Ozone Action as the sender of an email, and one that’s unclear whether it is to or from Davies while he was at Ozone Action … complete with a giant redaction block at the top, despite being labeled as a publicly viewable document with no restrictions.
Not a word is seen within this IDL collection describing what Ozone Action was. Readers here know it is the epicenter of the smear of skeptic climate scientists, who essentially implied the memos they incorrectly attributed to the Western Fuels Association’s “Information Council for the Environment” (ICE) short-lived public relations campaign — the above noted strategy/targeting ‘memos’ — were smoking gun evidence of skeptic climate scientists caught conspiring with coal industry executives to spread misinformation. It was page 1 of the “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action” ICE memo 50 page scans collection.
Does Stanton Glantz’s IDL collection now contain that ‘ICE’ pile. Oh, yeah, it turns up as a single result, reduced to just 27 scan pages now, clearly missing the Ozone Action smoking gun cover page summary, and its source is now from Kert Davies’ CIC collection along with ………..
…….. Exxon Mobil.
That’s a problem. It is either a minor one where some hapless intern assistant meant to type in (still incorrectly) “Western Fuels Association,” or it is a major one not much different than when Al Gore tried to pin the “reposition global warming” ‘memo’ phrase to Exxon in 2008. Major, because Kert Davies knows better than that, going all the way back to the time when he worked at Ozone Action. But therein lies another major problem: it is imperative for enviro-activists to pin this ‘sinister disinformation effort’ within multiple lawsuits citing that very ‘evidence’ against very prominent oil companies which have very deep money pockets to give up in the event of legal action settlements, not to some dinky little coal transport non-profit co-op.
When Davies spoke of how the ‘partnership with UCSF elevates our ClimateFiles project to the next level,’ he means it gives his highly questionable little repackaged effort more credibility. In reality, the good that was accomplished to knock down Big Tobacco’s ludicrous claims about the lack of harm of smoking will be clouded by this even more ludicrous portrayal of a skeptic climate scientists / fossil fuel executives conspiracy to spread misinformation about the ‘lack of harm from man-caused global warming.’
UC San Francisco would be well advised to disassociate itself with Stanton Glantz and whatever his associates are up to now. His receipt of leaked secret memos out of the Tobacco Industry ultimately led to that industry being held accountable for knowing their immensely profitable product was of little value to anyone while actually being deadly harmful. Documents within his then-growing collection easily proved that. The documents dumped into his Library now from Kert Davies ultimately doesn’t prove there is any industry conspiracy to hide the the alleged ill effects from fossil fuel usage. They only pile on how there’s still an ongoing effort to destroy the credibility of skeptic climate scientists via worthless ‘evidence’ promulgated by a quite small clique of enviro-activists who have a huge financial stake to lose if their adopted cause turns out to be scientifically unsupportable. These people could even face libel/slander legal action of epic proportions.
It’s a wonder why individuals such as Naomi Oreskes are so reckless about drawing attention to these crippling faults.