First, some elemental background info on this: folks might wonder why I focus so narrowly on the one set of supposedly ‘leaked fossil fuel industry memos’ which enviro-activists say are smoking gun evidence proving disinformation campaigns (and other alleged attacks against ‘settled global warming science’) operated under the widely adopted directive to “reposition global warming as theory (not fact).”
My reason is elemental. It’s because the enviro-activists are so focused on that specific phrase and the worthless accusation surrounding it. It’s the most damaging weapon they have to use in their relentless effort to steer the world away seeing whether the science-based climate assessments from skeptic climate scientists are worthy of serious consideration.
If the sole excuse – ‘industry-paid skeptic scientists’ – implodes as the reason the public and policymakers and journalists have for ignoring skeptics’ climate assessments, then the ‘man-caused global warming’ issue is imperiled, perhaps to the point of imminent collapse. For influential investigators/prosecutors to begin to realize how vulnerable the egregiously false ‘crooked skeptic climate scientists’ accusation itself is to total collapse, they will need to fully comprehend why repetitions of accusations surrounding that memo set looks like an ongoing deliberate conspiracy, and they need to know exactly who the core people are in that situation, and how that core group apparently steered those memo phrases into the way that’s still exploited today.
Repetitions of the “reposition global warming” phrase (and the audience targeting “older, less educated males” / “younger, lower income women” phrases attributed to it) are ever-present to this day, as seen in a nine months-old current global warming lawsuit; in a barely two months-old prominent regurgitation of it in an internationally read news publication, and in a weeks-old twit’s attempt to use the alleged memos’ targeting phrases to castigate Trump supporters. Yes, the Baltimore v BP lawsuit with its “reposition memos” ‘evidence’ is 3½ years old, but the days-old news at NPR is that the lawsuit is “moving forward” right now. These memo phrases date all the way back to shortly after they were leaked in the late spring of 1991 to environmentalists and the New York Times, and to Al Gore somewhere in that same time frame before his 1992 “Earth in the Balance” book was published.
But in the early ’90s, they otherwise got very little news media traction.
That changed in ’95 / ’96, as the result of them getting their first and subsequently ongoing media traction courtesy of Ross Gelbspan’s return to public prominence and John Passacantando’s Ozone Action group. Up until a short time ago, I only had the Internet Archive’s oldest capture (a later crawl capture is nicer to look at) of a long-gone obscure website’s pair of words connecting Gelbspan / Ozone Action:
According to documents obtained by Ozone Action and by Ross Gelbspan, several ICE strategies were laid out including: the repositioning of global warming as theory, not fact; …
Media strategies included: … targeting “older, less-educated males …” and “younger, lower-income women.”
Try as hard as I could, I could not find any acknowledgement by each of the other’s participation — Gelbspan obtained the docs; he alone gathered ’em (majestic plural “we”). No ….. In Greenpeace’s sketchy scans of John Passacantando’s chapter contribution to the April 1999 book “The Piracy of America: Profiteering in the Public Domain,” he says Ozone Action obtained them. Period. An Australian enviro-activist confirms that. (I’m indebted to her for that remark). Obtained from whom? Nobody says, as though it was some kind of protected secret.
That’s all I had, apart from spotting how Ozone Action abruptly split its focus in December 1995 from their previous focus exclusively on ozone depletion to also include global warming, which seemingly corresponded with the prominent public return of Ross Gelbspan via his December 1995 Harper’s Magazine “The Heat is On” article, and the above-noted first public mention by him of the leaked memo phrases in a December 1995 National Public Radio interview.
Quite circumstantial. But now I have something that appears a little less so.
Ross Gelbspan didn’t just place his “The Heat is On” article for publication at Harper’s, a reasonably benign 172 year-old monthly magazine.
He placed a much shortened variant of it nine months later in the August 1, 1996 edition of Earth First! Journal – the publication of the eco-terrorist group that self-describes as “radical,” and it wasn’t titled with the reasonably benign “The Heat is On.” It is instead “Global Warming and Corporate Lies” (PDF page 26 here – the typo of his last name in the byline is a nice touch.)
When the approximately 1700-word EF! Journal and Harper’s nearly 3900-word versions are compared, it appears he skipped using the first two paragraphs at EF! Journal and cut out around a dozen others, while adding two words that might have been extremely problematic for the publishers at Harper’s.
The leaders of the oil and coal industry, along with their well-paid skeptical scientists ….
However, he didn’t stop there. After the end of the article text, he added:
That Kalee Kreider, whose current 2022 resumé strangely omits her impressive work history* at Ozone Action, where she said in an older now-deleted version that she created and deployed its first media strategy.
Notice that what Gelbspan is referring to is not just “Ozone Action’s Report” or “John Passacantando’s Report” but instead Kalee Kreider’s Climate Change Backlash Report. There’s no “backlash” word seen at the garishly-colored oldest available November 1996 Ozone Action index page, but the links at that Internet Archive page for Ozone Action’s “Ties that Blind I / Ties that Blind II” reports, which have no author bylines, arguably fit that description. The “Ties I” report’s page 2 “Case Study #3” is the section containing the never-used “reposition global warming” / “older, less-educated males” / “younger, lower-income women” strategy / targeting memo phrases and references to never-used newspaper ads. (the “Ties II” report specifically mentions an August 1996 reference, thus Gelbspan would not have seen it in time for citing within his Aug 1 Earth First! Journal article)
Assuming he’s referring to the “Ties that Blind I” report, how would he know Kalee Kreider authored it without some kind of personal coordination exchanges about the report and about Ozone Action’s efforts overall? Want to know why it is a good educated guess that Gelbspan was indeed referring to the “Ties that Blind I” report? Have a look at this:
Two sentences offering an arguably pair of arguably irrelevant points, word-for-word identical out of “Ties that Blind I.” That was the sum total of the “additional information obtained” from ‘Kreider’s report.’ Gelbspan’s mention of Ozone Action was a great excuse, though, to send militant anti-corporate Earth First! Journal newspaper hardcopy readers into to the then-burgeoning World Wide Web internet where they could access Ozone Action’s pages and share with anyone who might not know of an excuse to dismiss skeptic climate scientists out-of-hand.
The circular citation situation there between Gelbspan and Ozone Action is amusing, but it’s also a more serious indicator begging for deeper examination by people with more more search tools and more subpoena power than I have.
One key question is whether this particular situation — an article at a respectable 172 year-old magazine (resulting NPR radio interviews and news reports – plural – about it), followed by an article at an extremist environmentalist newspaper that all but guarantees activist outrage — constitutes a “media strategy” which culminates in a much-praised book that an organization the size of Greenpeace can promote during a time when donations to save the whales and the UV radiation-blinded polar bears were drying up at a rate so alarming that Greenpeace was forced to slash jobs and scale back its operations drastically.
Does the current lack of debate over ‘climate change’ itself stem from a strategic P.R. campaign of character assassination against skeptic climate scientists?
The elemental consideration for congressional investigators and the law firms defending energy companies accused of spreading disinformation is whether the never-ending enslavement of enviro-activist accusers to worthless ‘leaked industry memos’ is just sheer coincidence, or if it is truly an ongoing conspiracy among a core clique of promulgators who should have the entire accusation of deliberately spreading disinformation turned against them.
* Both Ozone Action’s and Greenpeace’s specific names are MIA within her current workplace bio page, reduced instead to the lowly category of “several non-governmental organizations.” There’s always more. This basically continues in a ‘part 2,’ Why would Kalee Kreider leave Ozone Action just as it was turning toward a more lucrative focus for a job at the then-rapidly dying, largely unfocused Greenpeace organization?