Indoctrinate the Children Well (via one, and only ONE, highly dubious source)

Examine the climate issue at a miles wide / quarter inch deep superficial level – its so-called ‘settled science’ and its accusation that scientists who express doubt about the idea of catastrophic man-caused global warming are paid handsomely to push their skeptic disinformation by the fossil fuel industry – and the issue stays alive in zombie-like fashion.

The top-end pushers of the agenda count on the public doing exactly that.

When unbiased, objective examiners focus on the ‘corruption’ accusation and start digging into it at a much deeper levels, it begins to unravel at exponential rates around the core clique of people promulgating the accusation. Allow me to offer the following of just one faulty angle.

My blog post here stems from my prior blog post “DailyKos didn’t like my 9/26/22 WUWT guest post” because, while I was finalizing it, I had a simple curiosity to see how many times the DailyKos website regurgitated the name “Information Council on the Environment” (something they now self-admit is incorrect) beyond the weeks-old instance I showed in that post and the one other I knew of from 2019 which I showed in my April 25, 2020 blog post.

Undertake objective thorough examination of the 1991 public relations campaign created and run by the non-profit Western Fuels Association — as I did — and you discover how the only name the campaign operated under was the “Information Council for the Environment.” That is an irrefutable fact, I proved it by showing the full context, here and here, of all published ICE campaign ads found in newspaper archives. Keep going deeper into the thorough examination of the ICE campaign, and you discover how the claims that it is evidence of the fossil fuel industry colluding with corrupt scientist shills to spread disinformation is no more than an accusation built on a foundation of sand. But that is another story.

Meanwhile, back at my search to see how many times DailyKos regurgitated the incorrect ICE name variant, I was expecting to see just inept cursory references to it. What I instead found was their October 23, 2019 piece, “Though Exxon’s In The Hot Seat, Coal and Rail Companies Coordinated Climate Denial Too” where in connection to that incorrect variant ….

… they preceded it with a particular reference to a published Brown University ‘study’:

Big Oil is probably not feeling particularly happy at the moment. Fortunately for them, a new study published, covered by E&E, shows that they’re not alone. Dr. Bob Brulle, author of the Brown University study, looks at the coalitions that created the climate change countermovement, breaking down the membership organizations of the groups of companies that pushed denial from 1989-2015.

Brulle found that 2,020 organizations belonged to one of the dozen major coalitions … the Information Council on the Environment the most sparse, with only four members.

That’s Robert Brulle, the person I group in with other ‘skeptic-trashing environmental sociologists,’ seen often enough connected with the above-noted meritless accusation against skeptic climate scientists that I have a specific tag category for him here at GelbspanFiles. I thought his level of association was as least minimally suspect. But now there is this 2019 ‘study’ of his.

Networks of Opposition: A Structural Analysis of U.S. Climate Change Countermovement Coalitions 1989–2015

It’s behind a paywall, I am so poor that I have no extra money to access it even at its lowest cost. However, the main page does permit access to its Supporting Information section that features a free downloadable PDF file, where it is obvious the Brulle not only repeats the incorrect ICE name variant, he also dutifully repeats ye olde “reposition global warming” memo set, which happens to be the worthless “foundation of sand evidence” that the above-noted “crooked skeptic scientists” accusation is built on.

… The Information Council on the Environment was a proposed influence campaign … The goal of the group was to “Reposition global warming as theory (not fact),” which it would accomplish through a series of radio and newspaper advertisements, guided by a advisory committee composed of scientists skeptical of climate science. This campaign collapsed when the plan was leaked to the press.

Where does that nearly identical wording appear? At Desmogblog’s page for “Information Council for the Environment” (where they actually get the name right) which seemingly* dates from no earlier than 2021. Note that Brulle’s October 2019 version seemingly predating* Desmog’s version contains an odd grammatical mistake, something that might occur from re-arranging / adding a few words out of an otherwise directly copied paragraph.

But if you guessed that Desmog cite’s Brulle’s 2019 paper for this specific text, you’d be wrong. They cite the circa 1996 Ozone Action scans collection of so-called ICE campaign docs. And who do they cite for the claim that the ICE campaign “collapsed”? Not Brulle. Ross Gelbspan. And notice that just above their ‘collapse’ claim, Desmog gets the ICE name wrong.

 * Oh, wait ….. Desmog’s ICE page version is actually older than 2021 – it dates back to March 2019, back when the page’s url address included the full word “Desmogblog.”

Now the plausible question arises: Is it possible that Robert Brulle plagiarized the Desmogblog’s page wording?

Or did he glean what he has from a common, single central source?

When I expanded my internet search for the incorrect variant of the ICE name to include Robert Brulle’s name specifically, I came across this PDF file which is a Brown University class syllabus dated for “Fall 2019.” Timmons Roberts, at the top, is a name I recognized immediately (he was the focus of my “When ‘Reporting’ looks more like Propagandizing” blog post which analyzed the problems arising out of a DailyKos piece that casually mentioned Kert Davies’ Climate Investigations Center).

The Fall 2019 syllabus is a joint effort of Timmons Roberts and Brulle teaching a class on “Engaged Climate Policy.”

And who do these two professors recommend for their students for briefing people and for making pitches to journalists?

5. Look over two of these: Primary source documents from denial groups: (use to brief people for making pitches to journalists through DeSmog, with input from Mat Hope from DeSmog or Kert Davies over Skype and email

… 1991 Information Council on the Environment denial ad campaign:

Kert Davies and his Climate Files site. The site pushing not only the incorrect name variant, but also the completely incorrect, never used ICE name and a newspaper ad that was never published anywhere. The man who (along with his former boss John Passacantando), dates all the way back to the time span at Ozone Action when ye olde “reposition global warming” memo set (never-implemented) first began to get its subsequently ongoing and ever-increasing media traction.

Lest anyone forget, or for new readers here unaware of it, this is the same Davies / Passacantando duo who apparently harbor a vendetta against the fossil fuel industry, and who seem to be exposed in some kind of dark money situation that apparently funds Davies’ efforts.

See the overarching problem here?

No matter where you go in the ‘crooked skeptic climate scientists’ accusation, there you are. Same lineage back to the same single source worthless ‘evidence’ every time.

Case in point here is how just the simplest of questions leads to ever-increasing numbers of problems regarding what appears to be the one-and-only source of supposedly damaging ‘leaked industry memos’ and how the inconsistent narratives about those memos ends up in particular folks hands.

I posit that some of those ‘hands’ – Robert Brulle, it seems now among other names I’ve discussed/tagged here at GelbspanFiles, such as Geoffrey Supran, Ben Franta, and Naomi Oreskes – are truly weak links on how that apparent smear effort works, ripe targets for the next Republican-led U.S. House and Senate investigators to deeply examine.

Imagine the extent of public outrage upon discovering that skeptic climate scientists are not the fossil fuel industry-paid crooks they are portrayed to be. Imagine the extent of public outrage upon discovering how much depth of science-based material those skeptic scientists have to back up their assertions that there is no climate emergency, and the extent of the outrage over pouring billions, if not trillions of dollars down the dry hole of trying to stop ‘catastrophic man-caused global warming.’

Then there are the indoctrinated student victims of Robert Brulle’s class. Who do they see about getting their tuition and wasted class time refunded from being fed unsupportable propaganda instead of receiving fact-based education?
One more thing: Seems Brulle could not resist spewing one other really old unsupportable talking point — I amended my January 26, 2017 blog post “The Big Megaphone Wipeout” with what I also found in my combined search of his name and the incorrect ICE name variant.