The critical thing that people must never lose sight of when examining the Clima-Change™ issue is how enviros wage their war on two fronts, namely that the science of man-caused catastrophic global warming is settled, and that skeptic climate scientists are “liars-for-hire on the payroll of Big Oil.” The science is fatally weak, skeptic climate scientists and other experts detail that at levels that’ll give you migraine headaches from trying to absorb it all. Not that the mainstream media will tell the public about any of this.
But the false accusations about industry-corrupted skeptic climate scientists are much more faulty, promulgated by just a core clique of enviro-activists and their weak link helpers. They hand the massive mistakes they make on a silver platter to the law firms defending energy companies in all of the current “Exxon Knew” lawsuits, and they hand these same mistakes over the same way to U.S. House investigators, who now have the opportunity to mirror flip the prior Democrat-led hearings which egregiously sought to vilify fossil fuel company executives.
Case in point, Vic Sher, the man who gets top billing in 16 of the current “Exxon Knew” lawsuits, the most recent being Platkin v ExxonMobil where no less than the New Jersey Attorney General thanked Vic Sher’s law firm (a.k.a. “share Edwin” in the world of mediocre closed-captioning transcribing) for its assistance during his public announcement of its filing.
As usual, there’s a problem. I had this UCLA School of Law “Vic Sher Lunch Talk” video bookmarked from quite a while back with the intention of seeing someday if it contained blunders I guessed it might; a recent blog post at Climate Litigation Watch prompted me to revisit the video.
Just as I predicted, Vic Sher walks straight into his own self-created brick wall the moment he starts talking about his precious copies of the Greenpeace/Ozone ICE ad copies which are in all of the lawsuits his firm is handling — from 2017’s San Mateo v Chevron to 2022’s Platkin v Exxon (hold the thought of what I’m pointing to in those two screencaptures until the bottom of the next paragraph).
- He says Exxon belonged to the campaign associated with these ads — they never did. The Western Fuels Association that ran the Information Council for the Environment public relations campaign consisted of a group of coal industry companies. It’s right there in the text of the one single ad copy he has that was actually published in a newspaper. There wasn’t a solitary oil company of any size found in that PR campaign.
- He bizarrely names it the “Informed Council for the Environment” despite the correct actual official name, “Information Council” being clearly spelled out three feet in front of him on his slide at both the top left and within the one newspaper ad that WFA had published. Where does Vic Sher’s “Informed” mistake come from? He could point to the word himself in his screen, the “Informed Citizens for the Environment” logos in the two other newspaper ad scans of ads there. Look carefully enough at those two other ads — they are the same lousy scans seen in the old “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action” scans collection, part of the giant documents pile that Greenpeace apparently took totally offline recently. The Center for Climate Integrity’s PayUpClimatePolluters website also deep-sixed that particular “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action” scans collection, (hold that thought for a few minutes) but the Internet Archive internet crawler website never forgets. Have a look at the archive pages 49-50, identical to what’s in the Greenpeace/Ozone Action download I saved: there’s the “Informed” word, on the Chicken ad and on the Doomsday ad, stemming from unsolicited suggestions offered to the administrators of the ICE PR campaign.
- He said they were published in the New York Times. No, not even within 900 miles of NYC. The “Most Serious Problem” newspaper ad, along with three others – which I showed in their full context with text that could be magnified and read here and here – was published in Flagstaff, Bowling Green, and Fargo.
- The “Doomsday Canceled” and the “Chicken Little” ads he shows were never published anywhere, in any form.
- He strangely shows the “Most Serious Problem” newspaper ad with its text below the image, but all of his lawsuits cropped off that text completely – for example, in his Charleston v Brabham Oil filing. See the words beneath the pinky finger of the outstretched hand logo in the Chicken Little ad? During the time when his Sher Edling law firm’s website featured a moving timeline in its “Press Room” page, he cropped the words “Informed Citizens” completely off that never-published ad. That’s not just a glitch in the way their timeline displayed, that ad is cropped in identical form at Kert Davies’ Climate Files website. Twice, that way.
In that 2017 Youtube Lunch Talk, Vic Sher clearly does not have the first clue what he’s talking about. He’s apparently been handed a story to repeat, complete with two newspaper ads that are literally worthless for his case, and he repeated the story very badly. So is he actually the de facto leader of these lawsuits, and somebody else is largely responsible for the story script?
That’s what deep, unbiased, objective investigations are designed to, root out answers to tough questions like that.
Meanwhile, still holding onto that thought about the Center for Climate Integrity’s PayUpClimatePolluters website? PayUpClimatePolluters used to be openly transparent about CCI directing them on what to do. At the current PayUp “About” page? Not so much. It seems odd that PayUp mentions CCI at all there. The clickable link at PayUp’s About page takes you to CCI’s website, where they use the word “pay” in plentiful fashion. But you have to dig deeper to find direct mentions of “Pay Up Climate Polluters” and even among those, CCI never admits to actually directing PayUp’s work. But did PayUp’s “Smoking Guns” collection of supposedly damaging industry documents simply vanish? No — drop the website url address into a web browser from my October 2020 screencapture of PayUp’s “Smoking Guns” page, and watch where it automatically defaults to. Try it: https://payupclimatepolluters.org/smoking-guns
For all to see, what’s the literal best pair of leaked industry documents in their arsenal at that page to prove industry executives colluded with skeptic climate scientists in disinformation campaigns? You guessed it, ye olde (worthless) “reposition global warming memos” collected essentially within “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action’s” ICE memos pile, and ye olde (worthless) “victory will be achieved” memos ………. with not a solitary word there or at CCI’s 614 page PDF file for their whole documents collection mentioning Kert Davies, or his Climate Investigations Center, or his Climate Files as the source of those documents.
That’s what vanished. CCI perhaps directed someone at PayUp to shut up about that connection? Or the reverse, that someone directed CCI to bury any references to Kert Davies as the source of these supposedly “smoking gun” documents, which don’t actually smoke at all?
For all the clamoring over the years about “Big Coal & Oil” keeping their dubious efforts hidden behind ‘front groups,’ how does PayUpClimatePolluters avoid looking like a front group for a front group that otherwise wants to keep the people apparently behind all these efforts hidden?
When the supposed leader of major “Exxon Knew” like Vic Sher can’t even get basic details right about his own lawsuits, the bigger question is, who’s actually directing this show?