Background: Key Word / Names Checklist – what to look when prominent accusers yell “Big Oil disinformation” / “crooked skeptic scientists

[Updated 5/22/23] What follows in this post is a sort of work-in-progress, the “Background info” collection I referred to in my March 31, 2023 post. If I may suggest it for those who might end up investigating the clique of enviro-activists who’ve long accused skeptic climate scientists of industry corruption, bookmark it as a growing reference to utilize when the prosecution direction does eventually turn 180° against these accusers. Like I’ve implied more than once here at GelbspanFiles, the central promulgators of the false accusation about the fossil fuel industry employing shill scientists have been extraordinarily lucky so far, but what they recklessly push is simply unsustainable. It will sink. It is a mathematical certainty.

Again, I will be adding to it, as needed, e.g. there may be more within what is currently just a single line for Chris Mooney, as it pertains to a possibly much-too-coincidental situation with Naomi Oreskes circa 2004-’05.

• Key words: “reposition global warming as theory” / older, less-educated men” / “young, low-income women” — out of the rejected memo set proposed to the Western Fuels Association “Information Council for the Environment” public relations campaign, with its unsolicited name variations and its never-implemented audience targeting suggestions. This worthless set, literally the ‘most viable-sounding’ bit of evidence in enviro-activists’ accusation arsenal, at least sounded like a sinister plan, It first got its first ongoing media traction at the Ozone Action group in 1996-2000, which was subsequently merged into Greenpeace USA, along with their lousy memos scans. Depending on who you choose to believe, either the Sierra Club had them first back in 1991 and leaked them to the New York Times, or else Ross Gelbspan unearthed them. The “Steele Dossier,” currently a big news item via the release of the Durham Report exposing how its fake creation ended up to be the basis of unwarranted investigations / accusations against the Trump Administration, is the moral equivalent of the “reposition global warming” memos. While the “reposition” memo set appears to be just a rejected set of obtusely suggested strategies, there is a plausible possibility that they were planted as ‘evidence.’

• 1998 American Petroleum Institute (API) “Victory will be achieved when average citizens understand uncertainties in climate science” memos. This worthless set, surrounded by problematic narratives about its origins and who favored it before they didn’t, is literally the second-best bit of evidence in enviro-activists’ accusation arsenal. When anyone actually reads through its suggestions, the whole set looks like nothing more than a set of obvious truisms, which could be mirror-flipped to suit the enviro-activist lobby. Depending on who you choose to believe, either the National Environmental Trust had the memos first and leaked them to the New York Times (according to NYT article author John Cushman), or else Greenpeace discovered them.

• Key names: Ross Gelbspan, who’s second career is built on the “reposition global warming” memos as the result of his 1997 “The Heat is On book.

• Kert Davies, currently heading the Climate Investigations Center with its platform, previously at Greenpeace USA and Ozone Action under his boss John Passacantando. Davies’ best available ‘evidence’ at his Climate Files site to indict ‘Big Oil & Coal’ of running disinformation campaigns is the “reposition global warming” memo set, along with never-published newspaper ads. Davies’ second best ‘evidence’ is the “victory” memos – the set of horribly degraded scans he uploaded to the “DocumentCloud” while at Greenpeace, the same set he features in the header photo for his Twitter account. In 2016, Davies & Passacantando were exposed in a leaked email effort to portray Exxon as corrupt.

• Naomi Oreskes, whose second career is built on the “reposition global warming” memos she initially detailed in a 2007-’08 PowerPoint presentation, and while often seen offering her opinion about industry-led disinformation campaigns, her PPT presentation about those memos seems to have, on average, an item of disinformation approaching once every minute during the first 25 minutes of it. To the best of my ability to tell, she has never mentioned the API “victory will be achieved” at any significance anywhere.

• Geoffrey Supran, a subordinate of Oreskes, whose best evidence, along with his boss, to prove industry disinformation campaigns existed is the “reposition global warming” memo set and a pair of horribly degraded scans of newspaper ads that were never published anywhere.

• Ben Franta, a direct associate with Supran and Oreskes in amici curiae filings containing citations of the “reposition global warming” memos in support of “Exxon Knew”-style lawsuits whose cornerstone evidence of industry-led disinformation campaigns is both the “reposition global warming” and the “victory will be achieved” sets. This is no exaggeration regarding either the names associations here or their enslavement to those worthless memo sets. The latest Friend of the Court brief filed by this group was on April 7th, 2023 in the D.C. District Court where they displayed this massive fault of theirs once again for all the world to see.

• [currently Washington Post reporter] Chris Mooney, who cites Ross Gelbspan’s accusation about industry-corrupted skeptic climate scientists.

• Carroll Muffett, whose 2017 Smoke and Fumes report was only one degree separated from mentioning the “reposition global warming” memo set that’s falsely attributed to the Western Fuels Association “Information Council for the Environment” PR campaign. Give Muffett direct credit for featuring the “victory” memo set no later than the inside cover page of his report.

• Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), as described by both the Climate Litigation Watch group and the Energy in Depth group, CCI is the outfit that has been shopping the idea around to various municipalities about suing the fossil fuel industry for running disinformation campaigns. What’s the two best pieces of ‘evidence’ in CCI’s arsenal for the accusation? You guessed it if you said the API “Victory will be achieved” memo set and the “reposition global warming” memo set falsely attributed to the “Information Council for the Environment” PR campaign.