Whenever I tell reporters, politicians/staffers and others about the way the “Exxon Knew”-style global warming lawsuits’ accusations are enslaved to one or the other or both of ye olde notorious ‘leaked industry documents’ known as the “reposition global warming” memos and the “victory will be achieved” memos for the claim that ‘industry-led disinformation campaigns’ existed, I always use the factually correct detail to say “nearly all” of the 28 lawsuits I list suffer from that fatal enslavement. The implication is that those with that enslavement could be thrown out, since the directives and objectives of each memo set were never carried out by any fossil fuel industry entity. In my April 26, 2018 dissection of Boulder v Suncor I felt a little uncomfortable with it being more of a ‘stretch of association’ in my list of 28, I admit, because the filing doesn’t refer at all to either memo set. King County v. BP also didn’t refer to either memo set, but since its lead lawyer was the same one leading the (subsequently dismissed) 2008 Kivalina v. Exxon lawsuit with its unmistakable enslavement to both memo sets, I include King County in my “Exxon Knew” lawsuits list. A little tenuous, perhaps, but the attorney connection between the two cases begs for much deeper investigation.
Regarding Boulder v Suncor, my dissection showed how the filing shared too many passages in a suspect way with other lawsuits that were enslaved to those memo sets, and how there were connections of the handlers of the lawsuit, EarthRights International (ERI), to other notorious accusers who are enslaved to regurgitating the “reposition global warming” memos as evidence of industry disinformation campaigns.
Now, I’m much more comfortable with my placement of Boulder in my list of 28, as the title of this blog post implies. Watch this:
Within Energy in Depth’s June 4, 2019 “Fort Lauderdale Deals Another Blow to Climate Litigation Campaign” article (which I somehow missed seeing four years ago!) was this revelation:
In a surprising twist of fate, ERI added another plaintiffs’ attorney firm involved in climate litigation, Sher Edling, as co-counsel in their pursuit of the city.
“Sher Edling.” How many of their boilerplate copy “Exxon Knew” lawsuits cite the “reposition global warming” memos to say the fossil fuel industry ran disinformation campaigns? All of them, from California to New Jersey and the Hawaiian islands in between. How many cite the API “victory” memos for the same claim? All of them, coast to coast and the Hawaiian – plural! – islands in between.
The revelation concerning EarthRights International’s co-counsel comes out of a May 8, 2019 Climate Litigation Watch report (which I also missed four years ago) in reference to “public records obtained by the transparency group Energy Policy Advocates (EPA) as well as by Government Accountability and Oversight (GAO)” — these emails in particular:
Oh, that was brilliant of EarthRights’ Jorge Mursuli to disclose, when he should have kept his mouth shut about that connection. But then, folks within that huge “Exxon Knew” accusation effort have a propensity to do such things.
Further sealing the deal that the EarthRights-led Boulder lawsuit belongs in my list of currently 28 which are enslaved to one and/or the other above-named ye olde worthless ‘leaked industry memo sets’: this May 6, 2019 Florida Record article’s statements (I consolidate them in text here from two places in the article for complete clarity of my point):
… the Fort Lauderdale City Commission heard from Earthrights International (ERI), a Washington D.C.-based environmental advocacy group involved in a number of similar suits in various parts of the country.
ERI appears to have worked with other groups in pushing cities in Florida to file suits, according to emails obtained by the Florida Record. One of those groups, the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD), was represented by Miami Beach lobbyist, Seth Platt …..
…. Emails were sent earlier in the year to Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and his chief of staff, Scott Wyman, referring to upcoming meetings.
One sent in June was from lobbyist Platt, who stated his client was IGSD. One of its projects, the Center for Climate Integrity, is headed by Richard Wiles, who also publishes Climate Liability News (CLN).
The Center for Climate Integrity’s “central goal is to accelerate corporate and governmental policy changes that speed the energy transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources and that otherwise contribute to a safe climate,” according to the IGSD. “One way to advance this goal is to require fossil fuel producers to bear the cost of the damage caused by their products.”
No need to simply trust what that newspaper said about IGSD = CCI, IGSD stated that outright back in 2019.
Meanwhile, we’re talking about that Richard Wiles of CCI who just recently installed Kert Davies as CCI’s “Director of Special Investigations” – that Kert Davies, who traces all the way back to the old forgotten Ozone Action group in the late 1990s who somehow magically “obtained” ye olde “reposition global warming” memos and who claimed the “Chicken Little” ad was proof of industry disinformation campaigns – that never-published Chicken Little ad, which the Sher Edling law firm cites as coming from Kert Davies’ Center for Climate Investigations “Climate Files” industry docs site.
And for emphasis, that Climate Integrity prodding public officials to sue the fossil fuel industry which has those two worthless sets of industry docs as their cornerstone evidence that industry-led disinformation campaigns exist, where their beloved “reposition” memos set resides in the old Ozone Action “Distorting the Debate” collection. Click on their “Lie-brary’s” ICE docs link — it’s identical to the file I downloaded in 2018 from Greenpeace Investigations’ mega-pile of industry docs/other docs scans … that Greenpeace Investigations site, which the public was not permitted to view after April 2022.
So, I’m more comfortable now with Boulder v Suncor in my list of – currently – 28 “Exxon Knew” lawsuits which all have a separation of 3 degrees or less from Ross Gelbspan / Kert Davies / John Passacantando (… ummm … those two) / Naomi Oreskes (and her beloved chicken) when it particularly concerns this little mob’s act of pinning all their accusation efforts onto one particular worthless set of ‘leaked industry memos.’ (Kert wuvs the “victory” memos, too. The others, not so much. Who knows why? But that’s another story.)
How soon will it be before anyone in that mob becomes really uncomfortable with the associations within their little circle, such that they need to turn “state’s evidence” in order to save their own personal legacy?