The Political Suicide of Pushing “Climate Homicide” … & muscling in on someone else’s “ExxonKnew” lawsuits territory?

On June 26th just a little over a week ago, David “climate homicide” Arkush and co-authors at his Public Citizen group put out a press release titled “New Memo Details Legal Case for Prosecuting Big Oil for Extreme Heat Deaths,” containing a link to a 51 page proposal for prosecutors in the state of Arizona (Democrat ones, of course including the state’s Attorney General), noting:

Though this memo asks a particular question — how officials in Maricopa County could pursue reckless manslaughter or second degree murder prosecutions for deaths caused by the July 2023 heat wave — its analysis is relevant in most jurisdictions where prosecutors might seek justice for climate victims.

I already had a tag category at GelbspanFiles dating back over a year concerning Arkush’s ludicrous ultra-lawfare fixation. He’s now taken that fixation likely beyond its breaking point. It’s one thing to push the bizarre “charge fossil fuel companies with climate homicide” idea in ‘scholarly papers,’ but it’s quite another to propose the idea straight to state prosecutors. That’s what he’s presenting in the above press release. Forgive the rather morbid visual analogy here – the man virtually points a loaded revolver at his head and the heads of his co-authors and practically asks law firms defending energy companies in “ExxonKnew” lawsuits to pull the triggers for him.

Before we dive into Arkush’s latest blunder, let’s first review for any new readers of GelbspanFiles what the core faults are with the “fossil fuel industry execs ran disinformation campaigns employing skeptic climate scientists” accusation. Then I’ll show where Arkush dutifully regurgitates them, followed by a simple question for everyone to ask.

• Accusers say”smoking gun” leaked memos prove the fossil fuel industry ran a disinformation campaign specifically targeting “older, less-educated men” and “young, low-income women in which skeptic scientists who knew global warming science was settled were paid to knowingly “reposition global warming as theory (not fact).” A sinister effort, directly comparable to deception efforts of the tobacco industry.

No, the unsolicited memo set, with its alternative campaign names, was rejected – never implemented in any form – by the group it was sent to. That group pitched their copy of the set into the trash. Doesn’t matter who proposes what, a never-implemented plan cannot serve as evidence of people acting under the plan.

• Accusers say “smoking gun” advertorials with imagery of “Chicken Little” and a “Doomsday” planet, along with specific others, e.g. the “Flat Earth” advertorial, are proof of the industry’s attempts to “reposition global warming.”

No, the “Chicken Little” / “Doomsday” / “Flat Earth” advertorials were never published anywhere. One law firm using the Chicken Little ad crops off the bottom of the ad, as does their source, for a reason: the bottoms of the “Chicken Little” / “Doomsday”ads have the never-used PR campaign name – both of them – along with a non existent toll-free number, despite what the “Chicken” says. Ditto for the “Flat Earth” ad.

The degraded photocopy “Chicken Little” / “Doomsday” images source from what I term “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action.” The old Ozone Action cover letter mentions the “Flat Earth” ad but no scan image of it appears anywhere in their 50-page collection (no need to trust me; although Greenpeace took their complete scans collection offline in 2022, with zero explanation for doing so, I’d downloaded their 50 page “ICE” PDF file when it was still online, and saved it here). Greenpeace USA = John Passacantando & Kert Davies. Ozone Action = Passacantando & Davies. Climate Investigations Center / ClimateFiles = Davies … apparently dark money-funded by Passacantando’s millions, after both left Greenpeace.

Those memos and advertorials are the literal best the accusers have in their arsenal, dubiously sourced. Other allegations simply trail behind as a much weaker second-rate efforts, designed to make it look like there is plenty of additional viable accusation material, not just the one solitary “smoking gun” situation above. In my Backgrounder list of keywords / names, I detail what to look for anytime somebody prominent hurls the accusation about ‘industry disinformation campaigns.’ With that in mind, let’s now look at David Arkush’s latest attempt at pushing his “climate homicide” idea.

In my blog post about enviro accusers’ enslavement to the worthless “Chicken Little” advertorial, I noted how it finally dawned on johnny-come-lately David Arkush to include that ad and its hand-in-glove association with the “reposition global warming” memos. I could only guess that he’d been given a stern lecture about being previously inattentive to that accusation’s value. Whatever the explanation may be, he now fully embraces it. The big PDF file primer for AZ prosecutors features the memos / advertorials as a particularly big footnote #116 for what was just a quick reference to the PR campaign they are falsely attributed to.

 Who’s the source there? The Union of Concerned Scientists. They didn’t dig up any of that, I covered their inept foray into this situation nine years ago. They couldn’t even get the one-and-only-name-ever-used for the official public relations campaign completely correct. Who’s their source? Greenpeace USA. Who did they thank for their material? Kert Davies, who – don’t forget – worked for both Greenpeace USA and Ozone Action, the latter being the group where the “reposition global warming” memos first got their ongoing media traction. Watch the pattern arise out of that, this is the way the accusation crumbles apart, around a core clique of promulgators. Meanwhile, let’s click off the other checklist items in this proposal from my Backgrounder list of keywords / names:

✓ “Victory will be achieved memos” – the never implemented set. Interesting – isn’t it? – that this primer cites Kert Davies’ ClimateFiles site just 5 footnotes above, but doesn’t cite it for his copy of the API memo set, but instead chooses the Inside Climate News’ copy. They are the same set. Not similar – identical. His same 2013 Greenpeace copy. Again – not similar; identical.

✓ “Exxon paid $1.2 million” – the bribery accusation of skeptic climate scientist Dr Willie Soon, which implodes under hard scrutiny. Unlike the various current “ExxonKnew” lawsuits which bury the source of that accusation behind generic-looking website archive pages which nevertheless always lead to Kert Davies at Greenpeace USA, this primer for Arizona prosecutors commits a ‘citation cascade’ tactic where its source is the above-noted Union of Concerned Scientists’ Mulvey & Schulman dossier collection. Who does UCS cite as their source? Greenpeace / Climate Investigations Center.

✓ Naomi Oreskes, via her Richard Lawson memo cited in – of all places – her hugely problematic chapter contribution piece within someone else’s book, which falsely places the “reposition global warming” memos in an archive they’ve never been in, while mentioning the above-noted advertorials being in the same archive handled by an ex-U.S. Senate staffer associated with Al Gore who alerted her to them.

Oreskes’ subordinate Geoffrey Supran – as a star witness recently in a May 2024 U.S. Senate hearing, he demonstrated his own enslavement to both the “reposition global warming” memos accusation and the “victory will be achieved” memos accusation. He even doubled down on the latter memo set in his spoken testimony. This is the same Senate hearing this primer says it heavily relied on in its Acknowledgements section.

Benjamin Franta – right above Supran in the footnotes. The citation paper from Franta is simply irrelevant to Arizona prosecutors and actually aids “ExxonKnew” lawsuit defendants on how Exxon didn’t know. But give Franta credit in that paper for citing Naomi Oreskes 4 times to impugn the credibility of skeptic climate scientists. What can be relevant to opposition to the accusations about ‘fossil fuel industry disinfo’ campaigns is Franta’s own enslavement to key people associated with the accusation — which, David Arkush inadvertently pointed to by recently citing Franta’s Doctor of Philosophy thesis.

✓ Carroll Muffett, via the citation of his “Smoke & Fumes” report’s document #16 — that old document, the one where Muffett did not highlight a particular paragraph showing how fossil fuel company leaders back in the late ’60s might be hearing about global cooling.  Uh ….. yeah … that Muffett.

Center for Climate Integrity (CCI)

That last one is where the big question needs to be asked concerning what exactly David Arkush / Public Citizen are up to here. As detailed at both the Climate Litigation Watch website and at the Energy in Depth website, those groups describe how CCI is apparently one of the main drivers pushing the prosecution idea opportunity to any gullible state / city / municipality leader in America who’s willing to consider it. There’s every appearance in the world that the “ExxonKnew” traveling circus act, with guest star Geoffrey Supran, is CIC’s exclusive turf. To top that off, who did CCI hire just one year ago as their “Director of Special Investigations”? Kert Davies.

The whole Arkush / Public Citizen proposal here weirdly looks like an effort to muscle in on what the CIC is already doing. Or are they, actually? They wouldn’t want to cross paths with the person who feeds them, would they? Congressional investigators / attorneys defending energy companies in “ExxonKnew” lawsuits / objective, unbiased reporters might want to ask what’s going on here.

I can understand how the San Francisco law firm Sher Edling, handler of 18 of the current “ExxonKnew”lawsuits, is in this climate lawfare realm – they’ll get an enormous cut of the winnings … if they do succeed in winning one or forcing settlement payments from any of the lesser defendants who thing they can solve their own problem by crying “uncle.” I can understand how Roland C “Kert” Davies is in this – he’ll likely get rewarded from a cut of Sher Edling’s winnings. I can understand how Naomi Oreskes is in on this – she also gets a cut by being on retainer with Sher Edling. I can even see how alleged “journalist” Amy Westervelt gets in on this – I had to update the bottom of my Puerto Rico v Exxon Part 2 dissection with a new doc I found where Westervelt apparently seems to be directly supplying Puerto Rico lead lawyer Melissa Sims with Davies-supplied docs info. Thus Westervelt can get her reward portion of the winnings out of that non-Sher Edling lawsuit by directly working with the law firm.

The mystery here is how David Arkush and his associates at Public Citizen get in on the winnings, if that was their plan all along.

They all could lose any remote chance they had of becoming filthy rich out of this show, with Arkush taking the slightly plausible concept of entire companies forced to pay for global warming damages into the far more laughable notion of putting a range of industry executives in prison (others, too??), for murder. The only thing they’ve accomplished here is reinforce how – among any given prominent accusations about ‘Big Oil’ disinformation campaigns – the common thread is worthless ‘industry documents’ promulgated by a tiny handful of enviro-activists.

Nobody has ever been killed from fossil fuel industry-induced wild climate escalation, while more CO2 emissions is actually a huge benefit for billions of people.

Who could conceivably be charged with criminal behavior in this issue? I’d suggest it is the core clique of enviro-activists who’ve taken possible civil action defamation into criminal-level libel/slander.