Call this blog post a combo ‘editorial’ / ‘backgrounder’ on the overarching inevitable problem the accusers of “industry-corrupted skeptic climate scientists” will face. It’s simply a matter of time before any one of the 29 current “Exxon Knew”-style lawsuits finally does go in front of a judge or jury to decide on its merits. This blog post concerns what the deciders need to know about the political accusation angles within these cases. I doubt that the people behind the “growing tide” of ExxonKnew-style / “growing pool” of lawsuits actually have any intention of winning via jury decisions; the objective quite likely is to intimidate the smaller of the defendant companies into thinking if they just cry “uncle” and pay out what they believe is a settlement fee they can somehow afford in order to keep their company alive for the foreseeable future. This was an effective tactic to force the tobacco industry into submission, an inevitable conclusion since tobacco smoke is harmful and Big Tobacco knew it, and the people filing lawsuits against Big Tobacco knew Big Tobacco knew it. Everybody knew it. A person would have to be spectacularly stupid to believe inhaling nothing bad could result from inhaling burning particulates big enough to see.
What the fossil fuel industry knew and what they did is an entirely different and uncomparable situation. Therein lies the problem for the pushers of the “Exxon Knew”-style lawsuits and the core clique of enviro-activists who’ve promulgated the “crooked skeptic climate scientists” accusation for decades, which is one of the two pillars these lawsuits stand on, and on which arguably the entire ‘climate crisis’ issue stands on. The core clique of enviro-activists may sincerely believe with all their heart in the soundness of the other pillar, namely the notion that “the climate science of man-caused global warming is settled.” None of them are climate scientists or have any expertise in the field, but as true believers, it’s fair to say their innocent ignorance about the full science is forgivable. The democratic right speech to free speech includes the right to be incorrect about a matter. The potentially fatal problem for them, and the key to comprehending why the whole tobacco industry settlements tactic will ultimately backfire in epic fashion is what’s seen in the truism statement below, as it pertains to the accusation that ‘fossil fuel executives employed skeptic climate scientist shills who spewed falsehoods in disinformation campaigns just like the tobacco industry did.’
Hat tip to Marc Morano / Patrick Moore for the alert about John Robson’s excellent Dec 21 video, “The 1970s Cooling Scare Was Real.” While I was already quite familiar with the existence of the global cooling craze of the 1970s (I mentioned my own personal experience with that craze in the 4th paragraph of my 2011 CEI guest post), I learned one very interesting new detail concerning the geophysicist Gordon James Fraser MacDonald, whose name comes up beginning at the 8:25 point. He was prominently quoted in a July 9, 1971 Washington Post article as saying he agreed with another scientist about the distinct possibility of the Earth cooling as much as six degrees. Since I’ve already knew that the name Gordon MacDonald was an integral part of one of “Merchants of Doubt” book author / documentary film star Naomi Oreskes’ tales of how she became involved in the global warming issue, I was prompted by what I just learned to look a little deeper into what Oreskes thought was so important about Dr MacDonald. Continue reading →
That was the widespread news headline, in one form or another (minus the ‘political suicide’ bit, of course) on Thursday, September 16th, 2021. The main news item was that Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, and sophomore-term House member Ro Khanna, D-Ca, sent letters hours earlier to four major fossil fuel companies and two lobbying groups, demanding that they appear in front of the Oversight Committee on October 28, and that they bring documents with them showing how they were engaged in — no joke! — “in a long-running, industry-wide campaign to spread disinformation about the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming.” Those were the actual words in the nearly identical letters, which can be viewed in their entirety at the links within the Oversight Committees website page’s press release.
How could this House Oversight Committee stunt be revealed to be act of political suicide? If the ‘defense witnesses’ at the October 28 hearing decide to seize the leadership opportunity on this, they could show how the ‘industry executives colluded with skeptic climate scientists in disinformation campaigns‘ accusation only points a huge arrow at where the real disinformation efforts are apparently seen in this issue, a core clique of enviro-activists who’ve pushed a pair of never-implemented, ‘leaked industry memo sets’ that are worthless to prove any “industry-wide campaign to spread disinformation” exists anywhere. Plus, the sheer lack of viable evidence behind the accusation points an even bigger arrow at the basic journalistic malfeasance on the part of mainstream media news reporters, when it comes to their decades-long failure to ask probing questions about the basic accusation, which dates back to the 1990s. Continue reading →
Just askin’, before the Big Tech effort to censor inconvenient questions spreads as far as into blogs like this. While the largest companies on the defendant side of all the “ExxonKnew”-style lawsuits are still exploring legal technicalities paths concerning changes of venue, what happens if the smaller energy companies’ law firms start pulling all the loose threads in the accusation where it’s implied that a certain set of ‘leaked memos’ with the awkwardly worded strategy goal to “reposition global warming” is proof that Big Coal & Oil had a corrupt pay-for-performance arrangement with skeptic scientist ‘liars-for-hire’? That memo set is presented as ‘evidence’ in the majority of the current “Exxon Knew”-style lawsuits, e.g. the most recent among them, Annapolis v BP’s paragraph 116. What will it indicate if efforts are made to quash those lawyers’ statements about the faults they find with that accusation? If legal analyst voices far bigger than mine start exploring whether that accusation is indeed a form of criminal libel/slander, what could the public interpret from an even more concerted censorship effort to silence those bigger voices? Continue reading →
I pointed to Oreskes’ little name-drop in only fleeting fashion in my June 17, 2020 blog post. Time now to explore it further as yet another example of a widespread problem with the entire ‘crooked skeptic climate scientists’ accusation: pull on even the smallest of loose threads in that accusation, and the fabric of the overall accusation starts to unravel in multiple directions instead of cinch together more tightly. Continue reading →
I began my February 17, 2021 blog post with the suggestion that the “industry-corrupted skeptic climate scientists” accusation ‘fabric’ isn’t cinched up tight at all, it’s plagued with loose threads; pull on any number of them and the whole accusation can come apart. The Al Gore / Naomi “loose thread” Oreskes situation I detailed at the end of my previous Part 1 post is one more example of that — when she clearly said her survey that she undertook by herself was “no big deal / a kind of cross-check” to find out the extent of the consensus of a thousand science papers on the global warming topic, did Al Gore make a false, criminally punishable statement at a Senate hearing when he stated it was a University of California team effort she led?
No. He’s completely in the clear on that. Who would have said it that way for him to repeat? Oreskes, when she said it was she, in association with that university, and her assistants. Plural.Continue reading →
So far, ordinary citizens can get away with the response “just asking” when chastised for questioning the inconsistencies in narratives about man-caused global warming, but maybe not much longer if that starts falling into what ‘Big Tech’ vilifies as spreading misinformation. Regarding other controversial political issues in recent weeks, credit the collective far-left with cleverly concocting the propaganda notion that citizens questioning ‘established facts’ in the mainstream media about the U.S. presidential election or the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol might be dangerous radicals so hopelessly enslaved to conspiracy theories that they need to be re-educated. How long will it be until it’s insinuated that anyone who wonders why details in the global warming issue don’t line up right may be part of the unstable fanatic population posing a threat to democracy? Oh, wait, that’s already happened.
Maybe that kind of reasoning is meets with little opposition in the unreal world of news media / social media, but in the very real world of litigation (if the 20+ “Exxon Knew”-style global warming lawsuits resolve legal technicalities of whether they fall under Federal or state court jurisdiction), the law firms hired by energy company defendants will start questioning the often-repeated accusation from Al Gore that their clients colluded with skeptic climate scientists in disinformation campaigns designed to undercut the certainty of man-caused global warming. Perhaps enviro-activists may try to spin that as “Big Oil’s defense lawyers push right-wing conspiracy theories” for the biased news media to repeat, but that intimidation tactic to shut down questioning is not likely to work out well at all within the confines of any courtroom.
Naomi Oreskes’ appearance at a 10/23/19 House hearing on the topic of “the oil industry’s climate denial campaign” wasn’t a one-time event. She reappeared six days later at a Senate “hearing,” where her Prepared Written Testimony contained the identical blunders I detailed in Part 1 of this two-part blog post. Unlike the House hearing, she and the others at this “hearing” offered truly bizarre and comically self-damaging statements without fear of anyone questioning them. Continue reading →
And there’s really no necessity to tell anybody exactly what that accusation means. Al Gore and the top-most promulgators of the ‘climate scientist liars-for-hire’ accusation know what it means …. they simply haven’t proven that any such corruption actually exists anywhere. Continue reading →
Old-school, hard-nosed, traditional reporters don’t merely accept superficial information without question, they spot inconsistencies in the material and go digging in order to find out why the details don’t line up right. Three weeks ago, The Weather Channel website featured a hit piece against the Heartland Institute authored by Pam Wright, which Heartland’s Jim Lakely dissected yesterday here. As ever with such dissections, there’s always more. From my own unique bit of expertise on the political side of the global warming issue, let my politely suggest that Pam Wright should not quit her day job as a propagandist to become an old-school reporter. Continue reading →