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 →
This requires two setup points. First, in my February 13, 2020 blog post titled “Joke: ‘Why did the Greenpeace USA Executive Director cross the Road?’,” I covered how the founder of the long forgotten environmental group Ozone Action subsequently merged his little group into Greenpeace USA and took over there as Executive Director, only to inexplicably step down eight years later into what looked like the oblivion of an utterly inconsequential, one-man operation apparently pointlessly named “Our Next Economy LLC” which had practically no internet presence outside of his rather bland blog page ….. while getting, as late as what’s seen in a 2017 IRS 990 form, at least $2 million in income. The main question arising out of all the details in that post is whether his long-term promulgation of a worthless set of leaked industry memos, which gained their first major ongoing media traction in his dinky Ozone Action group as a go-to source for indicting skeptic climate scientists of industry corruption, is being facilitated into the latest set of global warming lawsuits, e.g. the two month-old Maui v Sunoco one, via millions of dark money dollars poured into his mystery Our Next Economy LLC operation.
So now, I could have actually titled this post as “Joke: What do you get when you cross a small business bailout loan with a one-man operation swimming in millions in cash?” The thing that investigators need to ask is, what on Earth is going on here? Continue reading →
In just the span of barely the first three weeks of September, four lawsuits suing energy companies for the costs of man-caused global warming were filed, City of Hoboken v. ExxonMobil, et al. (9/2/20), City of Charleston v Brabham Oil Company, et al. (9/9/20), Delaware v. BP America Inc, et al. (9/10/20), and Connecticut v. ExxonMobil Corp. (9/14/20). These allege the companies knew their products caused harm from global warming while orchestrating disinformation campaigns with ‘shill’ experts to deceive the public about the harm. Politico summarized these in a September 16 podcast report as part of a “new wave of climate change lawsuits” against fossil fuel companies “racking up nationwide.” While no comparison was offered in that report to the way the tobacco industry began to crumble under the weight of lawsuits against it in the 1990s, a same-day report from E&E News was not the least bit subtle about prompting readers to consider how this “growing body of climate misinformation suits” compares to the tobacco industry’s situation over its knowledge of the harm of cigarette smoking. No mention was made in either report, of course, regarding dubious claims about the allegedly ‘settled science’ of man-caused global warming. Continue reading →
These lawsuits suing energy companies ‘to recover the costs’ of damages from global warming are really stacking up now. In addition to Imperial Beach, San Mateo, Richmond, Santa Cruz, Rhode Island, Baltimore, Honolulu, the District of Columbia — just to name a few — Hoboken, New Jersey is among the very latest communities to unwisely join this collection with their with their September 2 filing, Why is this unwise? If the industry defendants’ lawyers decide to prominently challenge the veracity of the core accusation within the lawsuit, namely that fossil fuel industry executives employed ‘shill’ skeptic climate scientists in disinformation campaigns to deliberately deceive the public about the harm of global warming, it could not only expose how Hoboken officials didn’t undertake basic due diligence to check the basic veracity of the accusation, it could also torpedo all the rest of the lawsuits across the country in a similar manner, while further exposing how the mainstream media completely overlooked the obvious faults in these lawsuits and in the 25 year+ history of the basic accusation and the core clique of people who’ve promulgated it. Continue reading →
It doesn’t take more than a few seconds of internet searching to discover how the Oregon Petition Project had over 31,000 signers, corroborated not only at the Home Page of the website for the petition itself, but also at sites highly biased against it such as Wikipedia and Desmogblog (thatDesmog). But as I showed in my Part 1 dissection of that lawsuit, the District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine’s lawsuit only placed the number at 17,000, with no citation source for that number.
The more frequently these global warming lawsuits appear claiming fossil fuel industry executives paid skeptic climate scientists to participate in sinister disinformation campaign efforts to undercut the ‘settled science,’ the easier it is to show how the ‘evidence’ for that accusation implodes. This Minnesota vs. API, et al. lawsuit, filed on 6/24/20, ends up being a case study on how to commit political suicide, first via its enslavement to the same two sets of worthless ‘leaked industry memos’ which have been floated ever since the 1990s as proof of that corporate / skeptic conspiracy, and second, via its links for copies of those memos from one of the central members of the small clique of enviro-activists who’ve been promulgating them that whole time.
If the Minnesota AG’s office had undertaken the most basic kind of due diligence to find out if the ‘leaked memos evidence’ actually proves the existence of disinformation campaigns, it might not have wasted any taxpayer money filing the lawsuit. Without that ‘evidence,’ the lawsuit would struggle to disprove hugely detailed assessments from skeptic climate scientists, while also trying to prove API and the other defendants ever actually accepted the ‘science’ of the IPCC / Al Gore side of the issue. Continue reading →
“Ok, student reporters — here’s everything you need to know about the fossil fuel industry’s sinister disinformation campaign to spread lies undercutting the certainty of man-caused global warming which employed shill skeptic scientists, and here’s the professional researcher who can assist you with writing a report about that very conspiracy.”
Anybody spot the main problem there? Yes, we might wonder about the fate of the student reporters/researchers or the postdoctoral researchers/faculty members if they dared to question anything presented to them, but a bigger question remains at the end of this excise concerning the ‘professional researcher,’ and the nature of his involvement in the work these reporters/researchers undertook. Continue reading →
There’s another good question to ask corresponding to the one in my blog post title: how many times does a pattern have to be repeated before it stops looking like just a coincidence and instead looks like something resulting from a prepackaged set of talking points assembled as part of a larger coordinated propaganda effort? Continue reading →