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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi  (Read 20489 times)

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AGelbert

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February 21, 2020



What’s Clear About 🐍 RealClear Energy Is It’s Far-Right, Koch-Funded Bias

😇 RealClear Politics (SEE: Orwell), which started in 2000 as a news aggregator, is one of the longest-running digital news sites. From the jump, the sit was implicitly explicit about its conservative bias, in that it sought to “counterbalance the common liberal bias of the mainstream press by providing a more realistic look at the issues” and to “give readers ideological diversity.” 

Please remember that, as blogger Umair Haque put it, the concept of ideological diversity “is not a thing,” and is what you call it when “a concept has no solid epistemological footing.” It’s something William Buckley Jr. came up with to attack secularism and Keynesian economics in universities. As Kate Knibbs explained in an article for the Ringer a few years ago, ideological diversity is “a Trojan horse...code for granting fringe right-wing thought more credence in communities that typically reject it, and nothing more.”

And that’s exactly what RealClear does. Though its polling averages are well-respected, the content it links to is a mix of real mainstream news and fringe right-wing front group fodder. To the undiscerning reader at RealClearPolitics, content from the Washington Post, Washington Times and New York Times sits on equal footing, despite two being the standard-bearers of journalism and the other being a cult-owned, racist-publishing, Islamaphobic, climate-denying smoking-defending rag.

Over on the RealClear Energy vertical, the bias is quite obvious. Not only are Koch cronies like Thomas Pyle regularly published alongside legitimate pieces, but there’s also a sidebar with contents broken down into sections: one specifically for denier Rupert Darwall, another titled “Energy Poverty: The World’s Forgotten Calamity”, to promote Peabody Coal’s pro-pollution propaganda.

And then there’s the pair of pieces that caught our eye, both published yesterday, by Steven Milloy. As you may recall, Milloy is the man whose Junkscience.com website was created as part of a tobacco industry effort to cast doubt on the science connecting smoking with cancer. He then went on to use a FoxNews column as part of his pro-smoking public relations work, until he was exposed. From there he went to work for climate denial, despite the fact that his reputation was tainted so badly he was hardly welcome even in denial circles. But that changed when he served on Trump’s EPA transition team. Now outlets like RealClear are willing to take the chance that Milloy isn’t using them to advance his clients’ aims, like he did at Fox.

The two pieces Milloy published yesterday are scarcely worth consideration. One headline read  “Bernie’s fracking ban would also ban peace and prosperity” and the other “Sorry Virtue Signalers, a carbon tax would have no impact on climate.” The site has also published a variety of hit pieces by Chris Horner, who like Milloy, was a tobacco lawyer before becoming a fossil-fuel-funded climate denier.

But why would RealClear feel the need to publish these empty and baseless attacks? What journalistic value could a life-long PR man possibly provide for readers? Why would they let their platform be used by people whose careers have been spent defending the tobacco and fossil fuel industries at the expense of public health? 
It could be the fact that the RealClear Foundation and RealClear Investigations have received millions of dollars from the Kochs' Donor’s Trust and Donors Capital Fund, the Mercer’s Job Creators Network Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation and other far-right donors. While it claims to be “recognized for its impeccable credibility,” that’s undercut by the fact that there’s a typo in the next phrase “political nonpartiship,” and that the sentence concludes with a nod to its “true ideological diversity.”

If the site’s goal is ideological diversity, then of course it’s going to run content with no solid epistemological footing, and grant fringe right-wing thought more credence than it deserves.

So let’s be real clear. No matter how well-respected its polling aggregation may be, RealClearPolitics, or Energy, or Investigations is not news.

It’s conservative propaganda disguised as news.


 The 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon 👹 Hellspawn Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME. Since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID DOING THE TIME or PAYING THE FINE!  Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 03:47:59 pm by AGelbert »
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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Greenwashing. Is it still a thing?
« Reply #271 on: February 23, 2020, 07:49:05 pm »
😈 Greenwashing. Is it still a thing?
3,836 views•Feb 23, 2020


Just Have a Think
50.1K subscribers

GREENWASHING has become such a commonly used phrase that it's starting to lose its meaning in the increasingly noisy stream of information we all receive every second of every day via Social Media. Is it even still a thing or have big corporations finally started to tell us the truth?


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Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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Quote
For the New York Times (4/21/20), the devastating “nightmare” is that people are burning much less oil.

As Covid-19 Forces Emission Reductions, Media Offer 🦖 Oil Industry Elegies
By Dorothee Benz, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Last week on April 22 the world marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Air pollution in the world’s major cities was down dramatically 👍; for the first time in decades, the Himalayan Mountains could be seen from 100 miles away 👍. The canals  in Venice were so clear you could see the fish swimming in them 👍, and lions were sleeping on the roads in South Africa 👍. All of these developments, and others like them, were the consequences of a global reduction in fossil-fuel emissions. Alas, none of this is the result of popular political pressure to finally bring fossil-fuel capitalism to... - more -
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

Surly1

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Quote
For the New York Times (4/21/20), the devastating “nightmare” is that people are burning much less oil.

As Covid-19 Forces Emission Reductions, Media Offer 🦖 Oil Industry Elegies
By Dorothee Benz, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Last week on April 22 the world marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Air pollution in the world’s major cities was down dramatically 👍; for the first time in decades, the Himalayan Mountains could be seen from 100 miles away 👍. The canals  in Venice were so clear you could see the fish swimming in them 👍, and lions were sleeping on the roads in South Africa 👍. All of these developments, and others like them, were the consequences of a global reduction in fossil-fuel emissions. Alas, none of this is the result of popular political pressure to finally bring fossil-fuel capitalism to... - more -

The REAl tragedy is that their stock portfolios, and those of their friends at the club, are taking a massive hit and their paper wealth is declining.

But their seats in hell are waiting.

AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #274 on: May 04, 2020, 11:48:48 am »
Quote
For the New York Times (4/21/20), the devastating “nightmare” is that people are burning much less oil.

As Covid-19 Forces Emission Reductions, Media Offer 🦖 Oil Industry Elegies
By Dorothee Benz, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Last week on April 22 the world marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Air pollution in the world’s major cities was down dramatically 👍; for the first time in decades, the Himalayan Mountains could be seen from 100 miles away 👍. The canals  in Venice were so clear you could see the fish swimming in them 👍, and lions were sleeping on the roads in South Africa 👍. All of these developments, and others like them, were the consequences of a global reduction in fossil-fuel emissions. Alas, none of this is the result of popular political pressure to finally bring fossil-fuel capitalism to... - more -

The REAL tragedy is that their stock portfolios, and those of their friends at the club, are taking a massive hit and their paper wealth is declining.

But their seats in hell are waiting.

Yep, their concept of "tragedy" is my concept of reaping here what they continue to sow, long before they stop trashing God's Garden and take their well deserved seats in hell.

It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. -- Psalm 119:126

 


« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 04:04:33 pm by AGelbert »
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

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May 21, 2021

 
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Denier in 😇 Disguise: 🦖 Michael Shellenberger’s Very Serious 😉 Interview with E&E News

As we mentioned recently in regard to a certain “Obama scientist,” deniers who pretend they’re Serious-Thinking Democrats, yet built up a public persona using conservative media as a venue for criticizing environmentalists, are increasingly common now that outright denial is gauche.

An established member of that “sure I think climate change is real, but…” club is one Michael Shellenberger, who’s the subject of a quietly stinging profile by Scott Waldman at E&E. Waldman introduces Shellenberger as Republicans’ “new ally to help deliver their global warming message,” describing him as the “pro-nuclear, pro-fracking former Democractic gubernatorial candidate from California.” But even that is somewhat generous, as he was hardly a serious candidate, and didn’t even come close to making it out of the primary. He ran a vanity campaign that consisted primarily of 😈 Tucker Carlson appearances and netted him 0.5% of the vote, putting him in 9th place.

After that though, Waldman’s generosity runs out. He points out that if the “redeemed activist” role Shellenberger plays “seems straight out of Fox News, it’s because it is. The network has repeatedly booked Shellenberger to air his views.” Ouch! Not a whole lot of actual Democrats are invited back on to Fox, at least not as anything more than a punching bag, which Shellenberg is definitely not. But Waldman isn’t exactly being mean either, or in any way misrepresenting Shellenberger’s persona. 

For example, in an interview with E&E, Shellenberger apparently thought the best retort to how some portray him based on his most incendiary commentary, “which can at times be seen scrolling across a Fox News chyron,” Waldman notes, is to use some lovely homophobia-adjacent language. 

“You may want to go and find something” Shellenberger told Waldman, “that I know a lot of progressives are butt-hurt about, a lot of climate alarmists are butt-hurt about. That would be cherry-picking one particular thing in my nearly 20 years of writing on this topic and trying to suggest that it stands for the whole.” 

… okay but if you use the phrase “butt-hurt” in an on-the-record interview in the same way countless rightwing trolls have used it in comment sections, you might deserve to be judged for it. 

Shellenberger certainly talks like a right-wing hack. And aside from this story, his media hits are all Fox News and the like, while Waldman notes that Shellenberger has been invited by Republicans to testify in congress six times since January 2020. Yet he remains committed to the ruse, as Waldman indicates in a parenthetical that “Shellenberger claimed he was invited by both parties because the official invitation he received was signed by the Democratic committee chair as well as the ranking Republican.” What’s more, he was invited to the Republican retreat in Florida last month where he gave them talking points about how renewables would drive up prices and cause more blackouts. (But he’s definitely totally different from other deniers, really!)

Probably the biggest indication that Shellenberger just plain sucks is that Sen. 🐍 Ted Cruz (R-Cancun) likes him, tweeting praise for his book, just like denier groups have done, Waldman reports. CO2 Coalition and CFACT, two denial organizations that exist solely to turn industry money into Republican talking points, love Shellenberger, as do Breitbart News and the Daily Caller, which Waldman writes “regularly touts Shellenberger’s public claims with headlines such as ‘Here’s How Renewable Energy Actually Hurts the Environment.’” 

So this guy’s supposedly a Democrat , totally isn’t a denier , but went on the 🦕🦖🐍 Heartland Institute’s podcast to say “Thank you, guys [he’s right to use the gendered language, not too many women in denierland] for sounding the alarm on these issues longer than I have, and I’m sorry it took me so long to basically get into a position where I could tell the truth.” 

But apparently he only goes on 🦕😈 fossil-fueled media because “progressive media figures won’t engage with his ideas for fear of upsetting their audience,” Waldman writes. 

Shellenberger said the real question is “Why won’t Rachel Maddow have me on her show; why won’t Anderson Cooper have me on his show; why won’t Stephen Colbert have me on their show?” 

Well, Michael, maybe because Stephen Colbert is a comedian with a comedy show, and he can see what an incredibly unfunny joke of an attention-seeking grifter you are.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 03:49:28 pm by AGelbert »
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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #276 on: June 02, 2021, 04:03:09 pm »
June 2, 2021
 
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Hackers Hit Big Meat- Expect Climate Disinfo About It, Because 🦖😈 Deniers Lie For A Living

When the Green New Deal was first introduced, deniers falsely accused climate activists of wanting to take away Americans’ god-given right to enjoy as many cheeseburgers as we can. When natural gas and coal froze up in February, deniers blamed climate activists for pushing the state to adopt renewables by posting old pictures of frozen turbines. When hackers attacked the Colonial pipeline, the company’s decision to protect its billing capability by shutting down gas deliveries to a wide swath of the southeast, 😈🦕 deniers blamed climate activists for convincing President Biden to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico for export. 

Now that hackers have hit JBS SA, the world’s biggest meat producer, no doubt deniers will use it as an excuse to blame climate activists for ever having dared to suggest maybe Americans tone down our per capita 2.4 burger-a-day habit. (It's worth noting this number includes poultry, as well as waste, so the "average American's" actual consumption isn't quite this high. But still...)

Over Memorial Day weekend, five of JBS’s biggest U.S. beef plants were shut down, as were slaughterhouses in Australia (where it’s the county’s biggest meat processor) and Canada. Overall, JBS produces about a quarter of U.S. beef, and a fifth of our pork. The White House has offered JBS assistance and is dealing directly with the Russian government since the company suspects the cyberattack is coming from a Russian criminal organization. One commodity market expert, Matt Dalgleish, told Bloomberg that it’ll just be “a minimal hiccup” if it only lasts a week, but any longer and “we’re going to see disruption to supply chains.” 

Since that sounds all-too-familiar, no doubt deniers will be ready to blame environmentalists. Actually, it’d be a surprise if they even waited for real impacts to be felt before they start casting stones, since that’s their whole deal. 

For example, Steve Milloy, having defended tobacco, fossil fuels, and an unhinged Q-anongresswoman, and fresh off being humiliated by ExxonMobil’s shareholders, is apparently turning his attention to the agricultural industry. He recently took to the notorious bastion-of-intellectual-honesty that is the Washington Times to warn of “Biden’s coming war on farmers.” 

The Biden administration isn’t going to encourage alternatives to meat because it's so expensive, or because eating the apparent American average of 2.4 burgers a day would be terrible for your health, or because the large-scale deforestation of the Amazon into grazing land for JBS cattle (and soy) is not just illegal (and yet also encouraged) and causes terrible biodiversity loss, or because the forest and adjacent land is a natural carbon sink, it’s terrible for the climate. Those issues are all unmentioned by Milloy. 

Instead, he claims that the Biden Administration is targeting farmers simply because they “tend to be strong Trump supporters” who “project disproportionate political power in Congress.” 

That sure sounds like a pretty weakly justified and highly partisan motivation for a famously moderate President, even by right-wing news standards. So what’s the real reason Milloy’s imagining a war? Because this is really just all about PM2.5 pollution, a staple issue of Milloy’s tobacco-to-fossil-fuels-to-farms career. Milloy just really loves these tiny soot particles, which are found in smoke from cigarettes, smog from fossil fuels, and dust and other airborne particles from farm machinery, tilling, fertilizers, burning fields, waste management, etc. 

Biden’s not planning any War on Meat, and in fact, his proposed budget would increase the Department of Agriculture’s budget by 17%, with a particular emphasis on helping farmers and ranchers understand, adapt to, and even profit off a changing climate.

But the fact that Biden’s trying to help agriculture isn’t not stopping 😈 Milloy from doing a little war(on meat)mongering as his latest excuse to claim that the science of epidemiology is fake, and the EPA’s work on air pollution is a big hoax. He’s been saying that for decades on behalf of Big Tobacco and Big Oil as part of his unfortunately very real and well-documented war on air pollution science, so it’s safe to assume he’ll continue doing it until no one listens anymore.
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June 4, 2021



When Facebook Said Trump Posts Were Misleading, 😈 Users Shared Them Twice As Much

Media Matters has a new report that makes it clear Facebook is more concerned with looking like it’s acting on misinformation than it is actually doing something about it. 

The report looks at just over 6,000 posts from President Donald Trump over the course of 2020, and found the 506 posts Facebook put a fact-check label on generated over 200 million interactions-— roughly 400,000 per post. The rest of the posts tended to get much less engagement, with an average of 152,000 and a total of 927 million interactions. 

But of course it wasn’t just Trump himself making false claims. There’s a whole network of conservative media who use the former reality TV star for clicks, and who he would use for fodder. In 2020, Trump cited regularly-wrong-for-political-purposes outlets 868 times, but only 147 of those posts ignominiously earned labels from Facebook. But like the larger sample, those posts citing rightwing media that were flagged by Facebook averaged twice as many interactions as the others. More than 86% of the flagged posts, 127 of 147, were about election integrity. 

Trump is now banned from basically every social media platform, but Media Matters found dozens of posts from accounts eagerly posting Trump statements of anti-election propaganda, with little apparent recourse from Facebook. That explicitly anti-democracy disinformation is what Facebook has deemed the most deserving of labeling, which is why it’s such a problem that the labels appear to backfire. 

Because while the average Trump post got 152,000 interactions, and ones citing right-wing media slightly less than that, the ones citing fake news sites that were flagged got 291,000 interactions. Even worse, the posts that cite right-wing sources, and include the phrase “stop the steal,” a rallying cry of the Jan 6 attack on Congress, and were labeled as misleading saw an incredible average of 640,000 interactions. 

Now, one might be tempted to defend Facebook in this instance by pointing out that things that got flagged are the ones that were most egregiously wrong, and that type of incendiary content always tends to perform better, so the labels may not be backfiring. 

But debating the relative efficacy of labeling false information, for example by diving into Facebook’s claim that the labels limit Trump posts by a measly 8%, simply distracts from the point that Facebook doesn’t need to label things it knows are misleading, and therefore shouldn’t be shared. 

If it’s clear the post isn’t true, they can just remove it. That way no one else can be tempted to share it!

And if it’s clear the person posting it is repeatedly sharing things that aren’t true, their account can be removed, too. As the data here shows, instead of chasing various posts citing those supposed “news” outlets that just so coincidentally seem to repeatedly publish stories that are false but make conservatives feel good, Facebook could decide that such toxic content is not welcome on its platform at all. 

It doesn’t seem to want to do that though. Instead, according to a recent post, they’ve decided to double down on this labeling approach that apparently doubles engagement, putting up warnings when users go to pages that have repeatedly shared false info, further reducing how widely serial liars’ posts will spread (but still letting them post), and telling users when they share something that’s been fact-checked. 

Which all seems like a lot more work, and allows for a lot more lies to spread, than simply banning the people who abuse the platform in the first place.

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

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Jul 1, 2021

🦖Exxon Lobbyist: We Worked With ‘Shadowy Groups’ To ‘Aggressively Fight’ Climate Science and Our Carbon Tax 'Support' 😉 Is A Ruse 😈

Quote
When asked which senators Exxon is lobbying on these specific points,  McCoy said: “Senator 🦕 Shelley Moore Capito [Republican senator for West Virginia]… who’s the ranking member of environment and public works. 🐍 Joe Manchin, I talk to his office every week, he is the kingmaker >:( on this because he’s a Democrat from West Virginia which is [a] very conservative state, so he is, and he’s not shy about sort of staking his claim early and completely changing the debate.”

“On the Democrat side we look for the moderates on these issues”, McCoy continued, highlighting figures including Arizona senator 🐍 Kyrsten Sinema; 🦕 John Tester, senator for Montana; and 🐍 Chris Coons, senator for Delaware, President Biden’s home state.

“Senator Coons… has a very close relationship with Senator [President] Biden, so we’ve been working with his office – as a matter of fact our CEO is talking to him next Tuesday and having those conversations and just teeing it up, and then that way I can start working with his staff to let them know where we 🦖 are on some of these issues,” McCoy said.

He added that he targets senators like Mark Kelly, Democrat senator from Arizona, New Hampshire Democrat senator 🐵 Maggie Hassan, and Florida Republican senator 👿 Marco Rubio, who are up for reelection in 2022. “I can’t worry about the 2027 class because they’re not focused on re-election. The 2022 [class] is focused on re-election so I know I have them… you can have those conversations with them because they’re a captive audience, they know they need 🦖 you 😈 and I need 🙊🙉🙈 them,” McCoy said.


“The recording we’ve heard today only solidifies what we already know: for decades, 🦖 fossil fuel companies have lied to the public, to regulators, and to Congress about the true danger posed by their products,” Rep. Ro Khanna said in a statement.

Read More:

The 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon 👹 Hellspawn Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME. Since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID DOING THE TIME or PAYING THE FINE!  Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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July 26, 2021


In Denying Claim It Is An Exxon ‘Shadow Group’, Heartland Describes How It 🦕 Lobbies On Climate & Took Exxon’s Money

As you may have (hopefully!) heard, recently some Greenpeace investigators posed as Middle Eastern oil interests and tricked an ExxonMobil lobbyist into spilling some of the company’s (open) secrets about its climate lobbying. 

In a recent interview at Slate, one of the Greenpeace investigators Lawrence Carter told Mary Harris the Heartland Institute was one of the shadowy groups Exxon’s lobbyist said worked with to attack climate science. He described how “they really helped shift the whole debate in the U.S. on climate change to a very bad place. Exxon played a leading role in that, spending at least $30 million on these networks, according to investigations.” 


Well apparently the Heartland Institute didn’t appreciate that being said, and on Friday published a response “to fake news about its funding” that bizarrely, confirms exactly the point Carter was making.

Heartland’s VP and Communications Director Jim Lakely took issue with three things he describes as “libel” before going on to actually prove them correct. The first is Carter mentioning Heartland specifically as one of the “shadow groups” that the Exxon lobbyist admitted they worked with to influence the climate debate in the company’s favor. 

But Lakely asks rhetorically how it can be a shadow group when it is “a 37-year-old organization that communicates more often with more elected officials than any other think tank in the country, has a prominent presence online, produces podcasts that gained 7 million hits in 2020, is published almost daily in outlets across the world, and is endorsed by an impressive list of think tank leaders, elected officials, and other opinion leaders?” 

Hmm yes what a great point, how can Heartland possibly be a tool of ExxonMobil’s lobbying when it’s so busy doing all this lobbying for ExxonMobil’s preferred policy positions? Here’s a better question though: if Heartland’s not a “shadowy organization,” then why are you so mad about your connection with Exxon being brought to light? 

The second point Lakely disputes is expected, claiming that  “Heartland is not ‘misleading’ the public on climate science.” Oh? No, instead Lakely points to the “Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change,” the group's effort to create a 🦖 climate denial 😈 version of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

So in response to being accused of misleading, 😈 Lakely points to one of their efforts so transparently meant to mislead the public that even the name is an obvious knock-off of the real deal. What other possible explanation could there be for the otherwise communications-savvy denial outfit choosing such a clunky mouthful of a name? It’s like you got sold a Sorny instead of a Sony, and then when confronted about it, the salesman just says “What, Sorny’s a great brand! Much better than Sony!” 

Lakely’s third and final dispute is over something he actually acknowledges. While admitting that “Exxon was a donor to Heartland, from 1998 to 2006,” he denies that the group’s climate denial is Exxon-oriented.
 
How? Tune in tomorrow to find out!
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July 27, 2021


Did 🦖 Exxon Stop Funding 🐍 Heartland, Or Is It Just Using 🐍 Shadowy Orgs To Fund Other 😈 Shadowy Orgs? 

Yesterday we talked about the Heartland Institute’s 🐍 Jim Lakely taking umbrage  at the mention that the organization might be a shadowy group ExxonMobil has used to spread climate disinformation. After taking issue with two points, Lakely objected to the idea that the hundreds of thousands of dollars Exxon gave Heartland between 1998 and 2006 had anything to do with the organization’s climate (denial) efforts in the years since.

Lakely points to the climate (denial) conferences the organization has convened, and climate (denial) reports published, and claims that “none of that work, spanning decades, was due to any financial support from Exxon.”

Well, his next sentence admits that, yes, “Exxon was a donor to Heartland, from 1998 to 2006,” but downplays that the company’s “contributions of about $50,000 never exceeded more than 5 percent of our annual budget.” Which is probably true, given that Heartland was busy taking money from the tobacco industry, among others. (And in case you’re wondering, yes, they’re clearly still working on the issue.) 

But he admits they got some money from Exxon, so what did Heartland do with it? Surely Exxon was getting something in return?   

Lakely does not disclose what work Heartland did with the funding Exxon provided. What he says instead is that after Exxon ended its funding to Heartland in 2006, the organization still worked on the climate issue.

So Lakely really wants us to know that it’s not Exxon who funded a bunch of their recent climate denial. But Carter wasn’t talking about their recent work, as just prior to mentioning Heartland he was talking about how “the most interesting thing” he found from the sting was “the admission that day regarding Exxon’s battle against early climate science.” And then contrasting those early efforts (where they used Heartland as part of “this vast network of think tanks and other pressure groups”) Carter went on to say that he thinks “what Exxon does now is work through groups like the American Petroleum Institute or American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers” to advance their interests. 

Now the question is, if Exxon isn’t funding the group’s current climate denial efforts, then who is? Well, know that despite the financial hit the organization took as a result of an alleged mismanagement of funds by its former president, Heartland’s gotten plenty of dirty money in recent years. It gets millions from various conservative billionaires like surge protector magnate (?) Barre Seid and the the Insurrection-y Mercers, plus funds concealed through the “dark-money ATM” of DonorsTrust, which we know Heartland uses to hide its donors because they were caught on camera offering to do exactly that when an undercover investigator asked. 

But on top of that, in 2017 Heartland got $75,000 from none other than the group Carter mentioned as Exxon’s newest tool, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. 

Okay, so Heartland isn’t necessarily one of the shadowy groups that ExxonMobil is funding to lobby officials and propagate climate denial. Instead Lakely wants us to know that it was funded by ExxonMobil, and it does lobby officials and propagate climate (dis)information.

And then folks should be careful to note that the funding that supports Heartland's more recent efforts to lobby officials and propagate denial isn’t still coming from ExxonMobil, but instead came from one of the other shadowy groups ExxonMobil funds to lobby officials and propagate climate denial.

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #281 on: August 10, 2021, 12:32:35 pm »

August 10, 2021



🦕 Deniers Struggle To Equivocate An IPCC Report That’s ‘Unequivocal’ About Climate Change


The latest IPCC report came out yesterday, and deniers appear to be caught flat-footed by the “unequivocal” findings of human responsibility for climate change and fossil fuels' responsibility for the increasingly devastating extreme weather events we’re seeing burn down or flood communities around the world. 

Outlets you might expect to be ready and raring to go with some counter messaging seemed instead to hope that if they ignored the climate report, it would go away. Breitbart didn’t appear to cover the IPCC at all yesterday, but did find some time to put up a picture-based story about the Dixie fire in California that “both-sideses” the climate connection.

Fox, meanwhile, was mad that the Pentagon doesn’t want its soldiers needlessly infected with a debilitating and dying for no reason, while the Daily Caller was suddenly very interested in sexual assault allegations (against Cuomo).

The conservative outlets that did address it, however, clearly hadn’t bothered to take the time to read it (or even the coverage of it) and create anything new or specific to the actual report findings. 

For example, Marc Morano briefly remembered he gets paid to do climate denial, not Covid disinfo, and tweeted a few Climate Depot links with indecipherable tinfoil-hattery. But his big headline post was just a BBC story, with a 200+ word sub-heading in all bold (but different fonts and sizes) that ends with a quote from Morano, that itself referenced and linked out to a past post about a previous IPCC report and Al Gore.

The past was definitely on Morano’s mind, as he also tweeted a 2018 post of Donna LamFramboise trying to make a scandal out of IPCC process (as is/was her brand, though she’s now focused on covid disinfo) as well as an old excerpt from his book (which he’s doing a zoom about today, if you’d like to register…) and a 2019 clip of him in Congress.

Over at Watts Up With That, the reaction was similarly disorganized, consisting mainly of a discussion thread in which Anthony asked his crack readership for their help crowdsourcing lines of disinformation for future blog posts. He’s drawing a salary from Heartland, but apparently can’t be bothered to come up with his own ideas… 

Ditto for the Wall Street Journal, which simply repeated itself with a Bjorn Lomborg op-ed last week casting doubt on the disaster-climate link, and a Gerard Baker column yesterday. 

Just like an editorial they also published downplaying the report, Baker repeats the Journal’s mantra that Steven Koonin says climate alarmism is misplaced, and laments that the “modern journalist” aspires to “be part of the expert class, to identify as a member of the cultural elite,” apparently unaware of the irony of saying that, while being the former Editor-in-Chief and the Editor-at-Large at the cultural elite institution that is the Wall Street Journal, the outlet named for the literal epicenter of elite expert financial institutions. 

And on the “Most popular” sidebar of Baker’s column wishing that journalists would do more climate equivocating?

The Wall Street Journal’s reporting on the IPCC, which begins with a sentence quoting the report’s use of the word “unequivocally.”

The 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon 👹 Hellspawn Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, Government corrupting, human health depleting CRIME. Since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID DOING THE TIME or PAYING THE FINE!  Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on! 
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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August 13, 2021



Washington Post Lets 🐘😈🦕George Will Mislead Its Opinion Page Readers
 

The Washington Post does a lot of great reporting on climate change, and its opinion page is often home to strong pro-climate arguments, like this one from Tuesday about how with the new IPCC report findings, “climate doubters lose one of their last remaining arguments.” 

A day later, though, the same opinion page published a piece by their 🐘😈 conservative columnist and long time “climate doubter” 😉🦕 George Will that nevertheless presented readers with the sort of climate disinformation we’re more used to seeing from the 🦖Wall Street Journal

In fact, Will’s Post column was basically indistinguishable from the content on the opinion page over at the Journal, in that it outsourced its thinking to 🐍 Steven Koonin. A bunch of WSJ opinion pieces have invoked or been penned by the disgraced and debunked ‘Obama scientist’, and apparently the Washington Post wants to be more like Murdoch’s Journal so that’s what Will did, too. 

But Koonin is obviously no match, scientifically, for the IPCC. The IPCC reports are assembled by literally hundreds of climate scientists, and based on thousands of peer-reviewed studies. Koonin is an out-of-date physicist with zero climate science publications in the peer-reviewed literature. IPCC report authors are highly credible. Koonin is… not. 

In fact, Koonin’s blunders and debunkings are so plentiful, we could do a whole IPCC-style literature review of them! 

For example, the WGI, physical-science equivalent would be the fact checks on Koonin’s scientific misstatements. Dana Nuccitelli wrote a 14-tweet thread addressing some of the false claims and red herrings in George Will’s Washington Post column. In response to Koonin’s last media moment earlier this year, Climate Feedback tapped twelve climate scientists to review an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal based on his book, “Unsettled”, and found a variety of misleading and incorrect claims, for example about Greenland’s ice melt or wildfires in the US, both of which are increasing. 

Mark Boslough, one-time physics student of Koonin, reviewed his book for Yale Climate Connections, and was unimpressed, concluding by advising readers “to see crankyuncle.com for information about logical fallacies used by climate change deniers.” 

On the social science side, economist Gary Yohe examined passages from Koonin’s book, consulted with climate scientists, and wrote a detailed debunking for Scientific American showing how Koonin misrepresents the science on climate change impacts. For example, Koonin claims sea level rise isn’t a big problem because water levels have “been rising over the past many millenia.” But, Yohe points out, “while seas have risen eight to nine inches since 1880, more than 30 percent of that increase has occurred during the last two decades.” (And not only is sea level rise going to flood coastal cities in the future, it’s already started happening.) 

On the political science aspect, there’s former science advisor to President Obama John Holdren, who wrote a rebuttal to Koonin’s book by way of explaining the basics of science, uncertainty and policymaking.

And then there are the debunkings of the various opinion page pieces promoting Koonin’s work, all similar to George Will’s latest in the Post. Most damningly, perhaps, is a piece from a dozen climate scientists and disinformation experts in Scientific American making it clear that not only are Koonin’s scientific claims misleading, but his claim to fame as an ‘Obama scientist’ is little more than a marketing gimmick. And even then it’s hardly effective, as it’s mostly only working for far-right, disinformation-peddling pundits, and the outlets they inhabit. 

Mark Kaufman
at Mashable used a past Washington Post column by 🐍 Marc Theissen promoting Koonin’s book as the basis for a piece headlined “3 signs the climate op-ed you’re reading is full of 💩 it.” The “TL;DR? Beware poorly reported and dubiously sourced opinions, masquerading as respectable science coverage.”

Like everyone else these days, the Washington Post’s opinion editors know that climate doubters have lost. So why are they pushing climate disinformation on their readers?
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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September 8, 2021



Embrace Plastics Or We’ll Kill Elephants For Ivory , New 🦕 Pro-Plastic Propaganda from CEI Suggests
 

A couple weeks ago, we noticed that old-school-PR-man 🦖😈 Rick Berman, the kind of guy 60 Minutes calls “Dr. Evil” when reporting on him, was up to his old tricks in defending the beef industry in the Washington Examiner. 

Well Berman’s been busy, because now he’s also working on behalf of the fossil fuel industry to defend plastics, this time in a Washington Times op-ed. In the piece that opposes plastic bag bans, Berman plays up how wonderful plastic is (“masks, gloves, and syringes have saved lives throughout the pandemic”) and tells readers “waste researchers are seemingly developing new ways to recycle plastic every day.”   

Meanwhile, the industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute has also launched a new pro-plastics campaign, starting with a paper that claims that “plastics benefit wildlife and the environment.” 

Which animals are helped by the plastics that are literally killing them by the millions? We wish this were a joke, but it’s not. CEI thinks that if we weren’t using “synthetic products like plastics,” then we would “have to harvest such resources from wild animals—such as ivory from elephants.”

Yes. Of course. Either we let the fossil fuel industry dump its byproduct plastics into our oceans, atmosphere, and bodies, or it’s back to an ivory-dependent economy. No middle ground. Plastics definitely saved elephants and destroyed the ivory trade, and any reduction in plastic use now would mean we’d go back to using ivory for pool balls and piano keys and everything else. (To be honest, they really missed an opportunity to threaten that we'd have to go back to killing great blue whales for their baleen and sperm whales for lubricants.)

this kind of very logical and good faith argumentation really bodes well for the rest of the CEI campaign! CEI will also highlight the “value that plastics have for humanity, enriching our lives in many ways, including helping improve our health and ability to fight dangerous diseases, including COVID-19." And for their third act, they’ll acknowledge “legitimate concerns about the impact of plastic litter on the environment, particularly wildlife, and how we can address those problems without banning useful products.” And then finally, they take aim at “unworkable legislation proposed on Capitol Hill.” 

Through both Berman and CEI we can see the industry is fighting plastic bans with the usual playbook, with a particular focus on using recycling as a distraction to argue against bans and as we noted in the spring of 2020, using the pandemic to score PR points. 

And as we know well, the focus on recycling is straight from the very-well-documented plastic disinformation handbook. Back in 2019, the Center for Public Integrity published a lengthy investigation into the long war to protect plastic, starting with a 1988 plastic bag ban in New York’s Suffolk County, and continuing to the present. It has all the same tactics as climate denial, likely because people like Berman are behind the fossil fuel industry’s disinformation on both fronts.

For example, the piece by CPI’s Tik Root explains how “when Charleston, South Carolina, was considering a plastic bag ban in 2015 and 2016, the industry countered with materials that ranged from a ‘myth vs. fact’ sheet about recycling to academic research.” The industry cited a Clemson University study saying plastic bags aren’t a litter problem, but didn’t mention that the industry paid for the research and funds Clemson’s Center for Flexible Packaging. Recycling, meanwhile, is described by industry trade official Roger Bernstein as a “guilt eraser,” and a powerful one at that, as recycling has long been a successful counter to bans. What it hasn’t been successful at, though, is actually recycling plastic. 

“Today,” Root explains, “many US cities don’t accept plastic bags in their recycling stream because the thin sacks gum up sorting machinery. Just 9 percent of all plastic waste in the US was recycled in 2015, according to the latest federal estimate. That rate is almost certainly lower now: Cities were relying heavily on China to take the plastic they collected and finish the job, but last year the country all but stopped accepting those imports.” 

If these fake solutions, fake experts paid by the industry, and fake arguments about the benefits of a complete source of pollution sound familiar, it should! 

Because as Jim Puckett told Rolling Stone last year for its big plastic-pollution-disinformation investigation, “Plastics are just a way of making things out of fossil fuels.” Puckett is the executive director of a group called the Basel Action Network, which is focused on the international treaty called the Basel Convention. It prevents rich countries from using the developing world as a hazardous waste dump, and as of January 1, 2021, that includes plastics, which might be why the industry is ramping up its pro-plastic messaging. 

That, and, of course as Rebecca Leber wrote last year for Mother Jones, “🦖 fossil fuel companies are staring down a time when their signature product will no longer be so critical in our lives. As the world transitions slowly but surely away from oil-guzzling cars, gas-powered buildings, and coal-fired power plants, industry execs must count on growth that comes from somewhere else—and 😈 they see their savior as plastics.”

And yet, the best they can do to defend their savior is recycle old myths about recycling plastics, and talk about plastics replacing ivory, all while ignoring the elephant in the room that is plastic pollution and the climate crisis.

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

AGelbert

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September 13, 2021



‘Who Fact Checks the Fact-Checkers?’ Ask 🐍 Deniers Who Definitely Aren’t The Ones Who Should Be Fact-Checking


Even as Murdoch media in Australia claims to be turning over a new leaf on its climate denial, and the fossil fuel industry pursues new discourses of delay, like “wokewashing,” as Amy Westervelt wrote about last week, the sad reality is that whatever you call it, as Nick Cohen wrote recently, "The arguments change. The 😈 intent remains the same." It was true for pro-slavery arguments in the 18th and 19th centuries, and it's true for pro-fossil fuel arguments in the 21st.

For example, the 🦖 Republican Rep. John Curtis, who launched the Conservative Climate Caucus, just hired a new 🦕 communications director straight from the gas lobby. There is no difference between supposedly climate-change-accepting ;) Republicans, and the 🦖 industry that sows the disinformation that obviously climate change denying 🐘 Republicans repeat.

Similarly, when you look at the claims coming from professional deniers, whether they’re totally inaccurate climate denial or, at best, half true, the outcome is the same: deception. And their reaction to being called out? Doubling down.

First was the Willie Soon-led effort to try and blame the sun for warming instead of carbon dioxide. It's a pretty classic example of the most obviously corrupt deniers;  Soon has rather famously received over a million dollars from fossil fuel companies to produce denial, and the Sun was basically the first thing climate scientists had enough information to rule out when looking for causes of warming. There just isn’t enough variation in the Sun’s output to cause the sorts of changes we’re seeing, at the rate they’re happening.

And that’s such a solid fact, that even the report Soon himself cooked up couldn’t justify a conclusion that it’s the Sun not CO2. Instead, he was left to say the question “has not yet been satisfactorily answered.” 

Of course, that question has been satisfactorily answered, just not in a way that’s satisfactory to 😈 Soon, his 🐍 co-authors, and whoever his 🦖 funders may be. A ClimateFeedback fact check was as unequivocal as the IPCC in finding that Soon’s Sun-blaming claims are incorrect and misleading. 

In response, Soon of course didn’t accept that his view of the science is wrong, and instead sent a lengthy letter to ClimateFeedback, which was posted to ClimateDepot on Friday. In it, Soon and two of his co-authors, the father-son denier duo Ronan and Michael Connolly, claim that it’s actually ClimateFeedback that’s making “false or misleading claims,” and “spreading the very misinformation” they claim to fight.   

They go on (at length) to try and defend their work (without actually addressing the main problem, which is that it’s wrong) and invoke such wise incantations as “who will fact-check the fact-checkers?”

Who indeed? 

Here’s an idea: whoever it is, it shouldn’t be the 🐍 people who have made a career out of😈 lying for money.

Not that it’s going to stop them from trying. Because the other example of deniers doubling down is from the more nuanced side of things, as Bjorn Lomborg’s recent WSJ column on Hurricane Ida received a “half-true” rating from Politifact. 

As we pointed out at the time, deniers and their tools like Roger Pielke Jr. were (deliberately) ignoring the science showing warming is changing the proportion of major storms to minor ones, and instead focusing on the total frequency of storms, which hasn’t changed. So they can claim that a (strawman) alarmist or media outlet is claiming that climate change is making hurricanes more frequent, and then debunk that (unmade) assertion, positioning themselves as the smart and fair science-knower in the middle of lying alarmists and lying deniers. It’s using a truth to mislead, half-true but fully deceptive

And it seems that in conjunction with Politifact’s rating, 😈 Pielke took it upon himself to do a factcheck of 😈 Lomborg, who in turn had based his (half-true) take on Pielke’s graphs, and what a surprise! Pielke tweeted a whole thread basically repeating Lomborg’s frequency-feint and claiming that he was totally correct.   

Which lays bare the problem with relying on fact-checkers at all, when it comes to people like 🦖 Lomborg or 🦖 Soon who do disinformation for their day job. They’re not going to accept that they’re wrong and adjust their rhetoric accordingly. They’re going to double down on the deception, deny being wrong, and demand a never-ending debate and re-litigation of claims.

Delay is denial, after all.

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

 

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