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The Power of Big Oil (Part Two: Doubt)

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  • The Power of Big Oil (Part Two: Doubt)

    The Power of Big Oil (Part Two: Doubt)

    FRONTLINE examines the fossil fuel industry’s history of casting doubt and delaying action on climate change. Part Two of this three-part series explores the industry’s efforts to stall climate policy, even as evidence about climate change grew more certain in the new millennium.

    Part Two: Doubt

    KERT DAVIES, Director, Climate Investigations Center:

    In 1998, there was this meeting in D.C. It's convened by the American Petroleum Institute. Exxon is in the room, Chevron, Southern Company, with various think tank officers, communications professionals and right-wing libertarian professionals. They're hatching a plan to stop people from worrying about climate change.


    Less than a year earlier, some of those in the room had helped block American participation in a major international attempt to combat climate change. They feared more threats on the horizon.


    The plan is a wide and concerted effort to install uncertainty around climate science, to decrease political pressure by sowing doubt around the science. Their targets include media, members of Congress, schoolteachers, average citizens. The plan right at the top says, "Victory will be achieved when recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the quote, conventional wisdom." They said that it was never implemented, but what it shows is an intentionality—we need people to not care so much about climate change. We need uncertainty to rule the day.

  • #2
    Uncertainty is Judy Curry’s bread and butter.


    • #3
      Hey dumbass

      nobody gives a ****


      • #4
        The libertarian take:

        Earlier this month, Stuart Kirk, the head of responsible investment at the global bank HSBC, made headlines by suggesting that financial institutions should discount the risks of the climate crisis as the world could adapt to its impacts. He noted that Amsterdam was built on land below sea level, and suggested that areas climate scientists have predicted would be vulnerable to inundation, such as Miami, could be similarly adapted to cope with the risk.

        “Who cares if Miami is six metres under water in 100 years?” he asked an investor conference. HSBC moved quickly to disown Kirk’s comments and suspend him. HSBC Asset Management’s chief executive, Nicolas Moreau, said Kirk’s remarks “do not reflect the views of HSBC Asset Management nor HSBC Group in any way”, and reiterated the bank’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

        “HSBC regards climate change as one of the most serious emergencies facing the planet, and is committed to supporting its customers in their transition to net zero and a sustainable future.”

        Hayhoe, who has been a lead author on US national climate assessments, said Kirk’s comments seemed to reflect an attitude that was gaining ground among “climate dismissers”, who try to minimise the level of risk from climate change by saying the impacts would be manageable.

        However, the world’s leading climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warned earlier this year that continued global heating, beyond 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, would wreak devastation across the globe, in the form of floods, droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather, with swathes of the planet becoming unsuitable for agriculture and effectively uninhabitable, causing extreme harm to human society in many places.

        The "greed is good" cabal will have to be actively opposed if we want to save our way of life. Like the tobacco companies, they won't stop on their own, and will use every method at their disposal, including bribing government reps (like Manchin and the Republican Party) to stop the rest of us from taking what actions are necessary. Think of it this way: When you are dealing with the greedy, you are dealing with junkies. Their "junk" just happens to me money, rather than heroin.