Oil Execs to the Big House Over Climate Change?

Tue, 2008-06-24 08:10Mitchell Anderson
Mitchell Anderson's picture

Oil Execs to the Big House Over Climate Change?

Should oil executives be prosecuted for high crimes against humanity? Top NASA scientist Jim Hansen thinks so.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Hansen said,

“When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organizations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that's a crime.”


Clearly many the scientific community have finally had it with being nice with the oil lobby…

For years scientists in their pedantic and thoughtful way have sought to inform the public about the growing dangers of climate change. For years, the oil lobby responded by hiring some of the best people in the PR industry to confuse the public debate about this planetary emergency. In that battle for the hearts and minds of the public around climate science, truth hardly stood a chance.

Indeed, the oil industry's efforts to delay meaningful action will likely go down in history as the most audacious, cynical and successful public relations campaign in history.

How successful? Lets put it this way, when Jim Hansen gave a groundbreaking speech to congress June 23 1988, he said the evidence of the greenhouse gas effect was 99% certain, adding “it is time to stop waffling.”

Fast-forward twenty years. A poll done last week on behalf of the Guardian showed that the majority of Britons still doubt that humans are responsible for climate change, or feel that scientists are exaggerating the threat.

The cynical strategy of trying to confound the public around science is of course not new. For years, Big Tobacco managed to delay regulation of their very dangerous product by denying the science. The tobacco lobby once stated plainly in a secret memo “doubt is our product.”

Sound familiar? Similar efforts by the oil industry are indeed the reason that DesmogBlog was started by James Hoggan - to try and expose this heinous effort on the part of some of his professional colleagues to conceal the truth.
But Hansen has a point in laying the blame, not at the feet of the PR industry, but on the people who paid them. The top professionals in any field do not work for free and clearly someone was footing a big bill for this sophisticated campaign.

As for jail time, is it reasonable to ask that oil executives be chucked in the hooscow? Law and justice often have little to do with each other and I am sure that these wealthy and powerful people would employ every trick in the book to avoid being held legally accountable for their conduct.

But the immorality of seeking to delay action on climate change will come into sharper focus as global warming proceeds. I have no doubt that it will one day be seen in same light as standing outside a burning orphanage and telling the arriving firemen that there is nothing going on and they all should go home.

Comments

=For years, the oil lobby responded by hiring some of the best people in the PR industry to confuse the public debate about this planetary emergency.=

Not true. Pennies can’t do propaganda. And the public is not “confused”, we are “skeptical”, because we choose not to be bullied by scientists and over aggressive greenies.

=In that battle for the hearts and minds of the public around climate science, truth hardly stood a chance.=

Poor truth; I’m tearing up. But don’t blame oil companies for your failure to run roughshod over the democratic will of the people.

=Indeed, the oil industry’s efforts to delay meaningful action will likely go down in history as the most audacious, cynical and successful public relations campaign in history.=

Spoken like a true zealot. We, the people are the enemy of hasty, poorly though out action. It is us you have to get deal with. Get used to it.

=As for jail time, is it reasonable to ask that oil executives be chucked in the hooscow?=

Sure. Why not? Put their spouses and kid in jail too. Forget about a trial as you just know they’re guilty. Time is of the essence.

After all, in the lust for power, environmentalists are only thinking about their great great grandchildren’s children.

I’m waiting for the grand exposé on the higher up oil company executive using his [fill in the blank] son’s/brother’s/brother-in-law’s computer to post this deniar/obfuscator pabulum.

Just to be clear, are you suggesting that a democratic vote can establish whether a scientific theory is or is not valid?

Fern Mackenzie

Maybe if they put these nasty oil execs on trial they could subpoena Jimmy Hansen to testify against them under oath. Oh yeah, I forgot, he’d have to tell the truth. Ok, forget it!

“When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organizations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that’s a crime.”

Well, when Hansen is made Emperor, he’ll get to choose what is and isn’t a “crime”. Until then, Hansen will continue to receive the derision and scorn he so richly deserves.

http://tinyurl.com/68vub6 Excelsior!

Rent a Troll has been at it again!

More of the same old lies, disinformation and deceit.

No evidence either, as usual.

Hansen complains that people in government don’t want him to speak. So when he does speak, he wants to throw oil execs in jail because they spoke. What a joke.

Hansen raises a good point in that the government has done little to intervene with regards to the affairs of big business.

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Disruption

This is a guest post by Zach Roberts.

As a documentary producer, I watch more than my fair share of environmental protest documentaries — probably about 20 a year. And almost all of them have the same, vague message: we need to do something!

Their scenes re-play like a bad video montage in my mind: earnest young people speaking at podiums, boring climatologists rambling on about the coming end of the world, forest fires, melting ice shelves, you know how it goes. In the lefty journalism world, we call this “preaching to the choir.”

Then there's Disruption,...

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