Recently in PR Campaign Category

Contrary to that Other Web Site

Presenting contrary arguments to Petroleum Industry propaganda site.

A study guide for interpreting that other web site

1178137060_Global warming1.jpeg

That other web site: - seems to have one purpose: to promote and secure the use of fossil fuels far into the future.   This is a time when we are about to decide to stop further carbon dioxide emission.   Our future depends on minimizing CO2 emmisions immediately.

For decades now, energy companies have funded PR campaigns that try to deny global warming, deny the science and actively inject confusion into the discussion.   Now that the science is well settled - their tactic is changing.   They accept that global warming exists, then dodge the question of whether it is clearly human caused or can be mitigated. Then they move directly to a message that might be re-stated as:  “While we look for a solution, lets keep using oil and coal.”   They ask us to ignore the more aproper action which is to immediately lower all usage, and halt all fossil fuel usage as soon as possible.

They craft a deceitful message saying they want to be part of the solution.   Their strategy is to prolong the widespread use of carbon fuels.  Right now all climate science and engineering dictates the only real solution is to halt all the CO2 emissions - and carbon fuel is the biggest source.   Since the flow of carbon fuels is so highly profitable, their quandary is how to continue the heavy flow and heavy profits.


The way they choose to de-demonize their carbon commodity by connecting carbon fuels as the main way to save the economy - hence our future.   And following classic propaganda principles, they will discuss alternative energy - but never permit the difficult discussion of the most daunting solution: the immediate halt to all carbon fuel combustion.

The Amercian Petroleum Institute is killing our future - just to extend theirs.

ExxonMobil alone delivered $40 Billion to stockholders last year.   The API industry group spends millions on PR and marketing campaigns to keep the world burning carbon fuels and avoid facing the stark science of how CO2 damages our future.   That is so wrong, so unethical, shameful and such horrible corporate behavior - but that’s probably just business - stockholders expect a full effort to keep profits flowing.   Despite the science, they show little concern for dangerously increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.   That’s not right.

As public policy better synchronizes with climate science, we can expect the petroleum industry to use new tactics to mold public opinion, forstall taxation and keep their trade moving.   We might anticipate their messages such as “extending dialog”, “exploring all the solutions”, “energy for our future”, etc.   All this as a way to deflect and delay anything that constrains their business.

“CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of long-term consequences of continued business as usual.  In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”  - Dr James Hansen to Congress 6-23-08

This is Planetary Treason. And they know it.
They try to deny it.  Deflect it.
Global Warming is here.
Made worse by humans burning carbon fuels.
Stop it. CO2 levels are out of control.

They know they should turn around.


Change now.

The latest measure of CO2 in the Earth's Atmosphere
Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming and climate change.  Like no other number, the monthly CO2 reading is an objective and current indicator of how we are doing. The number speaks for itself.

Manufacturing Uncertainty:
“It’s all about questioning the science to gum up the works. The companies pose as if they are defending open debate and inquiry and are trying to make scientific data available to everyone. In reality, once they get the raw data, they spend the vast resources at their disposal to discredit independent research”

An excellent video is The Most Important Video You’ll Ever See

It was only a few years ago that scientists shifted their language about global warming.   Saying that it is too late to fix or solve global warming, that henceforth all we can do is mitigate future warming and adapt to the situation.   Adaptation and mitigation will soon be seen as squabbling twins, like oil and water - neither really gets along with the other - but both are needed for our future.


We can face our fate of human-induced climate change in only two directions - toward adaptation (the present) and toward mitigation (the future).  These act as agents to ourselves and our posterity; the present and the future. We will learn a new daily sustainability, but if we want future survivability then we must eradicate carbon.   We will have to reverse our greatest contribution to the problem - CO2 emissions.  Despite calls for cooperation between both approaches - the schism between them widens as resources dwindle.

Adaptation: process whereby an organism becomes better suited to its habitat.

Humans will be adapting to a warming and changing climate through new agricultural practices, making sea walls, moving populations from lowlands and drought areas, and generally trying to make ourselves comfortable as we face the increasing stresses of warming.   For over 8 billion people, adaptation will mean spending tremendous energy in order to reach relative safety, get fresh water, maintain health and agriculture.  The comfort of the past will be impossible to reclaim.  But there is a valid role for business and industry in the ongoing task of adapting to climate destabilization.

Mitigation : to lessen in force or intensity, as wrath, grief, harshness, or pain; to moderate.

There is no chance we can return to the Garden of Eden.  But mitigation - doing all we can to minimize the problem and not make it worse - is scientifically possible.  It must include a radical reduction in greenhouse gases derived from carbon fuels like oil and coal.   The mitigation requirement that we remove carbon from the atmosphere is anathema to coal, gas and oil energy companies who’s businesses all have a carbon waste-product.   Avoiding a harsh future of warming requires painful sacrifices and systemic changes that we must make today.

Curtailing carbon based energy is so contrary to oil and coal interests that they will do anything, join any movement, just to secure a place in a globally warmed future.  Indeed, stockholders demand revenue for this quarter and for all future fiscal years - no matter what the climate.   So these carbon fuel industries, automotive industries, and other watermelon-green campaigns (green on the outside only) become hearty supporters of adaptation as a way for their industry to counter any call to end carbon emissions..   Why not?

Today climate change denialists begrudgingly accept global warming as fact, and even join the adaptation campaign - yet will stridently refuse to accept that man-made CO2 worsens warming.   This works to define adaptationists as an exclusionary group that refuses to co-operate with mitigation by curtailing CO2.   To help cement this notion, Exxon alone spent over $400 million in the last decade fighting the public perception of global warming.   All the major oil, gas and coal energy companies fund a strong information consortium: the American Petroleum Institute.  Theirs, along with other media blitzkrieg campaigns have rained relentless salvos of advertisements, political campaigns and funding professional skeptics, denialist and consultants.  They can boast victory in their battle for their business future, public resources and a political power base.  Their support of adaptation and consistent funding of television and newspaper ads makes news organizations financially gun-shy about challenging the wisdom of carbon sourced energy.  Watch for their ads on ‘Meet the Press’.

The economic horror is that Adapters will be annoyed and discomforted by Mitigators, and mitigation can only happen by sacrifice of adaptation interests.

Growing polarization will see each side fanatically championing its cause: adaptationists will align against the funding of mitigation - thus keeping finite resources on the adaptation side.   Oil companies, anti-government politicos will join emerging Third World industrial nations to deny co-operation with the mitigation cause - despite the predicted hardship scenarios for their baseline survival.

The mitigation cause has only science on its side - the economic interests are not part of any company or bank.  Without the challenge, we can expect stronger promotion of adaptation strategies devoid of any suggestion of constraining carbon fuel.   It will be business as usual.  So we see industry-funded sites like - which may appear positive and helpful - but which act to polarize opinion by offering everything but the one best solution - cutting CO2.   This makes the situation worse, makes contentious and divisive conflict inevitable.

For right now, without a compelling climate catastrophe, the mitigationists must rely on intangible models, predictions and scenarios.  Without a current, widespread, palpable crisis, the case for mitigation is more like a dystopian sci-fi docu-drama.   Further, as humans lose the comfort of cheap carbon, we will find it increasingly harder to pull resources away from forces of reactionary adaptation.

Our vital struggle must link efforts of both adaptation and mitigation as crucial to a future civilization.   It is the essential role of government to calm this conflict and to join and co-ordinate human endeavor.   Too soon, the inexorable increasing pain will shift the sides and equalize the conflict.

Although few climate scenarios go beyond the year 2100, the political roots of distant struggles are being set down now.   Our struggle will eventually be unified.  Today we decide whether it will be a radically reduced population that prevails.

Richard Pauli

  June 2009

======= resource links ==========

Alaskan village of Kivalina vs. ExxonMobil, et al

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On October 15, 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Saundra B. Armstrong dismissed the lawsuit. On November 5, 2009, the City of Kivalina appealed Judge Armstrong’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On March 11, 2010, Kivalina’s team of lawyers filed the community’s opening brief. On September 15, 2010, we filed our response to the arguments of the oil, energy, and coal company defendants’ arguments. We expect oral argument in the summer of 2011.


This is a real David and Goliath story — the Alaskan village of Kivalina vs. ExxonMobil, et al,   A tiny Native American village against some of the biggest energy companies in the world.


You probably have not heard of this case.   Yet some law firms think it is the most dangerous case in America today.  You may not have heard of this case because the major news media is charged with being an un-named co-defendant.  So news organizations might not want to call attention to themselves for having helped Exxon in a conspiracy to suppress global warming news and science.  So it is possible that mainstream news coverage of this story would be lacking.

“I see disaster.   I see catastrophe.   Worse, I see lawyers.” - Woody Allen

It started in Alaska.  The small Native Village of Kivalina, situated on a small spit of land only a few feet above sea level was damaged by rising waters storm surges.   Storm surges have reached the edge of the village because the ice was gone; normally a thick boundary of ice prevented the sea from doing damage.   With global warming, the greatest amount of heating increase is up in the polar regions.   Already they have more than 6 degrees C of increase - enough to melt ice, and destabilize the climate in ways that make storms more severe.   About to be swallowed by the sea, so Kivalina decided to sue 24 carbon fuel energy companies that heavily contributed to global warming.  

Their lawsuit is starting to get plenty of attention. DemocracyNow interviews the plaintiff Attorney Stephen Susman.   The case is now before the Federal Courts - the oil companies call this the “The Most Dangerous Litigation in America”

The Kivalina suit asks for $400 million in monetary damages.  Kivalina lawyers are filing a public nuisance action for “defendant’s contributions to global warming through emissions of large quantities of greenhouse gases”


Perhaps just as important, the Kivalina suit charges fossil fuel companies with civil conspiracy “intended to suppress the knowledge of the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, thereby furthering the defendants’ abilities to contribute to global warming.”  And they are asking for damages from un-named co-conspirators - that could be PR agencies, think-tanks or media outlets  —  any media with a big coal/oil relationship -  possibly even those who made and delivered advertising.

This case is most interesting because the science is pretty clear, it is mostly CO2 that caused and still causes increased global warming.   And that CO2 comes almost entirely from burning carbon fuels - oil, gas and coal.   So Kivalina has named the correct defendants.   And furthermore, there was an Exxon conspiracy to suppress the science and influence public opinion.   Even today, the Sunday morning news shows are all sponsored by ExxonMobil  While this does not mean bias, it does mean news media might be carefully selective about handling global warming news stories.  Futher, numerous think tanks and web sites are heavily subsidized by Exxon and other carbon fuel companies.

 One legal analysis from an Oil Industry viewpoint summarizes the potential business exposure of this case:

“Every industry trade group, business association, and public policy organization that expresses any opinion, cites any scientific evidence, or dares to question the assumptions of the Al Gore-driven global warming model is part of the conspiracy.  As such, the company-defendants and the organizations are potentially liable.   Legally liable.  Subject to damage awards. Subject to court-ordered cease-and-desist orders. Subject to court-enforced silence.” - from

However this case resolves, it will set a huge precedent.   If sustained, then more cases will be filed leading to huge damage awards and substantially halted CO2 output.   If it fails, then there will be no constraining CO2 output and the heat is on full blast.  Kivalina is just one of many new court cases addressing global warming directly.   Exxon might prefer to settle the case and avoid prescedent - but certainly this could be a very common litigation.

Some climate science and politics blogs have been discussing global warming denialism and skepticism.   They note the well funded and coordinated attacks and strident denials of global warming science.  The Kivalina suit may legally force the revelation of the full extent of global warming denial. It is clearly a well-funded business tactic. And like the conspiracy to delay tobacco legislation, the energy industry conspiracy against science has been similarly effective.

By comparison, if we look to England, Mexico, Canada, Australia, even Japan - all are way ahead of the US in the public discussion and scientific acceptance of climate change.  The Kivalina suit may air the dirty secret: cultivating ignorance is just business.   Energy companies were working to avoid any constraints to their business.  Something they can do, unless the courts rule it a public nuissance.

Taken from the Kivalina v. ExxonMobil filing

Kivalina v. ExxonMobil filed complaint

The Conspiracy Defendants have engaged in agreements to participate in the intentional creation, contribution to and/or maintenance of a public nuisance, global warming. 

The Conspiracy Defendants participated and/or continue to participate in an agreement with each other to mislead the public with respect to the science of global warming and to delay public awareness of the issue so that they could continue contributing to, maintaining and/or creating the nuisance without demands from the public that they change their behavior as a condition of further buying their products.  At all times the Conspiracy Defendants were concerned that the public would become concerned by global warming and that the growing concern would force a change in the Conspiracy Defendants behavior which would be costly.  Delaying these costs was the major objective of the conspiracies described herein.

270. The Conspiracy Defendants have committed overt acts in furtherance of their agreements.  The Conspiracy Defendants have participated in an agreement with each other to mislead the public with respect to the science of global warming, either individually or through their various industry fronts or trade associations, and have included overt acts that furthered their intentional creation, contribution to and/or maintenance of a public nuisance, global warming…

Plaintiffs request that this Court:
1. Hold each defendant jointly and severally liable for creating, contributing to, and maintaining a public nuisance;
2. Hold the Conspiracy Defendants jointly and severally liable for civil conspiracy;
3. Hold each defendant jointly and severally liable for concert of action;
4. Award monetary damages on the basis of joint and several liability according to proof;
5. Enter a declaratory judgment for such future monetary expenses and damages as may be incurred by Plaintiffs in connection with the nuisance of global warming;
6. Award attorneys fees;
7. Award costs and expenses; and
8. Award such other relief as this Court deems just and proper.


The case was filed in Feb 2008.   I will try to update this page or link to news as it comes forth.

Some links for more information:

Readers Digest has a fine report on Kivalina, Alaska: A Melting Village

Marten article on Kivalina

Kivalina v. ExxonMobil suit as filed

One legal analysis of Kivalina v Exxon

Recent updated links - thanks go to

A filed motion to dismiss

Opposition to motion to dismiss

An oil company reply brief

Shell Oil reply-brief

Elephant in the room is named CO2

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Just like an alcoholic who refuses to admit the problem, the API American Petroleum Institute is denying the danger of carbon dioxide emissions.

The legion of hydrocarbon fuel companies is terrified that civilization will soon take the big step of defending its future by seriously limiting CO2 emissions. 

The option they offer is that we can have some easy energy right now and drill for more later.  Lost is the option of a radical carbon fuel cut back.

We should be hyper suspicious of the message dispensed at they seem to be saying "Keep using oil while we look for more"  and "Our oil helps the economy"

The science says all CO2 has to stop.  But their Marketing campaign avoids mention of carbon dioxide emissions.  But that is the most important issue of all.

Stabilizing climate requires near-zero emissions
H. Damon Matthews
Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Ken Caldeira Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, California, USA

Current international climate mitigation efforts aim to stabilize levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, human-induced climate warming will continue for many centuries, even after atmospheric CO2 levels are stabilized. In this paper, we assess the CO2 emissions requirements for global temperature stabilization within the next several centuries, using an Earth system model of intermediate complexity. We show first that a single pulse of carbon released into the atmosphere increases globally averaged surface temperature by an amount that remains approximately constant for several centuries, even in the absence of additional emissions. We then show that to hold climate constant at a given global temperature requires near-zero future carbon emissions.

Our results suggest that future anthropogenic emissions would need to be eliminated in order to stabilize global-mean temperatures. As a consequence, any future anthropogenic emissions will commit the climate system to warming that is essentially irreversible on centennial timescales.

Chart of the current trend for atmospheric CO2

Recent comment from 
...unabated CO2 emissions to the atmosphere would have climatic consequences that would persist for a thousand years, which they define operationally as "forever", as in the sense of "Irreversible".

It is not really news scientifically that atmospheric CO2 concentration stays higher than natural for thousands of years after emission of new CO2 to the carbon cycle from fossil fuels. The atmospheric CO2 concentration has a sharp peak toward the end of the fossil fuel era, then after humankind has gone carbon neutral (imagine!) the CO2 concentration starts to subside, quickly at first but after a few centuries settling in a "long tail" which persists for hundreds of thousands of years.

Big Oil knows it is enabling the problem and hastening our demise.  They know all about the CO2 elephant in the room.  They are just lying about it.

Bailout Reveals Epitaph for the Next Crisis


BBC interviewed experts about the financial meltdown; their words have been echoed elsewhere:

“We knew what was wrong, We just didn’t know how to fix it”

I can give props to monetary industry experts for honesty, although it was a very late conversion.   On the very day that Wachovia bank went down, was seized, then sold - Wachovia continued to show its TV commercial showing


people with cash raining down upon them from above. The unmistakable message:  “Easy Money!” This is a visual statement that even at the very end the monetary irresponsibility was still in play.  Or at least through the transition to new owners.

But there really can be no new owners for the carbon fuel industry.  Knowing what is wrong is something energy companies are working hard to fight.  Because they know exactly how to fix it - namely halting all CO2 output. Coal is the worst.   One could imagine a TV commercial with lumps of coal falling from the sky, like free cash, which in a sense, is exactly what is happening with soot particulates - but the cash falls on the stockholders.

When TV commercials stop spewing forth, then I will know something is really changing.   Since all TV commercial messages are expensive to produce and to present, they are financial investments that work to sell something we really don’t want to buy.   Like any investment buyers - viewers - should exercise great caution interpreting their message.

The first step in fixing anything, is to clearly state that you know what is wrong.

Years of Scripted Phrases for a Climate Denier


The Professional Denier's script
Purpose is to delay organized reaction that could limit carbon fuel consumption

For optimal delay - try to prolong time between each statement, begin:

"There is no such thing as global warming"
"OK there is some warming
        But the science is still not certain

"OK most ALL Scientists agree that there is warming
        But some scientists do not completely agree.

"OK I see that you don't really need to be a scientist to see the warming
        But it is not warming everywhere

"OK I see the data says average global temps are warming
        But your data collection is flawed

"OK I see that data has been collected for years just about everywhere
        But not the oceans, the oceans are still just fine

"OK I see the oceans are warming most everywhere
        But Antarctic ice is increasing

"OK I see the Artic ice is melting, and Greenland ice cap too.
        But that is natural cyclical change

"OK I see that there is no regular cycle to explain our industrial age
          But global warming is not really caused by humans

"OK I see the warming may be greatly enhanced by humans
        But we cannot possibly do anything about it.

"OK maybe we should try to do something about it.
        But it won't be a problem for another century

"OK maybe it is smarter to face the problem sooner rather than later,
        But we should not be overly concerned or act with too much haste

"OK we should be really concerned and start to act right now
        But we should not be too anxious or worried

"OK we should be worried
        But we should certainly not be alarmist

"OK maybe we should sound the alarm,
        but we should not panic.

( "OK that should delay things for a few decades, can we have our paycheck now?)
Richard Pauli 9-08

Two Lumps of Coal in the Green Linen Sheets


It’s like seeing a Heart Association 10k race sponsored by a tobacco company.

Two big coal companies are sponsoring the October conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists

The registration page lists the sponsors - the premier two are:
American Electric Power
Dominion Power

The Society of Environmental Journalists is a very active organization offering wonderful workshops, mentoring, classes and serious support for journalists covering all things environmental. Well maybe not all things. They seem to get into bed easily.

The non-profit Society has a multimillion dollar yearly budget — a pretty big organization for a membership of just 1400. From their non-profit filings we see that much of their revenue comes from renting out their mailing list. These journalists are prime targets for energy companies wanting to ‘deliver information’ - and explains why coal companies would want to cozy up.

When it comes to the environment, these two companies have a long, abysmal and controversial record. A quick Google search reveals why they may want to ingratiate themselves to environmental journalists:

American Electric Power is the largest electricity generating utility in the United States and the 35th-top air polluter — emitting roughly 88 million pounds of toxic chemicals that will combine to make acid rain. American Electric Power was in court starting in 1999 and just recently agreed to install $4.6 billion in pollution-control measures at 16 existing plants and pay $75 million in penalties.

Virginia based Dominion Power controversially worked closely with the state corporation commission to receive state legislation that gave Virginia’s utilities, including Dominion Virginia Power, “billions of dollars in guaranteed profits to build coal and nuclear plants … before spending anything on energy conservation”

The Society of Environmental Journalists might want to examine themselves first.

======== SEJ’s Thoughtful Response =============

Hello Richard.

As  executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists, I’d like to provide some accurate information  and clear up your misperception on the nature of the relationship between SEJ and Virginia Tech’s list of supporting sponsors for our Roanoke conference October 15 - 19.

By long standing policy of the SEJ board, SEJ does not accept gifts or grants from non-media corporations, government agencies or environmental advocacy groups. Our organization is funded by foundation grants, university sponsorship of the annual conference, gifts from individuals, and earned income (including dues, subscriptions, mail list rental, conference registration, exhibition fees and advertisements in SEJ publications).  

Virginia Tech invited us to bring our 2008 conference to their state and they pledged $160,000 to help underwrite direct expenses of the meeting (catering, buses, printing, and so on).  SEJ has raised another $200,000 from the above noted revenues to pay the balance of personnel and nonpersonnel costs of the meeting. 

Virginia Tech is very proud to be hosting and sponsoring SEJ this year. Dominion Power and American Electric Power are listed as “Premier Sponsors” for Virginia Tech because they are the most generous contributors among the companies, agencies and groups that are donating funds to Virginia Tech to help them fulfill their long-standing pledge to SEJ. If you look more closely at SEJ’s Web site at, you will see this relationship explained, as well as Virginia Tech’s list of other, including the City of Roanoke, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Smithfield Foods and Rainwater Management Solutions, among others.  SEJ’ s list of supporters this year includes The Roanoke Times, Animal Planet and Planet Green, the Hewlett Foundation, Turner Foundaion and Keith Campbel Foundation among others.  Many groups, businesses, industry trade associations, government agencies, publishers and others have written checks to SEJ in exchange for exhibit space at the conference and ads in the program booklet.

Dominion Power, American Electric Power and other Virginia Tech sponsors have no direct relationship with SEJ. Employees of these companies have absolutely no role in agenda planning for the conference. All SEJ programs are designed and led by member-volunteers, in this case conf. co-chairs Ken Ward Jr., environment reporter for the Charleston Gazette and Bill Kovarik, journalism professor forRadford University.  SEJ members choose all conference speakers and set all itineraries for reporting tours.

One final correction: SEJ expenses in 2007 came to $963,150  (audited figures). We rarely have more than four or five months operating funds in the bank at any given time. I wish we could be a multimillion dollar group, as we have a very important mission!  ”To advance public understanding of environmental issues by improving the quality accuracy and visibility of environmental news reporting.”  Indeed, I’ll have to get back to work on that=2 0goal!   But don’t hesitate to contact me for fact checking purposes in the future!  Accuracy is important to SEJ also.

By the way, there’s still time to register for the conference and all are welcome.  See for details.

Thanks.  Beth Parke, Executive Director, Society of Environmental Journalists


Thank you so much Beth Parke, I do feel like you have presented your case along with some good lessons in journalism. An improved analogy might be that of a track meet being held in a stadium that shows tobacco advertising. It may not be connected to the team, but they have to run below the sign. I am confident that when a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists covers the coal industry, they will work hard to ignore any imprints of the sign of coal. - RP