Climate science or climate change denialism have been apparent for some decades since the 1970s with Koch Industries being central along with ‘big oil’ of Exxon Mobil etc. in funding through ‘Dark Money’ academia, research, think tanks, media, politicians and PR techniques to influence society. Now we see the results including wide-spread climate denialism, avoidance of environmental protections and negative media PR campaigns; meanwhile the roots of this strategy have become more transparent with legal action following.
Dharna Noor June 25, 2020
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on Wednesday that he’s suing ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute because the three firms deceived customers about the climate crisis. This is the first lawsuit of its kind to name API and Koch Industries, and it takes a novel approach by suing them solely for the lies they told.
The consumer fraud lawsuit alleges that the companies engaged in a multi-decade “campaign of deception,” hiding the fact that they understood as early as the 1950s that oil and gas production contributes to climate breakdown and still chose to extract, market, and sell the fuels. It includes claims for fraud, failure to warn and violations of Minnesota statutes on consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and false statements in advertising. As retribution, it calls for Minnesotans to be compensated for their losses and for the defendants to fund a public education campaign about the dangers of climate change.
“We’re here suing these defendants, API, ExxonMobil and Koch, for hiding the truth, confusing the facts and muddling the water to devastating effect,” Ellison said at a news conference…..
….. But while other lawsuits have targeted ExxonMobil and other major oil producers, Ellison’s groundbreaking suit targets not just the polluting companies but also fossil fuel lobbyists who also deceived consumers. The multinational Koch Industries’ does produce fossil fuel products — in fact, it owns a large Minnesota refinery that manufactures about 80% of the gasoline used in the state — but it is also heavily involved in lobbying for the fossil fuel industry’s interests. And API is the largest U.S. trade association for oil and natural gas companies. Naming these representatives, rather than just fossil fuel producers themselves, lays out that they had a role in the deception as well.
Meanwhile in Australia, from SBS on climate change attitudes:
News consumers in Australia are more likely to believe climate change is “not at all” serious compared to news consumers in other countries, according to new research.
16/06/2020 by Caroline Fisher & Sora Park
Australian news consumers are far more likely to believe climate change is “not at all” serious compared to news users in other countries. That’s according to new research that surveyed 2,131 Australians about their news consumption in relation to climate change.
The Digital News Report: Australia 2020 was conducted by the University of Canberra at the end of the severe bushfire season during 17 January and 8 February, 2020.
It also found the level of climate change concern varies considerably depending on age, gender, education, place of residence, political orientation and the type of news consumed.
Young people are much more concerned than older generations, women are more concerned than men, and city-dwellers think it’s more serious than news consumers in regional and rural Australia.
Strident critics in commercial media
There’s a strong connection between the brands people use and whether they think climate change is serious.
More than one-third (35 per cent) of people who listen to commercial AM radio (such as 2GB, 2UE, 3AW) or watch Sky News consider climate change to be “not at all” or “not very” serious, followed by Fox News consumers (32 per cent).
This is perhaps not surprising when some of the most strident critics of climate change science can be found on commercial AM radio, Sky and Fox News.
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