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Media Type: Report / Policy Brief

Date of Publication: October

Year of Publication: 2019

Publication City: Fairfax, VA

Publisher: George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication

Author(s): John Cook, Geoffrey Supran , Stephan Lewandowsky, Naomi Oreskes, Ed Maibach

Pages: 15

Categories: ,

How the fossil fuel industry polluted the information landscape


Key points:

1. Internal corporate documents show that the fossil fuel industry has known about the reality of human-caused climate change for decades. Its response was to actively orchestrate and fund denial and disinformation so as to stifle action and protect its status quo business operations.

2. As the scientific consensus on climate change emerged and strengthened, the industry and its political allies attacked the consensus and exaggerated the uncertainties.

3. The fossil fuel industry offered no consistent alternative explanation for why the climate was changing—the goal was merely to undermine support for action.

4. The strategy, tactics, infrastructure, and rhetorical arguments and techniques used by fossil fuel interests to challenge the scientific evidence of climate change—including cherry picking, fake experts, and conspiracy theories—come straight out of the tobacco industry’s playbook for delaying tobacco control.

These key points reflect the position of experts studying climate denial and the history of fossil fuel interests, based on thousands of pages of documented evidence.

Read the full report here or download it from the link above.

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