01/27 Closing prices / revised 01/30/2022  08:59 GMT  |    01/27    OPEC Basket                 $85.31    +0.84  01/27  Mexico Basket (MME)  $70. 77    -0.90   01/24    Venezuela Basket (Merey) $76.96  (Estimated Petroguia)  | 01/27    WTI Texas Intermediate  March CLH23      $79.68   -1.33  | 01/27   Brent March BRNH23                                    $86.66     -0.81  | 01/27    Gasoline February RBG23                         $2.5886     -0.9%  | 01/27    Heating Oil  February HOG23                        3.2655   -3.9%  |  01/27    February Natural Gas  NGG23                     $3.109   +5.6%  | 01/20  Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)                       771            =0  | 01/30    USD/MXN Mexican Peso                       18.7881    Live data | 01/30    EUR/USD    Live data                               1.0883     Live data | 01/30     US/Bs. (Bolivar)  $21.9689000          

Big Tech Helps Big Oil Spread Subtle Climate Denialism – Mark Gongloff / Bloomberg

A bus stop bench submerged in floodwaters in Aptos, California, US, on Wednesday. Jan. 11, 2023. California faces more drenching rain as a historic drought has given way to flooding that’s killed at least 17 people, closed highways and sent residents fleeing for their lives.
A bus stop bench submerged in floodwaters in Aptos, California, US, on Wednesday. Jan. 11, 2023. California faces more drenching rain as a historic drought has given way to flooding that’s killed at least 17 people, closed highways and sent residents fleeing for their lives. (Bloomberg)

By Mark Gongloff

Fossil-fuel companies’ climate messaging may have changed to fit the new century, but the goal is the same the industry has had for  decades: to delay action and protect profits for as long as possible. Even in the face of an increasingly obvious climate emergency, this message still resonates with many people. Maybe that’s because the biggest social media companies help amplify it.

In the latest example, a study finds that industry groups, including an arm of the American Petroleum Institute, spent up to $4 million on nearly 4,000 Facebook and Instagram ads sowing climate misinformation before and during the United Nations climate conference last November, also known as COP27.

Some ads, such as those from PragerU and other conservative groups, promoted old-school climate denialism of the sort Exxon and others peddled for decades, contradicting their own scientists. Others were more subtle, acknowledging human-caused climate change while raising doubts about the viability of green energy and the need to quit using fossil fuels. Some warned a quick transition could hurt national security and cause inflation. 

Some of the advertisers were fossil-fuel companies themselves, including Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp., which bragged of green credentials while eliding how their businesses keep pumping carbon into the atmosphere. Many companies and petrostates used a technique known as “nature-rinsing,” or associating their product with images of sparkling, clean wilderness. The study, by Climate Action Against Disinformation, an advocacy-group coalition, was based partly on data from the publicly available advertising database of Facebook and Instagram parent Meta Platforms Inc.

These ads are part of a media strategy that oil companies and utilities have tapped in recent years aimed at dressing up their messages in socially acceptable garb. Maybe it’s placing sponsored content with big media brands or quietly pumping money and talking points to local news networks. Maybe it’s sponsoring climate-change newsletters, which is how we ended up with the debacle of Semafor Climate, a newsletter reporting on climate change that was twice sponsored by Chevron.

And sometimes the work is a little less socially acceptable, such as when a freelance ABC News producer reportedly was paid by representatives of Florida Power & Light and other companies to attack environmentally minded politicians. 

It’s also a reminder of the problem social media has with addressing climate misinformation. Most companies lack clearly defined standards or procedures for handling it, and transparency around how their algorithms promote false ideas is scarce. Twitter, currently run by electric-vehicle mogul Elon Musk, is the least transparent of the major platforms, according to CAAD’s metrics.

All these companies must do a better job of exposing and combating misinformation. Ad-tech companies, ad agencies and government regulators have a role to play, too. Their inaction risks weakening the world’s defenses at a critical moment in the fight against climate change.

After decades of fossil-fuel companies pushing what some environmental activists call “predatory delay,” we are running out of time to make the hard changes needed to avert catastrophic global warming. Today’s climate denialism may be more subtle — now it’s “delayism” and “inactivism” — but it’s still damaging.

Momentum seems to be on the side of denial. COP27 was swarmed by fossil-fuel lobbyists pushing their go-slow agenda, and this year’s confab will be, too. It will be hosted by an oil-company CEO from the United Arab Emirates. Another burst of propaganda to go along with it would only make necessary change even more difficult to achieve.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Mark Gongloff is a Bloomberg Opinion editor and columnist covering climate change. A former managing editor of Fortune.com, he ran the HuffPost’s business and technology coverage and was a reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal. Energiesnet.com does not necessarily share these views.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Bloomberg Opinion, on January 23, 2023. All comments posted and published on EnergiesNet.com, do not reflect either for or against the opinion expressed in the comment as an endorsement of EnergiesNet.com or Petroleumworld.

Original article

Use Notice: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of environmental and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.

energiesnet.com  01 24 2023

Share this news
CopyRight©1999-2021, EnergiesNet.com™  / Elio Ohep – All rights reserved

This site is a public free site and it contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of business, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have chosen to view the included information for research, information, and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission fromPetroleumworld or the copyright owner of the material.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top