Impressive work. A new report focused on corporate disinformation practices found that Exxon undermined science to profit from harm.
“We’ve dug into not just to the language, the rhetoric in these documents, but also the data. And I’d say in that sense, our analysis really seals the deal on ‘Exxon Knew,'” Supran said. It “gives us airtight evidence that Exxon Mobil accurately predicted global warming years before, then turned around and attacked the science underlying it.”
“It was clear that Exxon Mobil knew what was going on,” Wuebbles said. “The problem is at the same time they were paying people to put out misinformation. That’s the big issue.”
There’s a difference between the “hype and spin” that companies do to get you to buy a product or politicians do to get your vote and an “outright lie … misrepresenting factual information and that’s what Exxon did,” Oreskes said.
Is there really a difference? Exxon is using disinformation to get people to buy its products and put its politicians into office.
The outright lies maybe used to be different back in the WWI Propaganda Office days of Woodrow Wilson, but by the 1930s (e.g. the inexplicable rise of petroleum cars instead of electric at that time) surely it’s been the same thing.