BBC again yawn: How the oil industry made us doubt climate change

Lots of hat tips on this one Kim S, slow to follow, Willie Soon, etc.

Here is the subject of one email chain:

BBC’s Phoebe Keane is on it again … a long op-ed in BBC …How the oil industry made us doubt climate change

Linking to this article at the BBC

This response came in from Russel Cook and works as a guest post.


As ever, the hallmark of far-leftists is their intellectual dishonesty with the public and with themselves. In a very quick zip through this BBC article screed, I spot three very major disingenuous portrayals:

… Kert Davies … used to work as a research director at the environmental pressure group Greenpeace, where he looked into corporate opposition to climate change. This inspired him to set up The Climate Investigations Centre.

No, Kert Davies ran the Greenpeace-created ExxonSecrets website from 2004 – 2013, and his Climate Investigations Center is little more than a continuation of that effort to portray leaked industry documents as having sinister intent that dates back to the time when he worked at Ozone Action, pre-2000. Plus, my speculation is that his CIC was set up as a vehicle to provide citation sources for the then-in-the-planning-stages global warming lawsuits.

The accusations against Exxon and others ... build on years of painstaking research by people like Kert Davies and Naomi Oreskes

No, if a person chooses to do a basic timeline of Oreskes learning who didn’t like her 2004 Science 100% consensus paper, either from Erik Conway or from Ben Santer … or from Anthony Socci regarding ye olde “reposition global warming” memos and related material, they might be able to calculate that she learned everything she wanted to know about supposed fossil fuel disinformation campaigns inside of just a month or less. All the rest of her time from then to the present has been apparently spent on how to spin that into her Merchants of Doubt screeds.

… in 1991, the trade body that represents electrical companies in the US, the Edison Electric Institute, created a campaign called the Information Council for the Environment (ICE) which aimed to “Reposition global warming as theory (not fact)“. Some details of the campaign were leaked to the New York Times.

No, they did not. ICE was a creation of Fred Palmer’s at the Western Fuels Association, and the “reposition” memo set, including the targeting goal of “older, lesser educated males” /  “younger, low-income women” was rejected outright by the Western Fuels people (Fred Palmer never even saw it). Thus, this particular leaked memos ‘evidence’ is worthless to prove energy companies engage in disinformation campaigns. Btw, Al Gore claims the memo set was leaked to his office years before he claimed Ross Gelbspan ‘discovered’ them and years before Ozone Action magically ‘obtained’ them.  Btw2, Socci was a toady for Al Gore back in 1992 when Gore was attacking Sherwood Idso over ties to Western Fuels.

My official complaint to BBC over this Phoebe Keane problem is ongoing, although I haven’t received an update on the status of it in several weeks now.

 – Russell Cook

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September 20, 2020 6:43 pm

Amazing. They all knew climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 40 years ago and still haven’t told us.?The supposed “climate scientists” are all in with big oil too since they haven’t told us either, nor could they tomorrow.

Here’s a great starting point – it has never been shown to be something other than zero at current and recent levels of between 280 – 415ppm, the anthropogenic contribution, allegedly.

Sad people.

I’m going to make a prediction that because all energy from the earth is lost to space through radiation, that anthropogenic CO2’s contribution to global temperatures will be just on the slightly negative side of zero. This isn’t based on any physics – just the fact that losers always seem to lose.

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  philincalifornia
September 20, 2020 10:53 pm

I reckon CO2 has warmed the planet about 0.3 C so far, the rest is due to increased shortwave.

Reply to  Matthew Sykes
September 20, 2020 11:27 pm

Compared to what? Word salad.

Reply to  Matthew Sykes
September 21, 2020 1:22 am

“I reckon CO2 has warmed the planet about 0.3 C so far”

Do you have any scientific evidence for that statement ?

Rod Evans
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
September 21, 2020 1:27 am

Matthew, when I read your comment very quickly I thought the last word was, “software”
Maybe my misread is not far from the reality.

Reply to  Matthew Sykes
September 21, 2020 6:38 am

Matthew Sykes, you left out the hot air volume from politicians.

If that hasn’t “warmed the planet up”, then what has?

Ronald Bruce
September 20, 2020 7:27 pm

There is a simple solution to the persecution of the fossil fuel industry, pick the 2 most belligerent states in America, say California and New York, all fossil fuel suppliers to these state will have unscheduled shutdowns in their ability to supply these states for 4 weeks. With these 2 states closed down their populations are going to throw out their communist masters and the rest will be history.

Adam Gallon
Reply to  Ronald Bruce
September 21, 2020 12:30 am

No, they’ll be suing the fossil fuel suppliers for not supplying.
Heads I win, tails you lose.

Reply to  Adam Gallon
September 21, 2020 4:19 am

The method to be employed was used in the film, “I’m Alright, Jack’. The employer provoked a strike by his employees in order to claim he could not fulfil a contract.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Ronald Bruce
September 21, 2020 1:40 am

The official way to do this is to offer all users of the fossil fuel, a contract of supply.
The user must sign acceptance of product. on the condition they value its availability and confirm they wish to continue receiving the beneficial product.
Those who do not wish to receive and don’t sign the fossil fuels contract will be disconnected.
Once that exercise is done, any politician critical of fossil fuels will have their contracts reviewed and asked if they wish to continue to consume fossil fuels or not.
If the hypocritical politician confirms they wish to continue using the fuels.
The supplier should ask them to state publicly, that is their wish, or they will be disconnected.
The ongoing constant fossil fuel criticism would cease in a month.
Putting the above policy into more usual American clarity.
“If you want it sign here, if you don’t then STFU”

Reply to  Rod Evans
September 21, 2020 7:24 am

Rod, I like the idea. How can you sue us when you have a contract for us to provide you fossil fuels.
Simple solution. Hope someone in the oil industry jumps on this idea!

Reply to  Ronald Bruce
September 21, 2020 3:40 am

These states are going to bust like a cell overwhelmed with a virus and spread it.

Reply to  Ronald Bruce
September 21, 2020 4:40 am

“the persecution of the fossil fuel industry…”

Bwa hahahaha…

The richest and by far the most powerful industry the world has ever known? That industry? You think they need defending? Man have they suckered you. In terms of political and finacial power they are your “masters”, not the reds under you bed you dill.

Reply to  Loydo
September 21, 2020 7:19 am

In Loydo’s world, if you are rich that is proof that you can’t be persecuted.

If the industry was as powerful as your myths claim, then why do are they one of the most heavily taxed and regulated industries out there?

As to the reds under the beds, they’ve moved to the college compuses.

Reply to  MarkW
September 21, 2020 1:15 pm

“As to the reds under the beds, they’ve moved to the college campuses”

And as mindless trolls, like loy, on science forums.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Loydo
September 21, 2020 7:48 am

Actually, those who control the messaging are the masters, aren’t they Loydo – always have been.

Old Cocky
Reply to  Loydo
September 21, 2020 1:44 pm

Richest and most powerful?


Reply to  Old Cocky
September 21, 2020 3:19 pm


1) Trump violates 1A by blocking trolls on TT

2) But TT doesn’t “censor”/violate 1A by banning conservatives in the most capricious and arbitrary way
(every so called expert)

Thomas Englert
Reply to  Old Cocky
September 21, 2020 5:59 pm


Reply to  Loydo
September 21, 2020 3:15 pm

Louis XVI was
1) rich?
2) persecuted at some point?

Also the children.

September 20, 2020 7:40 pm

Russell Cook, you are a hero!

BTW, contrary to Gore’s claim, in his book, Ross Gelbspan was never a Pulitzer Prize winner. He once worked at the Boston Globe,, and while he was there weven other reporters at the Globe won the Prize. He worked with them, and he apparently thinks he should have shared their Prize, so he just pretends that he did.

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 20, 2020 10:28 pm


s / weven / seven /

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 20, 2020 11:42 pm

Thanks for the kind words! Yep, don’t even get me started on how Ross Gelbspan is essentially the public face epicenter of the smear of skeptic climate scientists. Once he got his propaganda snowball rolling in 1997, it’s been hard to stop right up to the present time. He still gets labeled as a Pulitzer winner (e.g. this 8 day-old comment ) despite how the final arbiter of that label’s application irrefutably says otherwise:

September 20, 2020 7:42 pm

My official complaint to BBC over this Phoebe Keane problem is ongoing, although I haven’t received an update on the status of it in several weeks now.

Don’t hold your breath.

A long long time ago I read a couple of books by our old buddy Noam Chomsky. What I learned from them is that the Main Stream Media will lie like crazy. When you ask for a retraction, they will ignore you unless they can laugh in your face first. I can’t see any evidence that they ever tried to argue that Chomsky was wrong.

Say what you will about Chomsky, I learned about East Timor from him decades before it hit the news.

Reply to  commieBob
September 20, 2020 8:59 pm

Chomsky has his moments.

Reply to  commieBob
September 21, 2020 7:21 am

Has Chomsky ever admitted that the Cambodian Killing Fields happened?

Reply to  MarkW
September 21, 2020 10:11 am

Not as far as I can tell. link

Even though I find Chomsky’s political views repugnant, I would recommend reading Manufacturing Consent. In it you will recognise the methods the main stream media uses to enforce CAGW messaging. Propaganda is propaganda after all.

September 20, 2020 8:33 pm
September 20, 2020 9:47 pm

Simple fix…. Defund the BBC.

Ben Vorlich
September 20, 2020 10:01 pm

Good luck with the BBC compliance Russell. It’s taken me a couple of months and two attempts to get them to admit they had a misrepresentation of facts on the lead in to a news broadcast. Anything about Climate change and you’ve lost

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 20, 2020 11:32 pm

Call me a lunatic optimist, but I’m not holding my breathe about the BBC admitting any kind of defeat, either. There is a real problem that BBC Radio 4 and producer Phoebe Keane will have trouble explaining, namely how their guest, ex-Greenpeacer Kert Davies inserted a racially-charged word into his quote about the alleged leaked memos that was never in the memos (regardless of whether they were implemented as guidelines for industry people to follow or not). The racially-charged word was prominent enough that Rush Limbaugh made a major mention of it in his response to the BBC attack against him:

“BBC Radio 4 vs Rush Limbaugh, Pt 2: ‘I don’t remember this stupid ad'”

Reply to  Russell Cook
September 21, 2020 5:20 am

I have experience of complaining to the BBC. Last time I had to wait for the complaint to be rejected then I could elevate to the BBC Trust (it was over 28-gate). The Trust simply supported the original rejection, “nothing to see here” and sent me a load of paragraphs with irrelevant “climate change is real because climate experts told us so ” twaddle, which was wholel point of the complaint. There is no oversight, they simply regulate themselves and never find themselves at fault (just watch their own Newswatch programme – never BBC at fault, no complaints ever upheld).

So I then tackled my MP with the material. He is a Conservative (and reasonably right of centre). He just said the independence of the BBC is not something MP’s can interfere with.

So there is basically no mechanism for controlling the BBC. Except decriminalise the licence fee so people can then not pay it. Dry up the funding stream – that would get their attention.

Schrodinger's Cat
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
September 21, 2020 7:21 am

I totally agree. As soon as they decriminalise not paying, that will be my course of action. I do not watch the BBC anyway since it has become a cesspit of wokery.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 21, 2020 12:17 am

Interestingly, the new DG seems to have started with a change of direction – coverage of the X-R idiots was almost zero over their ‘month of action’. Even down to the ‘stick themselves to the ground outside Parliament’ demo – they were clearly in shot during a live broadcast but no mention was made of them by the politics editor! An indication of things to come?

Reply to  AngryScotonFraggleRock
September 21, 2020 2:24 am


New Broom sweeps clean. Then rapidly turns into Triggers Broom.

September 20, 2020 10:51 pm

If you think the BBC is bad what about Sky UK?

Kay Burley of Sky News has referred to Tony Abbott, concerning his UK trade appointment, as a climate change denier on several occasions while interviewing at least three cabinet ministers. She wanted to know why we would want such a person working for us.

September 20, 2020 11:22 pm

The whole “screaming over CO2” is about distracting us from the destruction of the environment. So while exceptionally true for a shit-stain thrown in the dark the subject matter of the article is wrong.

If you look at the CO2 rise charts it follows environmental destruction pretty tightly.

Reply to  Prjindigo
September 21, 2020 7:25 am

If you want to oppose environmental destruction, the first thing you have to oppose is progressivism.

Martin Howard Keith Brumby
September 21, 2020 12:47 am


In the West, environmental protection and enhancement is the rule.
The only significant exception is the direct result of the Ruinable Energy fraud.

Of course, in the Third World (and in China), environmental destruction is indeed increasing.

But, Greenies always give China a free pass, don’t they?

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 21, 2020 12:58 am

Your official complaint will not pass the bbc filtering process that vets everything before it reaches, or not, the inner circle. You could try director.general at but probably the same applies. The organisation is willingly deaf.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 21, 2020 9:42 am

Quite likely true. But then there is the remote possibility that my buried complaint or the burial of others might be egregious enough to prompt a BBC insider to become a ClimateGate-style whistleblower, exposing how the top ranks at BBC feel a need to ‘hide the decline’ of their credibility by making sure these complaints never see the light of day.

Charles Nelson
September 21, 2020 2:25 am

defund the BBC

September 21, 2020 2:40 am

The article would fail any 1st year history exam.

September 21, 2020 4:59 am

See :
UK Subjects are forced to pay for this stuff. Looks like Sky does it for free.

September 21, 2020 6:06 am

The BBC really should be renamed the Propaganda Channel

Recently in the UK there has been more alarmism and talk of a second lockdown (to finish the economy off?) and people have had enough of it.

Van Morrison is releasing three lockdown protest songs and the BBC was on that…

Coronavirus: Van Morrison lockdown protest songs ‘dangerous’

Van Morrison song alludes to debunked conspiracy theory

By Olga Robinson, BBC Monitoring disinformation team

The price of keeping the propaganda bureau going?

Currently £157.50 per household

Reply to  fretslider
September 21, 2020 2:51 pm

The Baghdad Bob Channel.

Since Boris appears to be too weenie to do it, what about everyone just calling it that routinely, or even petitioning for a name change. That might get the elitist pricks’ attention, although yes, separating them from their salaries would get their attention faster.

Nick Graves
September 21, 2020 9:16 am

Feebly Keen and the PPC can go fund themselves, AFAIAC.

Of course Van Morrison is wrong – the “Gov’t experts” are now telling us that with the rise in ‘cases’ the death rate “will rise”:

“If this continued along the path…the number of deaths directly from COVID … will continue to rise, potentially on an exponential curve, that means doubling and doubling and doubling again and you can quickly move from really quite small numbers to really very large numbers,” Whitty said. (Reuters).

The sentence is not really Witty, more Weasely.

Reply to  Nick Graves
September 21, 2020 10:00 am

Nothing in nature can grow for very long exponentially. Anyway, I have been plotting the number of cases normalised by the number of tests for the whole period for which data is available (about the start of April).

When normalised by the number of tests, the number of cases at the peak in April would tally at about 120,000, compared to about 5000 now. In other words, if you take account of the number of tests when comparing “cases”, the level of “cases” now is only about 4% of the (unmeasured) cases back in April.

That’s almost certainly why deaths now are so much lower than April. April had lots of untested cases, only hospitalisations and serious infections were tested. Back then there were about 6,000 deaths per week, now just over 100. About 2% of the deaths we had.

And for those interested I worked out the chance of death from Covid-19 by age and gender in the UK. I used the population stats from 2015, so the odds are slightly better than given here. They 1/value are the chance of dying. Note males approximately 1.8 x rate for females. Discrimination, surely?

Male Female
0 to 14 Years 1530994 2918011
15 to 44 years 36749 55829
45 to 64 years 2575 5075
65 to 74 years 645 1269
75 to 84 years 180 325
85 years and over 57 90

September 21, 2020 11:08 am

The BBC writes

In June 2020, the General Attorney of Minnesota Keith Ellison sued ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Koch Industries for misleading the public over climate change. The lawsuit claims that “previously unknown internal documents confirm that the defendant well understood the devastating effects that their products would cause to the climate”.

What the BBC is desperately keeping from its readers is that twenty AGs already went down this road agaist Exxon and their case collapsed under the weight of its own dishonesty, as WUWT readers know.

The BBC later writes

ExxonMobil added that it recently won the court case brought by the New York Attorney General which had accused the company of fraudulently accounting for the costs of climate change regulation.

Yes, after the frauds had to abandon “Exxon knew” they switched to another fraud, which they lost spectacularly.

Never ever trust the BBC. On anything.

September 21, 2020 3:05 pm

Greenpeace and “Sortir du nucléaire” made me doubt that nuclear catastrophes are indeed catastrophic, or even seriously bad.

Nothing the nuclear industry said convinced me completely. Everything the anti nuclear crowd lied about did.

September 21, 2020 4:02 pm

They never say “How people who want to heat their home in winter and cool them in summer made us doubt climate change.” They always blame someone else. It’s always them it’s never you. Give the left their due, they are very good with propaganda.

michael hart
September 21, 2020 9:13 pm

Back in circa 2007 the BBC’s most respected news presenter/journalist was probably Jeremy Paxman. Politicians from both sides of the aisle would fill their nappies when told they were going to be interviewed by him. In the BBC’s internal magazine he wrote:

“People who know a lot more than I do may be right when they claim that [global warming] is the consequence of our own behaviour. [..] I assume that this is why the BBC’s coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago”

The head of Newsnight, themost respected late night news-analysis program also opined that it is

“not the corporation’s job to save the planet”

Other of the BBC’s most respected journalists spoke out about the global warming zealotry running rampant within the BBC:

It has only got much “worse than we thought” ™ since then. Those respected real journalists are now gone. Replaced by people who are only not afraid to question the climate orthodoxy because it never even crosses their mind to do so. They simply wouldn’t have got their job if someone thought they wouldn’t sing from the catastrophic global warming hymn sheet.

This is indicative of the wider problem at the BBC. They are legally obliged to be ‘impartial’ but make it clear that they decide what counts as impartial or even-handed. The governing trust is impotent, at best; staffed by people of the same political persuasion. Wannabe politicians who don’t have the courage to expose their woke political views to the voters, they prefer to subvert influential institutions from within and are effectively answerable to no one. Weak politicians have too long encouraged them by ignoring their political aspirations. It is only when the BBC touches some extreme live-wire topics (such as the State of Israel) that they learn to withdraw their tentacles.

Decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee is the first step to defunding the BBC and withdrawing the special priviliges they enjoy as a state broadcaster. Ironically, the BBC in its current form has exceeded the state broadcasters of many of the old Soviet nations: It is not even answerable to the state anymore.

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