Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to Mann, whenever we point out the private jet traffic jams at climate conferences, or Clown Prince Harry’s latest green PR disaster, its all part of a sinister big oil conspiracy to discredit climate activists, by making them all look like useless hypocrites.
As denying climate change becomes impossible, fossil-fuel interests pivot to ‘carbon shaming’
Aug. 28, 2021, 11:06 AM
- Fossil-fuel interests no longer bother denying that climate change is real.
- So they’ve pivoted to new tactics, including painting climate advocates as hypocrites.
- Drawing attention to advocates’ non-eco-friendly habits undermines their credibility and distracts from policy changes.
After Prince Harry told Oprah Winfrey that climate change and mental health are two of the “most important issues facing the world today,” the New York Post threw the words back at him. In a story earlier this week, the Post reported that the “double-talking dilettante” had taken a private plane from Colorado to California.
Sky News and The Times too, have lambasted Harry’s carbon-intensive jetsetting. All three publications are tied to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which previously denied the science of climate change. Murdoch is on the advisory board of Genie Energy, an energy company that invests in oil and gas projects.
London mayor Sadiq Khan, an anti-pollution advocate, got similar treatment from The Sun, another Murdoch-owned publication, for flying 32,000 miles (51,499km) between 2016 and 2019 and purchasing 4.3 million paper towels in a year.
According to Michael Mann, an atmospheric science professor at Pennsylvania State University, these types of stories are part of a larger strategy: Groups that support the continued use of fossil fuels have increasingly begun to point out climate advocates’ seemingly hypocritical behavior, rather than denying that climate change is real. It’s one of many new strategies the fossil-fuel industry has adopted, according to Mann’s latest book “The New Climate War.”
Mann told Insider that in his view, “2009-2010 was the last hurrah for good old fashioned climate-change denialism.” By 2019, 62% of Americans agreed that climate change was affecting their day-to-day lives.
“It’s beyond not being able to deny the science,” he said. “It’s now a matter of having to deny reality.”
Anyone else noticed climate activists don’t seem to have a sense of humour? Perhaps that is why some people find it difficult to understand that when we point out the latest carbon outrage perpetrated by our hypocrisy challenged climate heroes, it is not part of some grand conspiracy to make them look silly. We just think its funny.