URGENT ~ We Must Immediately & Rapidly Transition From Fossil Energy

by admin on January 19, 2022

Promises are no longer adequate, climate action is now essential ...

Some 450+ Climate Scientists Demand PR Industry Drop Fossil Fuel Clients

>>> From an Article by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, January 19, 2022

In a new letter stressing the need for an “immediate and rapid transition” away from planet-heating fuels, a group of over 450 scientists on Wednesday called on public relations and advertising agencies to no longer work with fossil fuel clients.

“As scientists who study and communicate the realities of climate change,” they wrote, “we are consistently faced with a major and needless challenge: overcoming advertising and PR efforts by fossil fuel companies that seek to obfuscate or downplay our data and the risks posed by the climate crisis.”

“In fact,” the scientists continued, “these misinformation campaigns represent one of the biggest barriers to the government action science shows is necessary to mitigate the ongoing climate emergency. ”

Organized by scientists including Drs. Astrid Caldas, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, and Michael Mann, along with the Clean Creatives campaign and the Union of Concerned Scientists, the letter is being sent to a number of public relations and advertising agencies including Edelman — the world’s biggest PR firm — and major clients of those companies including Amazon, Microsoft, and North Face.

“If PR and advertising agencies want to be part of climate solutions instead of continuing to exacerbate the climate emergency,” the scientists wrote that those companies “should drop all fossil fuel clients that plan to expand their production of oil and gas, end work with all fossil fuel companies and trade groups that perpetuate climate deception, cease all work that hinders climate legislation, and instead focus on uplifting the true climate solutions that are already available and must be rapidly implemented at scale.”

“To put it simply,” the letter adds, “advertising and public relations campaigns for fossil fuels must stop.”

Edelman has faced sustained criticism from climate advocates for its work with planet-polluting clients like ExxonMobil. Despite that pressure, the firm said earlier this month that, following an internal review, it was not dropping any of its fossil fuel clients, though it would take steps including establishing an outside council of climate experts to weigh in “on assignments and client situations of concern.”

According to Clean Creatives campaign director Duncan Meisel, the plans fall far short of what the climate emergency demands.

“Edelman said that they will use the best available science to evaluate whether they will continue to work with fossil fuel clients,” he said. “Well, here are 450 of the world’s best scientists telling firms like Edelman that work needs to cease immediately. Edelman wants to confuse the issue, but these climate experts are crystal clear: there are no excuses for continuing to greenwash fossil fuel companies.”

Dr. Caldas, senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, also denounced such “greenwashing” and other efforts by PR and ad firms that have “sabotaged climate action, even as the climate crisis worsens.”

She said “it’s clear the United States needs to sharply cut carbon pollution as soon as possible — by at least 50% this decade and reaching net-zero emissions preferably well before but no later than 2050 — to contribute to global efforts to avoid the most dangerous climate change impacts. But the PR and advertising companies that abet the spread of climate disinformation are standing in the way.”

Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, leveled similar criticism. “We climate scientists have been trying to raise the climate crisis alarm for decades, but we’ve been drowned out by these fossil fuel industry-funded PR campaigns,” he said.

“Greenwashing is a primary tactic in what I call the ‘New War’ on climate action,” added Mann, “and it must be called out for what it is — denial under another name.”


SEE ALSO: West Virginia Treasury Drops BlackRock Over Stance on Climate Risk, Alicia McElhaney, Institutional Investor, January 18, 2022

West Virginia’s Board of Treasury Investments, which manages $8 billion in state operating funds, has dropped BlackRock money market funds from its portfolio, citing concerns over the firm’s focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. The Board of Treasury also cited BlackRock’s holdings in Chinese companies for its decision.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Greta Thunberg January 20, 2022 at 4:58 pm

“We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change – and it has to start today.”

-– Greta Thunberg


WV Gazette Editorial January 21, 2022 at 10:05 am


Gazette-Mail editorial: Manchin needs to offer ideas on deadlock

Jan 20, 2022 — It wasn’t surprising that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wouldn’t back changes to the filibuster Wednesday after his own voting rights bill was blocked for debate by Republicans. Manchin has said time and again that he won’t eliminate the Senate filibuster — a measure for the minority power in the Senate to block legislation and takes 60 votes to end — because the consequences going forward would be too great. He has a point. If all a party needs to pass policy in the Senate is a simple majority, the country could be subject to tumultuous changes each time the party in power shifted, rocking back and forth like a boat lurching through a storm. But if Manchin thinks the filibuster is so sacred, he needs to be the one to come up with a way to get past it on important bills that doesn’t completely muffle a minority party’s voice in the future.

All Manchin has offered up so far is the refrain of “bipartisanship.” He points to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that easily passed the Senate earlier this year as an example that Democrats and Republicans sitting down and hammering out a deal isn’t so old-fashioned. That’s all well and good, but the voting rights legislation is a completely different animal. It would make Election Day a national holiday so people don’t have to take time off from work to go vote. It would hinder dark money in campaign advertising. It would end gerrymandering and allow mail-in ballot access for everyone. In a perfect world, no one would be against legislation designed to uphold the most sacred tenets of U.S. democracy in cleaning up elections and removing obstacles to voting. But the GOP long ago adopted the strategy that lower turnout and favorable districts are what keep their party members in office.

Furthermore, several Republican-controlled legislatures have passed a slew of state laws clearly designed to make it more difficult for certain people to vote. These laws have been enacted in the false name of election security, based off former president Donald Trump’s continually disproved and blatantly untrue claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Manchin can find all the compromises he wants — and, in many cases, he has — and it won’t get one Republican in the Senate, let alone the necessary 10, to break the filibuster and allow the bill to come to the floor for debate and a vote. Manchin has to know this by now. He also has to know that the Republican minority in the Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is never going to play fair. Lacking the majority he needed during Trump’s administration, McConnell led the charge to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, as he rammed judges through, including one month before the 2020 election, despite stalling out a Barack Obama nominee for nearly a year because, McConnell said, such decisions shouldn’t be made with a presidential election looming. Of course, McConnell is now all about the sanctity of the filibuster.

The Democrats have eliminated the filibuster in the past, too, to get federal judicial nominees through the confirmation process. It’s understandable that Manchin would have reservations about killing the filibuster for voting rights legislation. It could open the door to simple majorities passing all kinds of things under that umbrella in the future. But Manchin also has to understand how high the stakes are on this particular issue. Republicans are blocking a bill that basically affirms the future of democratic elections in this country. There are other modifications that could be considered, like returning to a filibuster where the opponent of a bill must literally stand there and speak, instead of merely signaling intent and walking out.

The threshold of 60 votes (which has been lowered from past standards) could be reduced again, and maybe Manchin could talk a few Republicans into crossing the aisle. But Manchin has indicated that he’s opposed to these types of reforms, too. So, now, it’s up to Manchin to come up with a plan that is acceptable. The filibuster is being abused to stop legislation no proponent of democracy should oppose. Manchin needs to show the way forward. If he doesn’t, it calls into question why he was so insistent on authoring this compromise legislation in the first place and how much he really believes in it.

URL: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/opinion/editorial/gazette-mail-editorial-manchin-needs-to-offer-ideas-on-deadlock/article_113990d9-3f6c-5bd4-bb74-909577c08f84.html


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