January 13, 2021
CSSN Scholars John Cook, Geoffrey Supran, and Stephan Lewandowsky, with Naomi Oreskes and Ed Maibach authored “America Misled,” a look into the fossil fuel industry’s extensive history of misinformation on climate change and the strategies used to propagate said misinformation. (access here)
- Internal corporate documents show that the fossil fuel industry has known about the reality of
human-caused climate change for decades. Its response was to actively orchestrate and fund
denial and disinformation so as to stifle action and protect its status quo business operations.
- As the scientific consensus on climate change emerged and strengthened, the industry and its
political allies attacked the consensus and exaggerated the uncertainties.
- The fossil fuel industry offered no consistent alternative explanation for why the climate was
changing—the goal was merely to undermine support for action.
- The strategy, tactics, infrastructure, and rhetorical arguments and techniques used by fossil
fuel interests to challenge the scientific evidence of climate change—including cherry picking,
fake experts, and conspiracy theories—come straight out of the tobacco industry’s playbook for
delaying tobacco control.”