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“Fossil fuel industries have been important agenda-setters in many countries”

The Big Oil money hose, electric mailmen, the cardinal kiss


Oops! I went over Gmail’s length limit yesterday, ugh. Congratulations to all of you who clicked through to read the surprise twist ending.

Yesterday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s “mitigation” report came out. Thousands of scientists and diplomats have put years of work into affirming the First Law of Holes.

The report’s compendious overview of the policy steps that are needed are very much in line with the more accessible Project Drawdown—mainly because there isn’t a big secret about what technologies and policies to use for humanity to stop burning fossil fuels and deforestation. (For a complete wrap-up of coverage, I recommend the excellent Nexus Hot News.)

I was drawn to Chapters 13 and 14, which discuss what scientists have learned about climate politics. Scientists can now confirm:

  • “Individuals working in polluting industries tend to oppose forceful climate governance.”

  • “On average, a higher share of green parties in a parliament is associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions, and left-wing parties tend to adopt more pro-climate policy positions.”

  • “There is some literature emerging on environmental defenders and their need for protection against violence and repression, particularly in the case of Indigenous environmental defenders who face significantly higher rates of violence.”

  • “Fossil fuel industries have been important agenda-setters in many countries, including the USA, the EU, Australia, China, India, and Mexico.”

  • “In the US, the oil industry has underpinned emergence of climate scepticism, and its spread abroad.”

  • “Fossil fuel industries have unique access to mainstream media via advertisements, shaping narratives of media reports, and exerting political influence in countries like Australia and the US.”

  • “The ideological stance of media also influences the intensity and content of media coverage, in developed and developing countries alike.”

  • “Misinformation can rapidly spread through social media.”


  • “More research is required to further understand the causal mechanisms between corrupt practices and emissions.”

  • “More research is needed to understand the climate effects of citizen engagement and activism.”


In case anyone is still wondering where the money from those higher gas prices are going: ExxonMobil is planning to announce first-quarter profits of $11 billion, the most since 2008. Bailout Watch has more on the war-time profiteering of Big Oil.

Buybacks = Plutocrat money hose

This morning, Senate Commerce chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) is chairing a hearing on gas prices and the petroleum market, featuring an industry-friendly witness (Robert McCullough) and an industry lobbyist (Kathleen Sgamma). Senate Budget chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is looking at the broader phenomenon of corporate profiteering with witnesses Robert Reich and Groundwork Collaborative’s Lindsay Owens. The Republican witness is Michael Faulkender, a former Trump official who will blame Biden.

I’m betting the most interesting hearing today, however, will be Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-N.Y.) on electrifying the Postal Service fleet and why Postmaster Louis DeJoy has failed to do so.

Judd Legum discusses why NY Speaker Carl Heastie is standing in the way of the All-Electric Building Act. Could it be because the same groups pushing an Astroturf campaign on Facebook against the legislation are his financial backers? Hmm….

THE GREEN FUTURE IS BLACK: Aya de León is hosting an online conference this afternoon on Black Literature vs. the Climate Emergency , with a starry lineup of authors, activists, and journalists including Emily Raboteau, Grist’s Tory Stephens, Vanessa Nakate, Aniya Butler, and many more.

JERBS: Grist is seeking a new chief executive officer (about $300K). Matt Browner Hamlin, after seven years as Greenpeace International’s head of strategy, has moved over to Greenpeace USA as its campaigns director, and is on the lookout for a climate campaign director ($110K+). Mighty Earth is hiring a senior communications director ($96K – $127K).

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

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