It was around this time last year that I felt like Christmas had come early. As I wrote at the time, OPEC had just decided to punish US oil and gas companies for overproduction when they went hog crazy fracking everything in sight. The resulting OPEC bitch smack has essentially caused the price of oil to be halved (from over $100 dollars a barrel to the current price of $47.87 per barrel). Anything (even OPEC) that ruins Rex Tillerson’s holidays has to be a good thing, right? Well, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas again. Except if you’re poor, old, ugly and morally corrupt Rex Tillerson.
Now, thanks to investigations by Inside Climate News, the LA Times and Columbia School of Journalism into the massive, methodical and deliberate climate change denial “assembly line” created by ExxonMobil over the last 35+ years, we again find ourselves with an abundance of riches. Like a Chinese buffet, it’s hard to know where to start.
How about we take a chapter out of THEIR playbook and prosecute, harass, and litigate THEM into the next century, if we’re lucky enough to get one. Adding to our good fortune, the fossil fuel industry and their shills have an obscene oversupply of not only oil and gas, but also confidence and braggadicio.
When they’re asked to speak up about how certain they are that climate change is not happening and that it’s all some sort of crazy, big conspiracy by scientists around the world, they’ll trip over each other to get in on the sound bites and action, hoping to score points with whoever it is that writes the checks.
Congressional testimony? You betcha!
Sworn statements before oil-guzzling federal committees who welcome them with open arms? Sign them up!
Falsifying and altering government reports with climate data? Been there, and they’ve done that, too!
And, the frosting on the cake is that they are SO DAMN PROUD of themselves for throwing fuel on the fire that they just can’t stop bragging about it.
Now, if I were an enterprising, upstart lawyer or even a law student, I’d start connecting the dots, and by “dots,” I mean the money trail, the memo trail, and all those documents gifted to us by Inside Climate News, the LA Times and Columbia School of Journalism. Seriously. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, and if you think I’m being harsh, keep 2 things in mind:
1) They’re still denying that they’re caught which is insane overconfidence coupled with a huge misreading of how pissed off the public is – here is their “statement” about being caught:
“For nearly 40 years we have supported development of climate science in partnership with governments and academic institutions, and did and continue to do that work in an open and transparent way,” said Ken Cohen, vice president of public and government affairs. “Activists deliberately cherry-picked statements attributed to various company employees to wrongly suggest definitive conclusions were reached decades ago by company researchers. These activists took those statements out of context and ignored other readily available statements demonstrating that our researchers recognized the developing nature of climate science at the time which, in fact, mirrored global understanding.
The facts are that we identified the potential risks of climate change and have taken the issue very seriously,” said Cohen. “We embarked on decades of research in collaboration with many parties, including the Department of Energy, leading academic institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and others to advance climate science.” The company added: “ExxonMobil scientists continue to research and publish findings to improve understanding of climate system science as a basis for society’s response to climate change and have produced more than 50 peer reviewed publications on topics including the global carbon cycle, detection and attribution of climate change, low carbon technologies and analysis of future scenarios for energy and climate.” “We recognize that our past participation in broad coalitions that opposed ineffective climate policies subjects us to criticism by climate activist groups,” said Cohen. “We will continue to advocate for policies that reduce emissions while enabling economic growth.”
2) When they are able to create even the tiniest sliver of anything that they can twist and distort into a miscalculation or some trumped up attempt to alter the data by actual scientists, they (ExxonMobil et al) charge ahead, ruining the lives and trying to destroy the reputations of those who worked hard to understand what’s happening to our climate, without bothering to even look back to see what damage they’ve caused.
I’d ask each of you to please think about a few examples of people who might have perjured themselves, made false statements, and obstructed justice in your country. These legal concepts exist in most places. Slate’s Daniel Engber provides a good, broad overview of such offenses:
“How is perjury different from making false statements? To commit perjury, you have to be under oath, and you have to knowingly fib about something that’s relevant to the case at hand. (Your statement must also be literally false—lies of omission don’t count.) In contrast, you can break the false-statements law by lying about an issue that’s “within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government,” even if you’re not under oath. The false-statements law is worded so broadly that it can apply to almost any interaction a private citizen has with the government; in practice, it’s typically used against people who lie to federal investigators or who file false documents with government agencies.”
Keep in mind that dangerous speech is not the same as free speech:
So I’ve come up with a short list of just a few liars and crooks off the top of my head.
Marc Morano of Climate Depot for sure (May 31, 2013), clearly, George W. Bush and his evil Vice President, Darth Cheney, along with US Under Secretary of State, Paula Dobriansky (several years’ worth of perjury, obstruction and false statements), Andrew Swiger (ExxonMobil International’s Chairman and Production Director), who was joined by ExxonMobil’s UK Public Affairs Director, Nick Thomas when they spoke before the UK House of Lords in sworn testimony (December 11, 2003) with Thomas going so far as to say:
“I think we can say categorically we have not campaigned with the United States government or any other government to take any sort of position over Kyoto.”
Then there’s Christopher Monckton, who has perjured his worthless self and made false statements to the British Parliament and to US Congressman John McCain (false statements), just to name a few. There’s also Czech President Vaclav Klaus in testimony to the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce (March 21, 2007), and Patrick Michaels has perjured himself, as attested to in this signed affidavit (July 5, 2007).
Snowball Chucker James Inhofe requires a whole flow chart to nail down the stupid. And speaking of “stupid,” when the methane does indeed “hit the fan,” I’m betting Inhofe, who is a weasel, will play dumb(er) and throw anyone around him under the proverbial bus, blabbering about how HE’S been misled, he’ll fake dementia, whatever. It’s almost like I have crystal ball, or something, or maybe they’re just that easy to figure out. You know the kind…low-life, bottom dwelling sell-outs, never going to amount to much, anyway, except that they found their perfect rich doppelgängers. And voila, a match made in hell. Once ripped from that teat, they’ll start squealing like pigs and singing like canaries.
It is our moral and civic duty to punish these crooks to the fullest extent of the law. I’m talking about criminal prosecution. Jail time. And banned from any work related to the energy or environment sector (once they’re out of prison). I beg each of you – don’t let this opportunity pass.
Last December, I posted something called, “Justice delayed is justice denied: a contest” which told the short and tragic story of 22 year old Gary Ewing, who died in prison after being committed (for life) for 3 petty crimes. Here is his mug shot:
Ewing, and many other unfortunate souls like him, have endured unspeakable injustice at the hands of a system which just doesn’t know when to stop, always looking for someone to punish and throw into one of our privately owned and managed prisons. This golden gulag system is rapacious and ravenous, always looking for new prey. I think I can help them out.
Hammer: Meet the ExxonMobil Board of Directors, aka the nail…