Fossil fuel interests are using the same strategies (and even strategists!) that the cigarette industry once used.
It takes a lot to defy common sense on a global scale, all to benefit one industry. But for decades, fossil fuel interests have done just that, running a sophisticated and sprawling network of well-funded think tanks and front groups with one goal: Stop any real climate action, no matter the cost to billions.
In 1964, US Surgeon General Luther Terry released a landmark report that would drastically change American society. Having reviewed over 7,000 articles on smoking and disease, he confidently concluded that cigarettes were indeed causing a lung cancer epidemic that was impossible to ignore.
This reality may have dismayed tobacco industry executives, but it definitely didn’t stop them from carrying on business as usual.
In fact, in a radical effort to protect their product, cigarette companies launched a massive misinformation campaign that successfully shrouded the truth for years. These companies used their soaring budgets to create industrial-grade doubt, suppressing life-saving science in the process.
The craziest part of that story? That today the exact same scenario is unfolding before our eyes. Fossil fuel interests are using the same strategies (and even strategists!) that the cigarette industry once used to deceive the public and protect their profits.
The difference? This time around, it’s not just smokers’ lives in danger. It’s everyone’s – and the stakes could not be higher. Just as this past June and July were recorded as the hottest ever, the climate denial machine continues to churn out junk-science, protecting what should be a fossilized dirty-energy industry.