Fool Me Thrice: How the Oil Industry Has Avoided Responsibility for Over a Century of Climate Damages

Author: Jada H

Caption: Since the early 1900s, the oil industry has doggedly prioritized pursuing profits over mitigating their growing negative impact on the environment. Despite having been some of the earliest individuals to study and become aware of the potential ecological harm at the hand of extensive fossil fuel extraction, transportation, refinement, and usage, oil industry executives have worked tirelessly to prevent the popularization and acceptance of this knowledge. This paper discusses the various strategies historically employed by oil companies in their crusade against government regulations and social disapproval, including feigning concern and expertise, deflecting, and, most prevalently, misinforming and casting doubt. Though all of the aforementioned approaches have been used in conjunction since the 1900s, enabling the formation of an intricate and believable narrative, this paper seeks to isolate particular instances in which each form of manipulation was notably productive for the industry’s agenda.

Tags: Doubt as a Tool

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