Sunday, July 31, 2016

An etiquette guide to interacting with fossil fuel corporations

One may display various fingers when conversing with fossil fuel interests

So, dear reader, you would like to know how to respond to overtures from Rex Tillerson and other fossil fuel CEOs to you. This has certainly come up with the Democratic National Convention and with Democratic speakers at media events held by The Atlantic, Washington Post, and Politico but sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute. About as alarmingly, the same thing happened at the Republican convention, except that The Atlantic "couldn't find" people on the panel who would represent climate change as real (apparently the other media panels at the RNC had the same problem). The Petroleum Institute got to make opening remarks and distribute propaganda at the events.

So, what to do? You can and should talk to them, but you shouldn't take their money. DNC wasn't taking their money AFAICT, but media companies definitely were. This doesn't have the same wall between advertising and news that publications typically have (and I'm not totally trusting of that wall in any event). Media is screwing up.

As for DNC types attending and speaking, I think the argument for showing up or not are mostly in balance, provided however, that if you show up, you should note that API is no disinterested party and not part of a normal business segment but more like a tobacco industry nonprofit.

So talk to them, don't take their money, and make mention of the issue if you are at a forum sponsored by their money.

Unrelated update:  this MSNBC interview of the Khan family about their Muslim son's sacrifice and Donald Trump is even more moving than the speech at the DNC.

Related update:  sometimes equivalency isn't false. If invited to speak on the RT Network, you should mention on-air that it's a biased tool of the Russian government. I'm not sure if there's payment for appearances, but taking RT's money in return for appearing strikes me as a bad idea.


EliRabett said...

Eli is quite fond of Jesse Unruh's take on this:"If you can't eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, take their money and then vote against them you've got no business being up here."

OTOH Steve Clemons who ran the Atlantic API show is a tool of longstanding.

Susan Anderson said...

I'm glad you brought this up. I read about it and was sickened. Eli has the right of it. Still, it's worth noting that reality barely enters the conversation lately. I will hope that real pressure will be brought on Hillary to get better climate advice. Her current group is not encouraging to me, or I would guess to anyone who watches the bigger picture.


Pardon my palaeocon schadenfreude, but it seems the axis of weevils has poked through the paneling at The Atlantic:

John Frum is on the masthead.

Fernando Leanme said...

I've suggested we create "The People's Energy Institute" to funnel funds to the appropriate individuals and causes. The institute would be funded by having its 12 staffers provide consulting services to the Azerbaijan People's Power Party and other outfits we would create and fund with dollar accounts in Dominican banks.

Hank Roberts said...

Wait, isn't John Frum on The Pacific?

"THE IDEAS FACTORY: On Human Capitalism - Conservative Review
Jan 4, 2016 - (One would be incorrect to infer a relationship between John Frum and the Atlantic Monthly's conservative apostate David Frum … although ...


Relax, Hank- however weevily it my wobble , it takes two ends to define an axis