Big Oil = Big Tobacco

The gist of the article is that just like Big Tobacco did, Big Oil is creating a dangerous mass of liability through its history of deception about the dangers its products present. Big Tobacco lied to the public, downplayed the health risks, funded contrarian science, and promoted unproven ideas to protect its market. Big Oil has done the same. For decades.

If it is any comfort, think of the looming wave of financial accountability for the lying liars of Big Oil as being a case of bullshit eventually losing out in the “marketplace of ideas.”

As an aside, the article points out that the Heartland Institute played a similar deceptive role as a cut-out for both Big Oil and for Big Tobacco.

33 thoughts on “Big Oil = Big Tobacco

    1. “Go ahead and try.”

      No need. That burning fossil fuel causes climate change has been proven and accepted by all reputable scientists and honest politicians. The only questions subject to debate are “by how much?” and “does it matter?”

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good luck with that. You’re going to have to show net damages.

    So, let’s imagine a world with horseback being the fastest travel, wood burning fireplaces for warmth and no chemical fertilizers or plastics.

    I’ll take the other side of that suit and sue those who obstruct fossil fuel extraction.



    Tobacco causes cancer; Trump lost the election; burning fossil fuels causes global warming. Every single one of those things were/are proven facts and yet, even today, there are people who refuse to believe any of it because tobacco companies/Trump/oil companies wouldn’t lie. It’s you libtards that are lying.

    Global warming is like gravity. It doesn’t care whether you believe in it or not. Fvck around with it and it will kill you.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. When fossil fuels are burned, they release large amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the air. Greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere, causing global warming. Already the average global temperature has increased by 1C.

        If I felt like it, I could access scientific academic databases with millions of studies, thesis, peer reviewed articles with statistics and scientific jargon neither one of us understands. But I don’t feel like it. I’m tired of arguing the point. Pick up a newspaper and read about an ice avalanche in Italy, floods in Australia, wildfires in Alaska, and a heat wave in the west:

        And no, burning wood and riding horses wouldn’t make any difference. The real problem is overpopulation. If the world population levels were what they were in the 1800s, we could burn all the fossil fuels we wanted and the planet could clean up our mess. Problem is, there are now so many people doing the polluting, the Earth’s filters can’t clean up the air and water as fast as we can pollute it.

        And, yes, government regulations have worked. Remember smog? There was a time when you couldn’t see the Sun in places like LA. We actually had a horrific smog attack in Virginia in the early 60s. I remember one morning was so bad, my City Editor called my house and said he was coming to pick me up because the smog was so thick, it was too dangerous for me to try to drive to work. That’s how bad air quality was in those days.

        I also remember the first time I ever crossed the Mississippi River. There was a sign on the bridge that read: “Do not throw cigarettes or lighted matches off the bridge. Water is flammable.” And it was!

        We have done a decent job of cleaning up the waterways and the air but it’s an uphill fight and we’re losing the battle. We may have even lost. Some people think we are already past the tipping point. Sea levels are rising. Ice bergs the size of Massachusetts are breaking off in the Arctic. There’s nothing we can do to stop it now.

        So, eat, drink, and be merry. Believe in climate change or don’t believe in climate change. It’s gonna kill us in 30 to 50 years whether we believe in it or not. I don’t expect to be around that long anyway, but I would like to think I wasn’t leaving the place so polluted no future generations could live here.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Since you are taking a serious approach on this, it deserves a serious answer. First, I will offer a really great resource on the science of climate, it is by far the best page you will find on the topic written for an educated but not professional audience.

          Cold Facts on Global Warming.

          While it is true that CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas IN A DRY ATMOSPHERE, we don’t have one of those. Most of the effect of CO2 is masked by water vapor, Further, Beer’s Law applies. Absorption declines logarithmically with concentration,

          Saturation is best understood with an analogy, but the cite I offered goes into technical detail.

          Imagine you are sleeping outdoors on a clear cold night. Covering yourself with a blanket makes a big difference. If you’re still cold a second blanket will warm you but not as much as the first. A third will be hardly noticeable. Each successive blanket males less difference, It’s the same with CO2, each doubling makes less and less difference. CO2 has already done about as much as it is capable of doing.

          Finally, the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere that comes from burning liquid petroleum is really very small. Natural sources account for most CO2, and of those from human activities, cement manufacture, fertilizer manufacture and coal account for many times more than liquid fuels.

          So, in the end, a conversion to EV’s and eliminating nearly all air travel will make very little difference, it’s been estimated at 0.004 degrees Celsius in 100 years. Is that worth giving up our economy and our modern world?


          1. How about CONVERTING the economy? You keep the “sky is falling” attitude if we convert to cleaner energy alternatives without taking into account that the market is shifting. SO when your kids’ and grandkids’ retirement accounts blossom because of investments in green tech, you can look down on them from above and declare they were savvy investors and your inheritance to them, while beneficial, was only the seeds for further economic stability.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Is there anything going on in science that this fellow does not have a contrarian opinion about?

            But, he at least admits the core fact. . . “carbon dioxide is capable of raising the Earth’s overall temperature”

            “Natural sources account for most CO2”
            I hope you know that is a pretty lame argument.
            Your contrarian gives us the ratio . . . “about 14.8% of the total CO2 is man-made.” That is a significant portion and signifcant changes in that significant portion can be – well – significant.

            As for the greenhouse effect of CO2 being masked by the effect of water vapor, doesn’t water vapor increase with temperature? And we know that “carbon dioxide is capable of raising the Earth’s overall temperature.”

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Unconstrained positive feedback loops do not exist in nature. If you don’t understand why and its significance, you are not prepared for this debate.


          4. “If you don’t understand why and its significance, you are not prepared for this debate.”

            Well, excuuuuuuse me, professor!

            From my unprepared point of view, you constantly link to articles by contrarians and take their contrarian analyses as holy writ. They may not be able to persuade the scientific community, but they have no trouble convincing those who really, really want to believe them.

            And by the way, if I had suggested that an increase in CO2 causes an increase in water vapor and that, in turn, the increase in water vapor causes an increase in CO2 ad infinitum, then I would have been suggesting a positive feedback loop. But I did not. So maybe instead of accusing me of missing an important concept, you should refine your own understanding first?

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Taking CO2 out of the loop, if increasing temperature meant increasing water vapor, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, which warmed us and meant more water vapor, that would be a positive feedback loop.

            But increased water vapor also means increased adiabatic circulation which means more and earlier thunderstorms, which are powerful cooling mechanisms.

            The positive feedback loop is, in fact, constrained by a stronger negative feedback.

            None of the models allow for the earlier timing of tropical thunderstorms, an effect discovered by Willis Eisenbach, a citizen skeptic and yachtsman.

            That was a powerful negative feedback that is obvious once you see it yet was not recognized by the experts at all.

            Those contrarians are necessary to drive the experts toward truth. When one point of view can’t be questioned, you never know if you’re right or not.


          6. One of your favorite words lately has been consensus. Yet when it comes to climate change, consensus means nothing. Unless it leads to YOUR predetermined outcome.


          7. You postulated a water vapor feedback loop.

            I have explained that fallacy many times here and in the Pilot before. Especially with Al. Going back over the same thing over and over is tiring and a waste of time.


          8. “You postulated a water vapor feedback loop.”

            No, I did not. I postulated nothing. I simply noted that one consequence of more CO2 is SOME warming which will increase water vapor which you were saying was far more important as a greenhouse gas. Where is the feedback loop in that?

            Liked by 1 person

          9. The consensus for 50 years was that eating eggs raised your cholesterol.

            My physiology prof told me 50 years ago that was bullshit. He was right, the consensus was wrong.


          10. The consensus was wrong all along.

            The consensus was that because eggs (and steak and bacon, and pretty much everything good) had cholesterol in them, then eating them resulted in high cholesterol in your blood. But because it seemed so obvious, no one bothered to test the consensus. When low cholesterol diets failed to lower cholesterol, it was then assumed the diet needed to be even more restrictive. Doctors treated their patients on that consensus.

            My physiology prof explained the 5 phenotypes to us then and explained that lowering cholesterol basically involved choosing the right parents.

            He knew it then, had the proof, but the medical community was so invested in the consensus that he was disregarded.

            That happens a lot.


          11. You are confused. Nothing in the phrase “scientific consensus” implies infallibility.

            The fact that sometimes the scientific consensus is proven wrong does not mean that there was no scientific consensus.

            When I was a college student taking geology, the scientific consensus was that plate tectonics was a ridiculous theory. Today, the scientific consensus is that plate tectonics is spot on. The scientific consensus is not immutable. It changes with evidence.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. “Then why are we still vaccinating people against the extinct variant of the virus?”

            Assuming that the “scientific consensus” is that the original variants are extinct, I don’t know. You tell me. And so what?

            Liked by 1 person

          13. Because continuing to vaccinate with the AH-1 antigen further entrenches Antigenic Original Sin and decreases your ability to respond to the BA.4 and BA.5 variants that are currently circulating.


        2. RE: “So, eat, drink, and be merry. Believe in climate change or don’t believe in climate change. It’s gonna kill us in 30 to 50 years whether we believe in it or not.”

          As I understand the science, the greenhouse effect is insufficient to explain global warming such that other factors — solar effects, for example — must play a larger role than we currently appreciate.

          I doubt that climate change is going to kill anybody.


          1. Climate change kills people who can’t adapt.

            But you have to look at it both ways. How many people did climate change kill in the Little Ice Age? Perhaps a quarter of the population? How many would such an event kill today with our larger population?

            Either way, and cooling is a lot more deadly than warming, in order to adapt people need the resources to do so. Draining those resources in futile attempts to control processes we don’t fully understand leaves unable to make those adaptations.


          2. “Climate change kills people who can’t adapt.”

            Nothing to worry about then? Survival of the fittest, eh?

            Well, your “analysis” makes it clear how short-sighted and selfish we are wasting the fossil fuels that will be vital in that next ice age.

            Liked by 1 person

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