19 minutes | May 4th 2016

Episode 26: Chilling Free Speech on Climate Change with Steve Everley

The Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands is targeting 90 groups because they are skeptical of claims made by environmental groups. Claude Walker’s office wants to know what Exxon Mobil talked about with the likes of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and others. Regardless of your position in the scientific debates, that’s a little scary. Climate science is a nuanced field that forces you to appreciate the intricacies of various factors within the planet’s atmosphere that create long-term patterns. Because of that, rationally, you can appreciate why there are wide ranges of perspectives on climate change. It makes sense that there would be a debate about what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what can be reasonably done to counterract it. Some groups don’t like that, and want to take the climate change debate out of the scientific world and drop it in the political realm. Steve Everley, a senior advisor with Energy in Depth, talks about the free speech implications of investigations into “climate deniers” (and the interests that are driving the conversation) on this Crummy Little Podcast. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve done extensive advocacy work for oil and energy companies over the years. We don’t really talk about it, but it seemed worth bringing up.) Listen/download it here or subscribe on iTunes. Extras: Steve and I speak extensively about the #ExxonKnew campaign which alleges that documents show Exxon hid information about climate change in the 1970s. Energy in Depth has a video debunking those claims using the very same documents. Check out Energy in Depth here. It’s sponsored by the Independent Petroluem Association of America, about which they are pretty transparent. Also, follow Steve on Twitter. (I’ve been doing so for about five years, and found him to be a great resource on energy issues.) Past Crummy Little Podcast guest Jon Henke covered the Rockefeller Foundations’ role in bankrolling most of the research and activism on this issue in his ongoing series about foundation money in politics.
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