Almost two years ago, former health insurance PR executive Wendell Potter published his tell-all book, Deadly Spin, about the deceptive media campaigns and PR trickery the health insurance industry uses to beat back meaningful health care reform in the U.S. Potter pointed out the striking similarities between the insurers' tactics and those the tobacco industry applied for decades to delay regulation and confuse people about the health hazards of smoking and secondhand smoke. These manipulative PR tactics held off meaningful tobacco regulation for over 40 years, and also proved highly successful for the insurance industry, which used the same strategies to defeat true health care reform. Now Al Gore is pointing out that the energy, steel and utility industries are applying those same, tricky and time-worn PR strategies to confuse people about global warming and delay efforts to address it.
Companies pay networks of pseudoscientists to create arguments supporting their viewpoint and finance multi-million dollar advertising and PR campaigns that ruthlessly attack the massive body of research concluding global warming is real and threatens our civilization. Gore says people constantly wash industry-created arguments back at him "over and over and over again," and accuses corporate executives of putting profits above the well-being of society. Corporations pour huge sums of money into sowing doubt about highly conclusive scientific research to protect their bottom line, and it works, over and over again. It's time for people to understand those strategies and push back against them.