Rapid progress on counter-repertoires

After working eight hours straight on the counter-repertoires section this afternoon and evening I think the terror necessary to get the dissertation done has been rekindled.

If I keep at it, I should have that section ready to go before I go to sleep.

[Update: 2022-01-31] The extract is now available as a pre-print.

37 thoughts on “Rapid progress on counter-repertoires”

  1. Five environmental organizations have followed through on a threat to sue Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and the provincial government for defamation.

    In documents filed Wednesday in Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench, the groups allege Kenney deliberately twisted the findings of a public inquiry into whether the groups were using foreign funding to try and landlock Alberta oil by spreading misinformation about its environmental impacts.

    “There’s a line that [Kenney] crossed,” Paul Champ, lawyer for the environmentalists, said in an interview. “If you don’t hold him accountable on something like this, there’s really no limits for him.”

    In October, Calgary forensic accountant Steve Allan filed the results of his inquiry.

    He wrote that he found no organized campaign of misinformation. Nothing illegal happened and the groups were merely exercising their free speech rights.

    He found that while the groups did accept money from the U.S. to oppose oilsands development, that money amounted to about $3.5 million a year — roughly the cost of Allan’s inquiry.

    But the groups allege that even after Allan’s report was released, Kenney made public statements and social media posts that kept falsely accusing them, statements repeated on government websites.


  2. In seeking greener pastures the firm has waded into places others avoid. Patrick Pouyanné, Total’s pugnacious boss, has made clear that only old-fashioned oil profits can fund a shift to clean energy. He is avidly chasing the world’s most cheaply extractable hydrocarbons, often in the Middle East and Africa. While rivals have poured money into American shale, Total is investing in countries that grace the bottom rungs of ease-of-doing-business rankings (think Libya and Venezuela). If things go well, Total can expect a gusher of rewards—profits of $95bn may flow to it over the life of the Iraqi contract.


  3. Texas and other states want to punish fossil fuel divestment


    Essentially, the bill said the state of Texas cannot do business with financial groups that divest from fossil fuels. Issac says the goal is to get these banks and investment firms to change their policies. He calls it “a responsible way to push back that says, ‘Look, if you’re going to be anti-Texas, then you’re not going to get to do business with Texas.'”

    The bill was signed into law last year. Now the Texas comptroller’s office is creating a list of companies that could face a state boycott.

    On Wednesday, Comptroller Glenn Hegar sent a letter to 19 financial companies asking for a list of any mutual funds or exchange-traded funds in their portfolios that “prohibit or limit investment in fossil fuels.” He said another round of letters will go out soon to 100 other companies, and any that fails to respond within 60 days “will be presumed to be boycotting energy companies.”

  4. Rhetoric and frame analysis of ExxonMobil’s climate change communications

    ExxonMobil’s public climate change messaging mimics tobacco industry propaganda

    Rhetoric of climate “risk” downplays the reality and seriousness of climate change

    Rhetoric of consumer “demand” (versus fossil fuel supply) individualizes responsibility

    Fossil Fuel Savior frame uses “risk” and “demand” to justify fossil fuels, blame customers

    Available documents show that, during the mid-2000s, ExxonMobil’s public AGW communications shifted from explicit doubt (a Scientific Uncertainty frame) to implicit acknowledgment couched in discourses conveying two frames: a Socioeconomic Threat frame, and a Fossil Fuel Savior (FFS) frame. According to the FFS frame:

    (1) Everything about AGW is uncertain: a “risk,” as contrasted with a reality.

    (2) Fossil fuel companies are passive suppliers responding to consumer energy demand.

    (3) Continued fossil fuel dominance is (1) inevitable, given the insufficiency of low-carbon technologies; and (2) reasonable and responsible, because fossil fuels lead to profound, explicit benefits and only ambiguous, uncertain climate “risk(s).”

    (4) Customers are to blame for demanding fossil fuels, whose “risk(s)” were common knowledge. Customers knowingly chose to value the benefits of fossil fuels above their risks.

  5. Harper’s government intensified their campaign against campaigners after the 2011 election. They portrayed environmentalists as out of sync with Canadian values and progress, trying to dismiss demands for regulation and policy on climate change as fringe interests not held by ‘mainstream’ Canadians, despite evidence that the Canadian public largely supported climate change mitigation (Young & Coutinho, 2013). The characterization of climate change concern as peripheral was demonstrated powerfully and clearly in a January 2012 open letter penned by Joe Oliver, then Minister of Natural Resources, in national newspaper The Globe and Mail. In the open letter, Minister Oliver repeatedly invoked the “Canadian national interest” as irrevocably linked to expanded trade in oil and gas, drawing an overly simplistic binary distinction between those who support Canadian economic interests and those “radicals” who do not. He stated that, “(U)nfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade. Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth” (Oliver, 2012, online, emphasis mine). While this kind of approach is not new – activists protesting logging in Clayoquot Sound, for example, were positioned as antijobs (Moore, 2015) – the extension of such a previously place-based characterization of local activists to now be applied to the broad community of environmental and climate activists across the country seems to be a new tactic.

    https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/95883/1/Lakanen_Raili_201906_PhD_thesis.pdf (p. 94)

  6. Climate Activist Who Fought Dakota Access Pipeline Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

    Her case is being called ‘one of the most aggressive prosecutions of environmental activists in U.S. history.’

    A climate activist who attempted to undermine construction of the Dakota Access pipeline was sentenced to 6 years in prison last week, in part because prosecutors relied on a criminal statute that classified her actions as domestic terrorism — a situation Grist is calling ‘one of the most aggressive prosecutions of environmental activists in U.S. history.’

    In 2016-17, Ruby Montoya — along with fellow activist Jessica Reznicek — committed several acts of arson and sabotage in the hopes of damaging the Dakota Access pipeline and its related equipment. At the time, DAPL was the site of extended grassroots demonstrations from Indigenous groups and allies who protested the construction of the crude oil-carrying pipeline through tribal lands and water sources.

  7. Lawmakers in Wyoming recently proposed a bill banning the sale of all new electric vehicles starting in 2035, in order to protect the state’s oil and gas industry. It was a riposte to regulations passed in California last year that aim to ban the sale of petrol-powered cars from 2035. The Wyoming bill died in committee, but it “served its purpose”, which was to raise questions about the transition to renewable energy, says Brian Boner, a state senator who co-sponsored the bill.

    Lawmakers in California, which already has the highest petrol prices in the continental United States, are mulling a cap on oil firms’ profits. By contrast several states, including Arkansas, Missouri and South Carolina, are proposing bills that would prohibit or punish firms that use environmental, social and governance (esg) principles: corporate concepts that Republicans despise. How to treat TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned app, will be another topic of debate. Around half of states (mostly Republican ones) have already pushed for full or partial bans on state-owned devices running TikTok. Here, they are sprinting ahead of Congress because there is a “perceived vacuum at the national level”, says Harry Broadman of Berkeley Research Group, a consulting firm.


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