Ethics and Climate

Donald Brown

Ethics and Climate - Donald Brown

The Ethical Abhorrence of The Climate Change Disinformation Campaign, Part 2

This is the second in a three part video series on why the climate change disinformation campaign is so utterly ethically offensive. The fist video in this series looked at the how the campaign was responsible for allowing greenhouse gas atmospheric concentrations to rise from 320 ppm when warnings of the harsh impacts of climate change were articulated in the scientific community in the 1960s to 395 ppm now. This series distinguishes between scientific skepticism which is good and should be encouraged from the tactics of the disinformation campaign which are shown to be ethically odious.


This  second video  in the series looks at several of the tactics of the disinformation campaign in more depth and contrasts them with responsible skepticism.



A third video in the series will be posted soon that continues the examination of disinformation campaign tactics and then examines these tactics through an ethical lens. A detailed four part written series on the disinformation campaign can be found on under the category “climate disinformation.”



Donald A. Brown

Scholar In Residence, Sustainability Ethics and Law

Widener University School of Law

dabrown57@gmail. com

  • richard pauli says:

    Thank you for this great report

    I refer also to the portions of an interesting federal lawsuit that calls attention to the “manufactured uncertainty” that was promoted by the carbon fuels industries.

    So far, the facts of these allegations have not been challenged in court (possibly because the disinformation is not central to the nuisance claims).

    “Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corporation, et al. is a lawsuit filed on February 26, 2008 in a United States district court. The suit based on the common law theory of nuisance claims monetary damages from the energy industry for the destruction of Kivalina”

    See the filing at:

    From the contents page of the lawsuit:

    D. Civil Conspiracy Allegations ……………………. 47
    1. The Use of Front Groups. ……………………….. 47
    2. ExxonMobil’s Leadership Role in the Conspiracy…….. 56
    a. Exploiting Scientific Studies …………………… 58
    b. Denying the Consensus on Global Warming ………….. 58
    c. Misleading Advertising …………………………. 59
    d. Funding Critics of Global Warming ……………….. 59
    e. Denying the Effects of Global Warming on the Arctic .. 60

    Examples of specific charges;

    + Manufactured uncertainty by raising doubts about even the most indisputable scientific evidence.

    + Adopted a strategy of information laundering by using seemingly independent front organizations to publicly further its desired message and thereby confuse the public.

    + Promoted scientific spokespeople who misrepresent peer reviewed scientific findings or cherry-pick facts in their attempts to persuade the media and the public that there is still serious debate among scientists that burning fossil fuels has contributed to global warming and that human-caused warming will have serious consequences.

    + Attempted to shift the focus way from meaningful action on global warming with misleading charges about the need for “sound science.”


    There are numerous other climate lawsuits. I have not read them, but this is clear language.
    Prof Brown – you are correct, this is clearly a new crime.

    August 13, 2012 at 1:07 am

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *