字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 This video is sponsored by Brilliant. [Fossil Fuel Advertisements] In a world full of advertising, fossil fuel companies are king. Despite overwhelming scientific and public outcry, the oil and gas industry continues to pour climate change-inducing gases into the atmosphere, and they can get away with it in part because these companies have inundated the public with pro-fossil fuel messaging for decades. Through this propaganda, dirty oil & gas giants like Exxon rebrand themselves as clean energy innovators on the frontlines of finding some miracle solution to our climate change problem. But these public relations campaigns don't exist in a vacuum, they've been crafted for and at times are created by our information sources: newspapers. The Washington Post and the New York Times among others are all publishing fossil fuel ads that seem to contradict their climate reporting. A contrast that baffles me. So today, I'm going to dive deep into the long history of fossil fuel advertising in our news sources to understand not only what influence this industry has over our news, but also why this continues to happen in a time where scientific evidence clearly shows that the fossil fuel industry is destroying our present and our future. In 1972, the oil and gas company, Mobil, bought some advertising space in the New York Times, which, at first glance, is a relatively typical course to take for a company looking to brighten its public image. The New York Times was widely read across the U.S. and so the logic went that an advertisement could piggyback on that exposure. Except this wasn't your typical ad. It didn't have the usual trappings of images, big text, and prices. No, Mobil was trying to wage a different kind of war. The ad space they bought sat directly across from the New York Times editorial pages and the advertisement they ran was a wall of text made to mirror the opinion pieces. Essentially, Mobil was trying to hide its fossil fuel propaganda by transforming an advertisement into an editorial. A marketing technique that would come to be known as the advertorial. For over 30 years, Mobil, and then ExxonMobil, published hundreds of advertorials in the New York Times. They used that space to spread doubt about the validity of climate science and confuse the public about the best path forward for climate action. In one ExxonMobil advertorial from 2000, the company writes, “Some argue that the science debate is settled and governments should focus only on near-term policies--that is empty rhetoric,” while in another from 1997, they claim “there is no consensus on what constitutes 'dangerous levels' of emissions nor is there agreement on when, where, and how best to reduce their impact.” This anti-climate action rhetoric ran despite the fact that ExxonMobil's internal documents and research understood that fossil fuels were overwhelmingly to blame for the global warming trend. In an assessment of ExxonMobil's internal and external climate communications from 1977-2014, one study found that 80% of Exxon's internal documents admitted that climate change was real and human-caused, while only 12% of their public-facing advertorials did, with 81% of the advertorials actively expressing doubt. So, as early as 1972, the New York Times acted as a bullhorn for ExxonMobil to complicate and delay public action on climate change. But things have started to change. In the age of social media and websites, the game has transformed. Those advertorials that ran alongside the New York Times' op-eds are a thing of the past for Exxon. But The New York Times hasn't cut ties with ExxonMobil's propaganda machine. They've done the opposite. The Times is now making Exxon's ads themselves. More specifically, the New York Times marketing studio, T Brand is. It's important to note here that according to the New York Times, there is a large wall between what its brand studio creates and what its journalists write. Indeed, The New York Times has published some brilliant climate reporting in the past couple of years. But as a company, the Times are still aiding and abetting a fossil fuel agenda by creating and running these ads. These campaigns take many forms, like ExxonMobil's algae and biofuel research videos that use stop-motion animation, and a millennial-sounding narrator to seem relatable, or a slick scrolling infographic about how Chevron is fueling prosperity in the U.S. In most cases, like ExxonMobil's algae campaign, these curated ads greenwash oil companies by painting them as clean energy and technological innovators, when in reality these operations are just a minuscule part of their whole business. This is akin to cigarette companies claiming that filters are the solution to smoking-related health issues. It's just another way for fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil to continue business as usual without having to own up to the consequences. And yet, as Amy Westervelt from the podcast Drilled discovered, The New York Times brand studio will pretty much bend over backward to do what a company wants: “Ad sales people start offering all kinds of other things. You could place content they write for you in the climate section, you can peg it to key words like climate change, and make sure it's a suggested next read on any related news story.” So, while there is a firewall between the Times' journalists and its brand studio, the problem is there isn't one for the reader. Not only is The New York Times perpetuating the narrative of ExxonMobil as an energy innovator, but they are also blurring the lines between advertisement and journalism. Again, Westervelt puts it best in her podcast: “In 2020, influence doesn't look like an oil tycoon in a top hat showing up at your desk to twirl his mustache and tell you to spike a story. It looks like readers being fed a bunch of oil propaganda before, after and right next to your legit climate reporting.” And more and more, readers struggle to find the difference between this kind of native advertising and actual reporting. One 2018 study found that fewer than 1 in 10 readers recognized the test article as advertising, while another 2014 study revealed that “even when native advertising is labeled, a significant number of audience members may not perceive it as such.” In short, The New York Times is disseminating this kind of native advertising throughout their brand, which when it comes to fossil fuel companies interested in shaping the narrative around climate change, could hinder much needed climate action. But it's important to note that this isn't happening because the New York Times is a sinister entity hoping to throw the world into chaos. The Times built a brand studio and created these ads because it needs money, and the unfortunate truth is that fossil fuel companies enjoy the enormous amount of wealth and power to supply that money. Ideally, large news sources like The New York Times and The Washington Post will stop running and making ads for such a destructive industry, but a chunk of their annual revenue is reliant on integrated advertisements. In 2017, 20 percent of all advertising income for news media organizations came from native ads. That being said there are similar sized news organizations that are doing the work to purge fossil fuel influence from their pages. The Guardian announced this January that it would no longer advertise or take money from fossil fuel companies. showing that it is possible to continue to pursue essential journalism without the yolk of the oil and gas industry on their back. This is the type of action that we need to see from our news sources. The Guardian's blockade of fossil fuel advertising stymies the massive ideological efforts of the fossil fuel industry. Essentially, they're muzzling a dangerous narrative at its source. But the unfortunate truth is that we live in an economy that pours much more of its money into a polluting industry than it does an investigative, truth seeking one. An economy where to have long-form investigative pieces you also need to have oil & gas ads running alongside it. But finding ways forward in journalism without the influence of fossil fuels is essential if we are to truely tackle climate change. Because, at the end of the day, the stories we tell and the ideas we seek not only inform our present, but also they shape our future. Many people are on the lookout for online math and science resources right now, and whether you're a student looking to get ahead, a professional brushing up on cutting-edge topics, or someone who just wants to use this time to understand the world better, you should definitely check out Brilliant. It's an awesome course-based website and mobile app that guides you through a range of different topics from computer science to math fundamentals to cryptography. Skills which are essential for tackling the difficult challenges of a changing climate. And Brilliant not only helps you master these topics, but it makes it fun and intuitive. Take, for example, Brilliant's new course on the history of math, which uses the power of storytelling to explain the original ideas behind imaginary numbers, prime numbers as well as other important mathematical concepts. If you're curious like me, want to build your problem-solving skills, or need to develop confidence in your analytical abilities, then I'd recommend going to brilliant dot org slash OCC, or click the link in the description, and sign up for free to learn something new every day. As a bonus, the first 200 people that go to that link will get 20% off their annual premium membership. Hey everyone, Charlie here. This video, as always, was made possible by my patreon supporters. They donate a couple of dollars each month to help me grow and build this channel so it can reach an even bigger audience. Thank you so much to my patreon supporters and thank you for watching! I'll see you in two weeks!