American companies are suffering a knock to their corporate reputations internationally due to the Bush administration's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. "The media tends to repeat the oversimplified view that companies supporting the Protocol are environmentally friendly, and those that don't are not," complains PR Week writer Eleanor Trickett.
PR Watch reported in 1997 that the Burson-Marsteller PR firm created the Global Climate Coalition. They've never challenged this statement prior to July 2001, but after they issued a denial we checked our files, and it looks like we were wrong. This doesn't change the fact that B-M has been a major force behind industry campaigns to block measures aimed at preventing global warming. For a report on what they've actually done, read our correction.
In 1997, we noted that the anti-environmentalist Junk Science Home Page was sponsoring a Global Warming Sweepstakes as a way of opposing measures that combat global warming. Well, two can play at that game. Act for Change/Working Assets just announced its own sweepstakes, which supports measures to combat global warming.
Daniel J. Popeo, a former Nixon and Ford staffer, founded and runs the heavily corporate-funded Washington Legal Foundation, one of many business front groups smearing serious health and environmental concerns as "junk science." In its June 9 New York Times advertisement (p. A19) Popeo employs his trademark hysterical McCarthy-era Cold War rhetoric to accuse environmentalists of conspiring with "envious foreign competitors and international bureaucrats" to destroy the American economy and "satisfy an ideological agenda."
ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil group, has become a major funder of the most visible "greenhouse skeptics", most of whom who have traditionally been funded by the coal industry -- including S. Fred Singer, Patrick Michaels, Robert Balling and Sherwood Idso. Now the Guardian of London reports that ExxonMobil is planning a public relations offensive to win back consumers and investors, amid fears the company is losing the war of words over climate change.
ExxonMobil's stubborn refusal to acknowledge the fact that burning fossil fuels has a role in global warming is creating a backlash against the world's biggest company. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and People & Planet launched a campaign in the U.K. earlier this month to boycott Esso gasoline, supported by a variety of prominent politicians, celebrities and writers.