Top Public Relations Firms Prove Climate Change is Public Theology, not Science

Science gets debated. Science involves claims about evidence. Scientific questions require public debate. Scientific debates require public access.

We all know now that such claims are a ruse. Science remains science for the moments before someone has decided which “consensus” will make him money. After that it is all a scam.

Or perhaps a scam religion.

The Guardian reported on the world’s top PR firms who were asked if they would take clients skeptical about man-made global warming. They referred to them as “deniers.”

Some of the world’s top PR companies have for the first time publicly ruled out working with climate change deniers, marking a fundamental shift in the multi-billion dollar industry that has grown up around the issue of global warming.

They give some examples, starting with Waggener Edstrom:

“We would not knowingly partner with a client who denies the existence of climate change,” said Rhian Rotz, spokesman for WE.

Replace “climate change” with the word God and see how overtly theological that statement is.

And notice how broad a refusal that is! “We would not knowingly partner…” Obviously, if the client wanted the company to do a PR campaign that denied man-made climate change, then they would know. So, taken at face value, Rotz is claiming that, even if a client wanted to do a PR campaign that was about an acceptable topic, if they found out the client was a climate change atheist, then they would drop him.

Other companies are more tolerant.

Weber Shandwick would also not take any campaign to block regulations cutting carbon emissions or promoting renewable energy. “We would not support a campaign that denies the existence and the threat posed by climate change, or efforts to obstruct regulations cutting greenhouse gas emissions and/or renewable energy standards,” spokeswoman Michelle Selesky said.

“There may be scenarios in which we could represent a client that has different views on climate change, just not on this issue.”

So they won’t refuse services to a client, they just won’t promote any contradiction of climate change.

I wonder if the New Mexico branch of Weber Shandwick would be investigated by the state’s Human Rights Commission for refusing their services to a climate change denier. What do you think?

Not all the companies were censorious:

The US-based Edelman, which is the world’s largest independently owned PR firm, did not explicitly rule out taking on climate deniers as clients.

“Expanding the dialogue in a constructive manner, and driving productive outcomes to solve energy challenges are the key criteria for evaluating client engagements,” said spokesman Michael Bush.

He said Edelman takes on clients on a case-by-case basis.

Notice that he did not say “yes” or “no.” That’s exactly what a person who is not a client scientist should say. None of these PR firms are specialists in climate science. They would need to wrestle with the issue and hash it out.

Furthermore, since they know it is a controversial issue with more than one side (!) they would probably have employees who take both sides. So why not split up the business and give groups of consultants the companies or campaigns they agree with. That is probably what they do with other political topics.

I suspect there is real financial pressure on PR firms to make their clients happy. We know there is far more money to be made by pushing climate change than there is in denying it. So there is money to use to threaten PR firms if they dare take money “from the other side.”