Friday, October 7, 2011

Renewables face stiff competition in the energy PR war

Companies selling legacy energy products (oil, natgas, coal) are winning the public relations war over climate change.  This makes sense in a way since they have a lot more to lose than the clean energy companies have to gain.  Fossil fuel centered companies have an elaborate (and expensive) strategy to undercut the value proposition that solar & wind companies have been trying to make in the court of public opinion.  Front and center in this fight is to deny that humans have any impact on the climate and that any changes that might be occurring have nothing to do with burning carbon based fuels.

As you'll see in the chart produced by Riley Dunlap and Aaron McCright, two university sociologists, climate change denial is a well-organized, comprehensive affair.  Regardless of how you feel about this issue, I find it very interesting that so much money, human energy, and legislative time is being committed to refuting something that has an objective answer.  This tells me that the parties in the matrix below are more savvy to the fact that how we feel about an issue matters more in spurring action than whether the something is true or not. Deceptive messengers typically jaundice common sense people to the message however, and truth has a tendency of coming out in the end regardless of obfuscation efforts.

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