Sunday, January 22, 2012

big oil's polar bear smear campaign



If you plotted a graph of popular interest in climate change over time, alongside mentions of polar bears eating people, you'd find some sinister correlations.

Back in the day, we never talked about polar bears as the maneating gruesomes we think of them as now; they were those cocacola sippin bears who liked to slide down the ice on furry bellys. 

But something changed when Al Gore started Truth-preaching, mixing CO2 spikes and .gifs of polar bears drowning wrenching deaths - unable to re-reach the receding ice floes (let me get some Rogaine: just for Ice!).

We started wailing: "the cute polar bears are drowning, we have to do something!". 

And my theory is that big oil heard these wails, and knowing that the upticked interest in climate change would inevitably lead to an uptick in shit-frisbees aimed at their corporate headquarters, the oil execs took action. They brought out their smear gas: an international, covert campaign to turn fluffy bear into killy bear; ruining the polar bears' coke endorsement deal; replacing those airport postcards of the polar bears kissing with pics of polar bears eating penguins. 

And it worked? The wails that used to be "mom, the polar bears are drowning. we have to do something" became "the polar bears are drowning. good! they eat humans, you know..." 

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