#307: Call Out That Corporate Wrongdoing
Amy Westervelt drills deep once again
Remember in Podcast Delivery #301 when we bluntly stated “we will never pass up the opportunity to share a quality podcast about the climate crisis” and then went on to lay out some pretty sobering facts about the future we’re likely headed for thanks to the ongoing climate catastrophe?
That was a mere five weeks ago and whaddya know!? We’ve probably already normalized the wildfire smoke engulfing continents thanks to our attention being shifted to the nearly omnipresent heat dome brought to you by El Niño.
We’re in need of another wake-up call and that comes in the form of Herb: A Miniseries from Drilled’s incredible Amy Westervelt.
The three-episode series focuses on Herb Schmertz, a Vice President at Mobil Oil, who played a key role in bringing the oil industry into the world of corporate free speech in the 1970s.
Herb explores the interesting history of how fossil fuel companies concocted the idea of "corporate free speech" – a concept developed quietly and under the cover of robust marketing strategies – and Westervelt draws a throughline to today’s greenwashing of big oil and gas companies with a stop along the way to cover how it all influenced Supreme Court cases like Citizens United.
There’s a good chance you’ve seen the product of Schmertz’s crooked efforts from over a half-century ago. We’re talking about those odd feel-good commercials that suggest oil companies like BP or Chevron have a hand in developing grassroots children’s sports tournaments or that they work diligently to correct the underrepresentation of women in STEM.
No, these big oil and gas companies don’t play much part in any of that good-for-the-soul stuff they include in their advertising. These ads are all strategically developed as part of an affinity of purpose marketing campaign that aims to convince you that these corporations are worth humanizing and ultimately forgiving for actively desecrating the planet when we all know it’s not the right thing to do.
Have a listen and share what you think.
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Jul 21, 2023
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