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138 EpisodesProduced by Critical FrequencyWebsite

A true-crime podcast about climate change, hosted and reported by award-winning investigative journalist Amy Westervelt.

138 Episodes | 2016 - 2022

Hazard: The Heart of Ringwood

September 27th, 2022


Introducing Hazard NJ! A new series examining prominent Superfund sites around New Jersey, and ways they're impacted by climate change. In this …

Three Congressional Hearings on Climate Disinfo Bring New Industry Documents to Light

September 20th, 2022


Three Congressional hearings shone a light on climate disinformation this week, with one looking at oil companies' role, another looking at the role …

West Virginia Is Giving Texas a Run for Its Money on Climate Obstruction

September 13th, 2022


From its state treasurer to its attorney general to its Senator, West Virginia is leading the charge on climate obstruction and dismantling …

SCOTUS Will Continue to Weigh in On Climate: Here's What's Coming Next

August 23rd, 2022


West Virginia v EPA isn't the only big climate case before the Supreme Court this year, from questioning the SEC's disclosure rules to major Clean …

A New Front in Climate Obstructionism: State Treasurers?

August 16th, 2022


Jesse Coleman, senior investigator for Documented, joins to walk us through an eye-opening investigation into the State Financial Officers …

Wondery Presents: Fed Up

July 25th, 2022


When Emily Gellis hears rumors of people suffering horrible side effects from a trendy diet she springs into action. Armed with over a hundred …

Here's What the IPCC Report Actually Said About Carbon Dioxide Removal

July 12th, 2022


Everyone else might have moved on but we're still plodding through the latest IPCC report over here. Carbon dioxide removal, or CDR, came up all over this report, and because the summary is vastly more positive about …

Introducing: Who Killed Daphne?

July 11th, 2022


When a car bomb kills Daphne Caruana Galizia on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Malta, the hunt for her killers exposes secrets with …

West Virginia v EPA : Worst-Case Scenario and What Comes Next

June 28th, 2022


The Supreme Court is dragging its feet releasing a ruling in the controversial West Virginia v EPA case. Today we look at the roots of that case, its …

The "Culture War" Embraces Climate

June 21st, 2022


Jennie King, lead author of a new report on climate disinformation from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, joins to discuss the report's findings, …

As a Supreme Court Decision Hanging in the Balance, a Novel Argument: Regulate Greenhouse Gases Under TSCA

June 16th, 2022


As we wait to hear whether the Supreme Court will toss WV v EPA altogether or apply the major questions doctrine to broadly rule against the EPA …

S6 Bonus: Why Is a California Air Board Funding Natural Gas Expansion?

June 14th, 2022


Floodlight's Miranda Green is back with a new story about the push for natural gas in southern California. This time an air board tasked with …

Drilled Presents: The Carbon Copy | The Hidden History of California Oil

June 10th, 2022


How residential drilling sparked a public health and environmental justice problem in California.

Across California, oil wells pepper residential …

False Friends of the Court: Why Every Rightwing Think Tank Has an Amicus Program, with Senator Whitehouse

June 7th, 2022


I have been wondering for months what possible sense it makes for every right-wing think tank to have an amicus program. I any judge really …

S6, Part2 | Ep 5: The Disaster Capitalist Response to Russia-Ukraine

May 25th, 2022


In the response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the gas industry is now fully embracing it's new role. Right alongside the API, Chevron, and the …

Bonus: As Australia Heads to the Polls, a Look at Morrison's "Gas-Fired Recovery," Carbon Capture, and Greenwashing

May 19th, 2022


This weekend Australians will vote in the first national election since catastrophic bushfires burned tens of millions of acres and blanketed the country in smoke for weeks. In the lead-up to that election, a look at …

S6, Part 2 | Ep 4: Epic Astroturfing

May 17th, 2022


Even before the gas industry got into the front group business it was using some questionable tactics to stave off electrification. In this episode, LA Times energy reporter Sammy Roth and Floodlight's deputy editor and …

Drilled Presents: A Matter of Degrees

May 10th, 2022


This week we're bringing you a great episode from A Matter of Degrees: "The Devious Plan to Keep Us Hooked on Gas." Co-hosted by Leah Stokes and Katharine Wilkinson, A Matter of Degrees is a podcast for climate-curious …

S6, Part2 | Ep3: Anatomy of a Front Group

May 3rd, 2022


A year after San Luis Obispo took the lead in Southern California on a gas ban, the coastal town of Santa Barbara was evaluating a similar proposal, and residents were being spammed with texts encouraging opposition …

S6, Part 2 | Ep 2: The New Climate Villains

April 26th, 2022


For more than a decade, even environmental advocates promoted the idea of fossil gas as part of the solution on climate change. But while it did help …

S6, Part 2 | Ep 1: A Busload of COVID

April 19th, 2022


In April 2020 when San Luis Obispo announced a plan to become the first city in Southern California to ban gas in new buildings, the region's utility SoCal Gas--the largest gas utility in the country--sprung into …

Climate One Collaboration: Breaking Down Climate Misinformation

April 15th, 2022


Fossil fuel companies and others have spent decades casting doubt on climate science to allow them to continue to profit. As documented by climate communication expert John Cook and others, these strategies have taken …

Conflicts of Interest, Debunking Demand, Media Manipulation & More | IPCC Report, Part One

April 9th, 2022


The IPCC mitigation report dropped this week and it is a *doozy*. We'll be digging into it throughout the month of April to help you make sense of it all.

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Introducing 5-4: A Podcast About Why the Supreme Court Sucks

April 1st, 2022


Five to Four is a podcast about how much the Supreme Court sucks. Every week, Five to Four takes on the Supreme Court's worst decisions, about the …

Responsibilities Not Rights: A Tuhoe Perspective

March 31st, 2022


When Tūhoe negotiated legal personhood for their homeland Te Urewera, the global rights of nature community cheered. But in this conversation about how the case connects to rights of nature overall and to the global …

A Landmark Ruling in Ecuador

March 17th, 2022


Last episode we told the story of Ecuador's rights-of-nature journey, today Melissa Troutman and Joshua Pribanic, directors of Invisible Hand and …

Los Cedros: The Cloud Forest v. The Mine

March 11th, 2022


Ecuador was the first country to adopt rights of nature into its constitution, but its Constitutional Court (Ecuador’s equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court) has not heard many cases in the decade or so since the law …

West Virginia v EPA and What It Means for Climate Policy

March 3rd, 2022


A case argued at the Supreme Court this week—West Virginia v EPA—has potentially huge implications for regulating greenhouse gas emissions. NYU law …

A Brief History of Rights of Nature in the U.S.

February 24th, 2022


Rights of nature first started making its way into U.S. courtrooms via an unlikely source: Disney. Today it's a huge threat to the fossil fuel industry. So much so that the industry is pushing preemptive bans on rights …

Drilled Presents: Damages

February 18th, 2022


Damages is following the hundreds of climate lawsuits currently happening all over the country. First up, in Season 1, a look at rights of nature …

The Right-Wing Web of Climate Delay, with Lisa Graves

February 12th, 2022


Right-wing funders don't just work on climate change, or voter suppression, or attacks on public schools, they tackle all of it together. In this …

An Update on the Big U.S. Youth Climate Lawsuit

January 28th, 2022


Back in 2015, twenty-one young people sued the United States for its actions to drive and exacerbate climate change. The case, Juliana v. United …

Exxon Takes Its First Amendment Battle to Texas Supreme Court

January 21st, 2022


Guardian journalist Chris McGreary joins to discuss ExxonMobil's attempts in Texas to cast litigation against it as a conspiracy to muzzle its free speech rights.

Read Chris's story:

Redefining Environmentalists

January 14th, 2022


For decades, the fossil fuel industry has successfully framed environmentalists as silly, elitist, radical, and out of touch. And for a long time the …

Climate Crisis, Meet Democracy Crisis

January 7th, 2022


A conversation with Max Berger, a longtime progressive organizer who helped incubate the Sunrise Movement and has also worked in the past for Cori Bush and Elizabeth Warren, about movement building, the climate crisis, …

Drilled Presents | Scene on Radio, The Repair | Episode 9: Pachamama

December 17th, 2021


In several countries around the world, including Ecuador, New Zealand, and the U.S., some people are trying to protect the planet using a legal concept called “rights of nature”—infusing the law with Indigenous …

The Influence Industry and Climate Obstruction

December 10th, 2021


Groundbreaking new research from Brown University's Dr. Robert Brulle shows just how much oil companies have spent on PR in recent decades, and …

One PR Firm Works on More Climate Obstruction Than Any Other

December 7th, 2021


In a new study, sociologist Robert Brulle examined which PR firms work for the various industries obstructing climate action. Only one firm was in …

Fracking the Outback: Australia's Plan to Go Big on Fracking & Plastic

November 26th, 2021


As the rest of the world is beginning to realize that fracking comes with more downsides than upsides, Australia is readying itself for a fracking boom, eyeing basins on Indigenous land.

Melissa Aronczyk on the History of Greenwashing

November 19th, 2021


Melissa Aronczyk, media studies scholar at Rutgers University, is one of my go-to sources on all things disinformation. In this episode, she walks us …

The ABCs of Oil | Katie Worth on the State of Climate Education in the U.S.

November 5th, 2021


Reporter Katie Worth has been researching climate education in the U.S. for years and that research forms the basis of her new book Miseducation. In this interview we delve into what she found.

The ABCs of Big Oil | So... What Do We Do About This?

October 29th, 2021


Over the last five episodes we've tracked how long the fossil fuel industry has been investing in schools, why, and what impact it's had. In this …

The ABCs of Big Oil | Ben Franta Talks to Us About Big Oil on Campus

October 22nd, 2021


Bringing you our entire interview with Stanford researcher Ben Franta on fossil fuel influence at universities because it was just too good not to share.

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The ABCs of Big Oil | Ep 4: We're Going Streaking

October 15th, 2021


We're wrapping up our series with Earther this week, with a look at how fossil fuel companies influence curricula and research at the university …

The ABCs of Big Oil | Ep 3: High School

October 8th, 2021


In the third episode of our mini-series with Earther, we head to high school, where the fossil fuel industry's efforts to shape Americans' thinking …

S5 Update: Donziger Sentenced to Six Months in Jail

October 3rd, 2021


Steven Donziger, the attorney who's been on house arrest for more than two years on a contempt charge that arose as a result of his work on the …

The ABCs of Big Oil | Ep 2: Elementary School

October 1st, 2021


Since the 1920s, oil companies have been creating music, activities, coloring books, comic books, movies and more to shape how American kids think …

Presenting Scene on Radio, Season 5: The Repair

October 1st, 2021


Drilled host Amy Westervelt is co-hosting this season of the documentary podcast Scene on Radio, all about the climate crisis—what drove it and what …

The ABCs of Big Oil | Ep 1: First Day of School

September 24th, 2021


Fossil fuel companies didn't start infiltrating schools when climate change appeared on the scene, they were there shaping the minds of future …

Drilled + Earther Present: The ABCs of Big Oil

September 13th, 2021


In this collaboration with Earther, we look at the fossil fuel industry's influence in school—not just in shaping our understanding of environmental …

S6 Part 1 | Plastic Pipelines | Ep 5: Whack-a-Mole

September 13th, 2021


In the final episode of part 1 in our Bridge to Nowhere season, we look at the chronic whack-a-mole problem in frontline communities. Just as one …

S6 Part 1 | Plastic Pipelines | Ep 4: Keeping Oil Alive

August 6th, 2021


The team at UnEarthed, an investigative journalism project funded by Greenpeace in the UK, went undercover and got ExxonMobil execs on tape talking through the company's climate playbook in detail. Today, an unpublished …

S6 Part 1 | Plastic Pipelines | Ep 3: And Then There Was Covid...

July 30th, 2021


Just as the fossil fuel industry was starting to worry about demand for single use plastics, along comes a global pandemic that they could leverage …

S6 Part 1 | Plastic Pipelines | Ep2: Erasing the Imaginary Line

July 23rd, 2021


Diane Wilson couldn't keep Formosa out of her town, but down the coast in Louisiana the community in St. James Parish, led by Sharon Lavigne, is …

S6 Part 1 | Plastic Pipelines | Ep 1: Don't Mess with Texas

July 16th, 2021


This time we're doing something a little different: a season in three parts, all about the gas industry and how it's managed to embed itself into society. First up, Part 1 Plastic Pipelines: A look at how the fracking …

Welcome to S6: The Bridge to Nowhere

June 17th, 2021


A new season about the natural gas industry, presented in three parts. Coming soon, Part 1: Pipelines to Plastic about the direct connection between …

Update: Donziger's Trial in New York

May 27th, 2021


Steven Donziger went to trial for the criminal contempt charge that's kept him on house arrest for 600 days and counting. Paul Paz Y Mino of Amazon …

Climate Guilt, Brought to You by Big Oil

May 17th, 2021


A new study from Harvard science historians Naomi Oreskes and Geoffrey Supran points to the use of language targeted specifically to downplay the reality of climate change and shift responsibility entirely onto …

New Study: The Health Impacts of the Coal-to-Gas Transition

May 11th, 2021


A new study out from Harvard University explores the health impacts of transitioning from coal to other combustible fuels. The findings are important …

Rep Ro Khanna on Fossil Fuel Subsidies

April 22nd, 2021


It's Earth Day 2021 and the first Congressional hearing of the day is focused on fossil fuel subsidies. Their elimination was written into Biden's infrastructure bill, and House Democrats want to make sure that …

S5 Update: Latest on Donziger's Case

April 17th, 2021


Steven Donziger, the American attorney we profiled in S5 is scheduled for trial May 10th, but his lawyers have filed another motion to dismiss, …

Corporate Personhood? What About Ecosystem Personhood

April 10th, 2021


We talked about rights of nature a bit in the Ecuador-Chevron season, the Latin American country was the first in the world to integrate the concept of rights of nature in its Constitution. Now the Constitutional Court …

Infrastructure Week! Build Back Better, THRIVE, and More with Kaniela Ing

March 31st, 2021


The Biden Administration has rolled out its Build Back Better plan and it includes a lot of progressive wishlist items, but the left is still pushing …

All Eyes on Weymouth as FERC Signals Interest in Environmental Justice

March 27th, 2021


Local activists and legislators have been fighting the Enbridge natural gas compressor in Weymouth for years. It's too close to residents and businesses, and poses too many health risks to a community that's already …

How the Fossil Fuel Industry Is Undermining Free Speech

March 20th, 2021


Fossil fuel-backed anti-protest laws have been passed in 14 states and are making their way through statehouses in several more states, including six different bills in Minnesota, the only state with a big pipeline …

Frackalachia and the Great Fracking Jobs Myth

March 12th, 2021


When a report makes oil and gas companies—and the politicians they help elect—this mad, you know the author is on to something. Researcher Sean …

Presenting: Hot Take — Blood for Oil, with Antonia Juhasz

March 10th, 2021


A special presentation of the podcast Hot Take, featuring investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz on all the many ways oil, war, and climate change intersect.
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The API Was Pushing Climate Denial Way Earlier Than Anyone Thought

March 5th, 2021


Stanford researcher Ben Franta joins to talk about a bombshell new discovery: the American Petroleum Institute not only knew about climate change …

S5 Ep 11 | ¿Ahora Que?

December 19th, 2020


Donziger is still on house arrest and disbarred, the settlement seems impossible to collect, now what? In this episode we look at what this case says …

S5 Ep 10 | The Kill Step

December 11th, 2020


Chevron makes good on its promise to fight the Ecuadorian judgement until hell freezes over ... and then fight it out on the ice. Donziger loses his appeal of the RICO judgement, then finds himself facing contempt …

S5 Ep9 | The Judge

December 4th, 2020


Corruption charges against both the Ecuadorian judge and the American judge fly as the RICO gets underway.

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S5 Ep 8 | Damages

November 20th, 2020


Chevron's legal team shocks the Ecuadorian plaintiffs with a massive racketeering claim in the U.S. alleging fraud, witness tampering, and even bribery.

S5 Ep7 | The Linchpin

November 13th, 2020


Chevron's attorneys go after Joe Berlinger, the filmmaker behind the documentary about the case, Crude. They subpoena his outtakes, kicking off a years-long First Amendment battle.

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Big Oil's Bad Bet on Plastic

November 6th, 2020


A new report from Carbon Tracker finds that the fossil fuel industry is pinning its hopes on a plastic boom—and try as it might to spur that demand, it's just not materializing. Report author Kingsmill Bond joins us to …

Update: Donziger Headed to Trial with No Representation

November 6th, 2020


New York District Court Judge Loretta Preska has denied repeated requests to delay Donziger's criminal contempt trial until at least one of his lawyers can be present. Barring any last-minute changes, he'll stand trial …

S5 Ep6 | A Verdict and a New Charge

October 30th, 2020


The case takes a bizarre turn with a sting operation, U.S. subpoenas, accusations of fraud and bribery, and finally a verdict in Ecuador.

S5 Ep5 | The Big Guns

October 23rd, 2020


With the Ecuadorian plaintiffs racking up good press and an endorsement from the country's president, Chevron kicks things up a notch, bringing on new lawyers and PR firms to tell a very different story.
Support our …

Special Episode: Generation Green New Deal

October 18th, 2020


In this episode of Generation Green New Deal, Drilled host Amy Westervelt co-hosts with Sam Eilertsen to look at what happened to block climate action in the 90s and and 2000s, why various fossil fuel industry …

S5 Ep4 | The Secret Tribunal

October 16th, 2020


In September 2009, Chevron filed an international arbitration claim against the government of Ecuador over the Lago Agrio case. In the years since the company has pointed to the decisions of that arbitral panel as …

S5 Ep3 | The Trial

October 9th, 2020


The trial gets underway in Ecuador, an election changes the calculus, and a global PR war kicks into high gear.
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S5 Ep2 | The Colonizers

October 2nd, 2020


How did this case come about in the first place? We go back to the early days of oil colonialism in Ecuador, in the 1960s, the partnership between …

S5 Ep1 | Lockdown

September 25th, 2020


In August 2019, an American lawyer was put on house arrest as he awaited trial on criminal contempt charges. The charges stem from a decades-long …

Climate Podcast Bonanza!

August 29th, 2020


In addition to S5 of Drilled (coming soon!), Critical Frequency is putting out a terrific slate of great climate and environment podcasts this fall. Check out this sampling, then go subscribe so you won't miss them!

Big Oil Fighting Divestment + Sneak Preview of S5!

August 22nd, 2020


A few weeks ago the Trump administration quietly proposed a rule that would make it harder for financial managers to investment retirement funds in …

That Ohio Utility Corruption Scandal, with Leah Stokes

August 1st, 2020


The FBI arrested Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Larry Householder, this month for racketeering, or as the state attorney general put …

California City

July 29th, 2020


What if you were told buying a piece of land in the Mojave Desert could help you be rich one day? That was the dream developers of California City …

A Proposed Fossil Fuel Ad Ban in The Netherlands

July 14th, 2020


An advocacy group in The Netherlands began campaigning for a ban on fossil fuel ads, including event sponsorships, earlier this year. Campaigner Femke Sleegers joins us to explain the roots of the campaign, its goal, …

Pioneering Fracking Company Chesapeake Energy Goes Bust

June 30th, 2020


Despite tax breaks, royalty cuts, and other COVID-related incentives, Chesapeake Energy—a pioneer in the American shale gas (fracking) industry—declared bankruptcy this week. It's the first example of what we expect to …

Minnesota and D.C. File Climate Fraud Suits

June 26th, 2020


Two big new suits, in Minnesota and D.C., were filed within 24 hours of each other and allege the same thing: that fossil fuel companies misled consumers about climate change.

Big Oil's Multi-Billion-Dollar Blind Spot

June 18th, 2020


A new report from Carbon Tracker finds that not only have oil and gas companies not been budgeting for plugging and abandoning wells, they've been grossly underestimating the cost of that work, especially for fracking …

Yes, It's Still Time to Talk About Climate (from Hot Take)

June 14th, 2020


Amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, some climate activists have been saying "now's not the time to talk about climate." In this episode we bring you an encore presentation of the latest Hot Take episode, in …

Naomi Klein and How the Shock Doctrine Applies to America Right Now

June 7th, 2020


Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine focused on what she calls "disaster capitalism," the sort of corporate feeding frenzy that happens in the wake of major crises. It was on a research trip for that book, to …

What Shell Knew: A Surprising Report from The Netherlands Finds that Shell Was Directly Funding Climate Denial in the 1990s

May 29th, 2020


Reporters Alexander Beunder and Jilles Mast have been combing through 150+ boxes of documents from the personal archive of one of the Netherlands' top climate skeptics during the 1990s, a guy named Fritz Böttcher, and …

No, Climate Action Will Not Be "Just Like Quarantine Only Worse" — Why Letting Go of the Climate Narrative Never Works, a Special Bonus Ep f

May 22nd, 2020


Last week, The New York Times ran a story on the GOP's favorite new climate narrative: If you think quarantine is bad, just wait til the Dems impose climate action on you. In this special ep from Hot Take, with Mary …

The Climate Deniers Have Lost Their King, and Still They Soldier On

May 19th, 2020


In April 2020, Fred Singer, longtime king of the climate deniers, died at the age of 95. In this episode, investigative reporter Dan Zegart, author of the book Civil Warriors, about the 1990s tobacco litigation, joins …

The U.S. Government Has Been Rubber-Stamping New Oil and Gas Projects—This Lawsuit Hopes to Change That

May 9th, 2020


A lawsuit filed against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over a small project in Massachusetts could have big implications. It aims to …

Old and Wrong: Leah Stokes on the Many Flaws of Michael Moore's Planet of The Humans

April 29th, 2020


Political scientist and environmental policy expert Leah Stokes joins us to discuss the many things the new film Planet of the Humans gets wrong …

Earth Day in Louisiana: A Petro-state Fights Back

April 22nd, 2020


On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the week of the 10-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater oil spill, we head to Louisiana to talk …

Computer-Aided Destruction: Art, Autodesk, and What Accountability Looks Like for the Tech Industry

April 22nd, 2020


French artist Joanie Lemercier has been a thorn in Autodesk's side for more than a year now, since he first pointed out that the California software company's computer-aided drafting (CAD) software keeps Europe's …

How Big Oil Is Using the Pandemic to Push More Plastic

April 16th, 2020


In a new report, the Center for International Environmental Law looks at the way oil, gas and petrochemical companies are leveraging the pandemic to …

In Colorado, Seniors Held Hostage by Fracking

April 15th, 2020


Because of their proximity to oil and gas operations, residents of Broomfield, Colorado were at risk of exposure to flowback-driven air pollution …

New Research Shows Fossil Fuels Are Not As Essential As The Industry Would Like You to Believe

April 7th, 2020


Dr. Julia Steinberger, professor of social ecology and ecological economics at the University of Leeds, has published some really interesting …

Amid the Pandemic Free-for-All, Unlit Flares at Texas Shale Refineries Are Dumping "Unimaginable" Amounts of Methane into the Atmosphere

April 3rd, 2020


Field investigator Sharon Wilson has spotted a troubling increase in methane emissions from refineries in the Permian Basin, in Texas. Things went from bad to worse in January 2020, and really blew up in early March ... …

Reporter Justin Mikulka on Why ExxonMobil and Chevron Are the Biggest Opponents to a Shale Gas Bailout

April 1st, 2020


The American Petroleum Institute, ExxonMobil and Chevron have been amongst the biggest opponents to bailouts for shale gas companies as part of the …

There Will Be Fraud: How the Coronavirus Pandemic Turned into Christmas for Big Oil

March 28th, 2020


The oil and gas industry was headed for broke long before COVID-19. Now the Trump administration wants to use the pandemic to put it on life support, …

Special Episode—Hot Take: Seeing Climate Through Coronavirus Glasses with David Wallace-Wells

March 25th, 2020


Drilled will be back with bonus episodes soon. In the meantime, check out one of our other climate podcasts, Hot Take. In this episode, hosts Mary Annaise Heglar and Amy Westervelt talk to David Wallace Wells, author of …

S3, Ep 9: Jay Rosen and Nicholas Johnson on What the Media Can Do About Disinformation

February 29th, 2020


This season we've traced the creation of Big Oil's big propaganda machine. In this episode, the season finale, we look at what can be done about it now that it has delivered us into an era of disinformation. NYU …

S3, Ep 8: Meet the Harrisons

February 28th, 2020


E. Bruce and Patricia Harrison launched the E. Bruce Harrison Company in 1973 and ran it until 1996, working for a mix of chemical companies, oil & gas companies, and tobacco companies. E. Bruce is considered the …

S3, Ep 7: John Hill and the Tobacco-Oil-Plastic Triangle

February 27th, 2020


John Hill, founder of Hill & Knowlton, was an Ivy Lee devotee who worked for Standard Oil in the 1930s, strategized against labor movements and …

S3, Ep 6: Manipulating the Masses and Predicting the Future—Edward Bernays and W. Howard Chase

February 25th, 2020


Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, coined the term "public relations" when propaganda started to become a negative term. His specialty was using …

We Interrupt This Podcast for New Research + Emily Atkin and Guardian CEO Anna Bateson on Banning Fossil Fuel Ads

February 18th, 2020


We'll be back with more Mad Men tales next week, we promise! While we're out chasing leads, listen to this great interview from Emily Atkin with The Guardian's interim CEO Anna Bateson about that publication's decision …

S3, Ep 5: Oil Slick, Part 2—False Equivalence and Free Speech

February 11th, 2020


In part two of our episode on former Mobil VP Herb Schmertz, we dig into how Schmertz's approach bred false equivalence, and why he pushed so hard for the extension of First Amendment rights to corporations.
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S3, Ep 4: Oil Slick, Part 1—The Rise of the Corporate Persona

February 4th, 2020


Mobil Oil's longtime PR guy Herb Schmertz really started to aggressively manipulate the media. He introduced so many new bells and whistles to Big …

S3, Ep 3: Psychological Warfare, Astroturfing, and Another Tobacco-Oil Connection

January 28th, 2020


Daniel Edelman learned the tools of his trade combatting Nazi propaganda in WWII, then came home and put his psychological warfare training to work …

S3, Ep 2: The Oil-Nazi-Propaganda Triangle

January 21st, 2020


Ivy Lee worked with Standard Oil and the Rockefellers for the rest of his life, helping to establish the American Petroleum Institute in 1919, and …

S3, Ep 1: The Father of Public Relations

January 21st, 2020


In this season we're tackling Big Oil's big propaganda machine—its origins, the spin masters who created it, and why it's been so effective. It all began more than 100 years ago with Standard Oil, John D. Rockefeller …

S3: The Mad Men of Climate Denial

December 5th, 2019


Big Oil gave Hitler propaganda tips decades ago and their PR machine has only grown from there. This season we dig into the history of fossil fuel propaganda and the few "Mad Men of climate denial" who shaped it. Coming …

Youth Climate Suits and Inter-generational Injustice

November 28th, 2019


In the Juliana vs. The United States case, a group of young people sued the government for incentivizing increased fossil fuel dependence, thereby …

Recap: ExxonMobil's New York Fraud Trial

November 8th, 2019


New York's fraud trial against ExxonMobil closed November 7th. Reporter Emily Gertz and Union of Concerned Scientist's Kathy Mulvey watched it …

Fake Reporters and #FakeNews: How Fossil Fuel Companies Hide Behind Energy Blogs

September 3rd, 2019


A look at how those fossil fuel-backed deception campaigns are continuing today, behind a couple layers of energy industry organizations, alliances, and "news" sites. Documentation: Western Energy Alliance 990, showing …

Big Oil Is Ramping Up PR Spend and Oil Production

August 15th, 2019


Two new reports highlight that, since the Paris Agreement in 2016, the fossil fuel industry has ramped up both oil production and greenwashing. Plus: why the heck are mainstream media outlets making Big Oil's ads for …

S2E6: Facing Extinction

May 20th, 2019


As the crabbers' 2018-2019 season comes to an abrupt close, they prepare for a year that could see the fishery close altogether. Meanwhile the oil …

S2E5 David vs. Goliath

May 13th, 2019


As the first industry to sue Big Oil, the West Coast crab fishery is likely to meet an even tougher fight than the states, counties, and cities …

S2E4 Taking Big Oil to Court

May 6th, 2019


As the crabbers' lawsuit against the world's 30 largest fossil fuel producers is filed, we take a look at the evidence, and what exactly sent …

S2E3: Two Lawsuits at Once, Both Driven by Climate Change

April 29th, 2019


Now facing annual closures due to climate change, crabbers learn some new information that spurs them to become the first industry to sue Big Oil. 
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S2E2: A Late Season and a Shaky Future

April 22nd, 2019


As the 2015 delay wears on, and holiday markets come and go, crabbers are getting desperate. Some are forced out of business, others worry that this …

S2E1: A Crisis, a Cover-Up, and a Community on the Front Lines of Climate Change

April 22nd, 2019


In 2015, West Coast crab fishermen were shut down by climate change. Atmospheric changes had warmed waters and upended everything from the food chain …

Coming Soon: Hot Water, a New Drilled Series

April 3rd, 2019


In 2015 a warm water "blob," the result of both warming oceans and shifting wind patterns, wreaked havoc on West Coast fishing towns. Three years …

Big Oil's New Story: The First Amendment Covers Climate Denial

February 5th, 2019


In a batch of aggressive countersuits, Exxon is accusing the counties, cities, and states of conspiring to quash its First Amendment rights to …

Winning the War

November 18th, 2017


Fossil fuel industry influence campaigns ensured that we lost a critical 30 years not taking action on climate change. But all is not lost. The …

Campaigns So Successful They've Landed in Court

November 17th, 2017


The fossil fuel industry's decades-long information war was so successful that even though oil companies themselves began publicly accepting climate …

The First Step to Influencing Policy: Setting Research Agendas

January 17th, 2017


If you unravel climate policy back to its origins, eventually you get to academic research. Although oil companies dramatically reduced their own …

Aggressive Think Tanks, Shouty Pundits, and a New Religious Argument

November 17th, 2016


To make media manipulation and lobbying truly effective, oil companies and their public relations firms also had to shift the culture, influencing …

Exploiting Scientists' Kryptonite: Certainty

November 17th, 2016


In addition to using journalists' views on their own objectivity against them, oil companies exploited various weaknesses in science, namely scientists' tendency toward not prioritizing or valuing good communication …

Weaponizing False Equivalence

October 16th, 2016


As climate disinformation campaigns ramped up in the 1990s, oil companies and their PR firms exploited weaknesses in the U.S. media system and propped up "contrarian" scientists to push the narrative of scientific …

The Turn

September 15th, 2016


As the price of oil dipped in the early 1980s, management changed at most oil companies and the industry as a whole became more concerned with …

The Bell Labs of Energy

August 14th, 2016


In the 1970s and early 1980s, Exxon wanted to be the Bell Labs of energy. It hired brilliant scientists who conducted cutting-edge research on everything from the "greenhouse effect" to renewable energy. At the time, …

Drilled: A True Crime Podcast about Climate Change

May 21st, 2016


Launching November 14th, Drilled is a limited series investigative true-crime podcast about the crime of the century: the creation of climate denial.

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