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If your message about fossil gas being clean and green isn't persuading the public - is it because the message is not true? 

No! It's because you're not communicating it properly! At least, that's what some gas bosses think.


This week we're fired up about:

Thanks to my supporters. Please join them and sponsor Fired Up and the volunteers at Comms Declare via Patreon!


GAS VERSUS REALITY
As I wrote last week, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) conference in Perth revealed how nervous the industry is about the energy transformation.

During the week, we heard how the sector is threatened by a lack of investment, lack of staff, unequipped board members and the "timebomb" of decommissioning old infrastructure.


The pressure was so great, that APPEA boss, Andrew McConville choked up in his closing address when speaking of the strain his staff had come under in the past 18 months.

Oddly, many spoke about how the sector's poor communication was a part of their problems. 

How can this be true?

APPEA's budget alone is around $8 million a year and the large oil and gas companies would easily spend tens of millions each annually on advertising, marketing, sponsorships, events and awards.

They are also helped by friendly media. The Australian Financial Review Editor-In-Chief, Michael Stutchbury, spoke at an APPEA conference lunch and was scheduled to appear on a panel about shareholder activists. His editorial on gas speaks volumes.

"Australian gas will play a critical role in tackling climate change during the decades-long transition to global net zero emissions.

Blanket opposition to any and all fossil fuels, and activist pressure on banks not to finance the gas industry, won’t help speed the transition."

Ben Harvey from Seven West Media and Ticky Fullerton from The Australian were moderators. APPEA covered the costs for Perry Williams from The Australian to attend the event - and bought an eight page spread in the paper as well as online ads.

Blaming communications is just another sign the industry is not dealing with reality.
Forward

APPEA'S PLAN TO WIN YOUR HEART

One of the most informative sessions showed how the lobby group intends to win hearts and minds leading up to the federal election.

The session featured John Scales from JWS Research and Sarah Browne, APPEA's Director of Public Affairs.

They started by showing how they've used research, focus group and pre-campaign evaluations to "hyper-target" people's concerns about the economy and climate change and turn those concerns into support for fossil gas.

This is why we've been bombarded by not-entirely-accurate messages that gas is good for the economy and is a clean energy source.

Then they concede that the federal government's plan to boost the economy through gas subsidies has created unhelpful debate.

So their new key message is: "sovereignty and security for Australia"

This falsely conflates patriotism and the interests of ordinary Australians with the interests of fossil fuels, and plays into the big lie that we need fossil fuel corporations for prosperity.

The message is basically a scare tactic: change is bad. 
 
Conveniently, it also mirrors Prime Minister, Scott Morrison's narrative that he's putting 'Australia first' in relation to emissions cuts. 

I feel the best way to counter this messaging is communicating a relentless, positive message about Australia being a renewable superpower with concrete demonstrations of how fabulous a life without polluting fossil fuels will be.

 
FUN FACT
JWS Research's clients include the fossil fuel lobby groups of NSW, South Australia and Queensland, as well as the Minerals Council of Australia, Coal21 (now LETA) and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, among other numerous government departments.
BOYCOTTED 'GB NEWS' - STILL BETTER THAN SKY 

Advertisers have stopped or suspended advertising on the UK's GB News Channel just days after it launched.

The move comes because of concerns about the tone and ethics of "Britain's News Channel" which is run by former Sky Australia boss, Angelos Frangopoulos, and brings Fox-style opinion to the UK. Concerns are not surprising when you see the branding.


Panicked advertisers include Kopparberg, Nivea, Grolsch, Ikea and Vodaphone, Indeed and Pinterest.

However GB News at least seems to accept the need for climate action - as evidenced in its coverage of the G7.


The same can't be said for Sky News Australia. Alan Jones opined that greenhouse gas emissions cuts are "nonsense", "crap" and the "most low order issue facing the world".

On YouTube, advertisers on this clip include NEC Australia, Zespri and MyHouse.com.au.
Support Climate Communications
CHARGED UP - EMISSIONS-REDUCING COMMUNICATIONS

1. Everyone who spoke out against the appointment of Whitehaven Coal Chairman, Mark Vaile as Chancellor of Newcastle University (including the above full page ad in the Newcastle Herald) and won!


2. Federal Opposition Spokesman for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen for taking solar panels into parliament to parody Scott Morrison's lump of coal.

3. Andrew Twiggy Forest ($) for calling out Santos and Woodside for planning massive new polluting gas projects in WA and NT. 
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