Thanks Dr. Evil! Fossil Fuel Propaganda Misfire Goes Viral

February 12, 2015

Every once in a while we can pull back the curtain and get a good look at the evil elves and Madison Avenue Orcs deployed by the fossil fuel barons. Look hard, climate deniers. This is the man pulling your strings.

Posted by a front group called the “Environmental Policy Alliance”, this corporate forged “viral” video popped up a couple days ago. Had to check and make sure this wasn’t a joke, but it’s real.


Evil, Scary Bill Mckibben from the video


Check out the video above for the hilarious/bad caricature of Bill Mckibben, and for the ‘fossil fuel” girl friend, who I guess is supposed to be attractive, but unfortunately for the producers, looks disturbingly like “Mr Hanky” of South Park fame.  The piece is getting a lot of views, but maybe not for the reasons the client hoped.


Big Green Radicals is a front group operated by the PR firm Berman & Co. Berman & Co. operates a network of dozens of front groups, attack-dog web sites, and alleged think tanks that work to counteract minimum wage campaigns, keep wages low for restaurant workers, and to block legislation on food safety, secondhand cigarette smoke, drunk driving, and more.

Big Green Radicals describes itself as “a project of the Environmental Policy Alliance (EPA), which exists to educate the public about the real agenda of well-funded environmental activist groups” according its website. “The EPA receives support from individuals, businesses, and foundations.”


Richard Berman is the type of corporate hit man that Aaron Eckhart played in “Thank You For Smoking” – amoral, vicious, and dishonest.  PR guys like him usually don’t make the headlines, preferring to remain the man behind the curtain – but a few months ago he showed up in the New York Times, because recommendations he made in a  presentation were so vile and offensive that even members of the oil industry audience were disgusted.


 If the oil and gas industry wants to prevent its opponents from slowing its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing hankyfossil2tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities, a veteran Washington political consultant told a room full of industry executives in a speech that was secretly recorded.

The blunt advice from the consultant, Richard Berman, the founder and chief executive of the Washington-based Berman & Company consulting firm, came as Mr. Berman solicited up to $3 million from oil and gas industry executives to finance an advertising and public relations campaign called Big Green Radicals.

The company executives, Mr. Berman said in his speech, must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because “you can either win ugly or lose pretty,” he said.

“Think of this as an endless war,” Mr. Berman told the crowd at the June event in Colorado Springs, sponsored by the Western Energy Alliance, a group whose members include Devon Energy, Halliburton and Anadarko Petroleum, which specialize in extracting oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. “And you have to budget for it.”

What Mr. Berman did not know — and what could now complicate his task of marginalizing environmental groups that want to impose limits on fracking — is that one of the energy industry executives recorded his remarks and was offended by them.

“That you have to play dirty to win,” said the executive, who provided a copy of the recording and the meeting agenda to The New York Times under the condition that his identity not be revealed. “It just left a bad taste in my mouth.”

Pdf of Berman’s presentation here.

Speaking of bad taste, “60 Minutes” profiled Berman as an attack dog for the purveyors of poisonous junk food, and he was proud enough of that to post it on his own Youtube channel, below.

John Mashey at Desmogblog:

Berman was paid well by Philip Morris (PM), which stays in business only by addicting people during vulnerable adolescent/young adult brain development, so they can be lifeshort customers. Berman has worked for companies that privatize the profits and socialize the costs. He attacked fine scientists like Steve Schneider (Stanford) and Stan Glantz (UCSF).

Following is a small sample from the instructive Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. Philip Morris was quite friendly to Berman, responding quickly with money, at least $600K + ($200K + $200K + $500K) + $350K + $300K = $21.5M in 4 years.

1995.10.19 Barbara Trach (PM) to Ellen Merlo (PM)

“We have been looking for a consultant who is both a hospitality industry insider as well as a legislatively astute individual . We believe we have found a worthy candidate who can help us to test these waters and ultimately succeed in achieving our goal.
Rick Berman …General Counsel to The American Beverage Institute (A.B.I). The ABI is an organization of restaurateurs and beverage industry leaders whose goal is to inform government officials and the public on issues involving adult beverages.The primary issue of the ABI is opposing the lowering of the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level.”  (more praise for Berman)

1995.11.25 Berman (GCN) to Elizabeth Culley (Philip Morris)

“… I’m hopeful that your company will be able to make a contribution of $500,000 to help us continue our education program on behalf of the hospitality industry and the public consumer.”

And it’s not only the Oil industry that is repulsed by Berman. His own son has some choice things to say.

2009 background story in PRWatch:

Rick Berman’s son, David Berman, is a 42-year-old singer-songwriter who, since 1989, has been the front singer for a popular New York City indie rock band called the “Silver Jews.” Over the years, the Jews have developed a loyal following, but on January 22, 2009 David Berman stunned his fans by posting a note to an online message board announcing that after all these years he was leaving the Silver Jews. The reason? His father, Rick Berman.

In scathing language, David disclosed to his fans who his father is, and how leaving the band related to his father’s work. David wrote,

“Now that the Joos are over I can tell you my gravest secret. Worse than suicide, worse than crack addiction:

My father.

You might be surprised to know he is famous, for terrible reasons. My father is a despicable man. My father is a sort of human molestor.

An exploiter. A scoundrel. A world historical mother******* son of a bitch. (sorry grandma).

You can read about him here:

… A couple of years ago I demanded he stop his work. Close down his company or I would sever our relationship.

He refused. He has just gotten worse. More evil. More powerful. We’ve been “estranged” for over three years.

Even as a child I disliked him. We were opposites. I wanted to read. He wanted to play games.

He is a union buster.

When I got out of college I joined the Teamsters (the guards were union organized at the Whitney).

I went off to hide in art and academia.

I fled through this art portal for twenty years. In the meantime my Dad started a very very bad company called Berman and Company.

He props up fast food/soda/factory farming/childhood obesity and diabetes/drunk driving/secondhand smoke.

He attacks animal lovers, ecologists, civil action attorneys, scientists, dieticians, doctors, teachers.

His clients include everyone from the makers of Agent Orange to the Tanning Salon Owners of America.

He helped ensure the minimum wage did not move a penny from 1997-2007!

The worst part for me as a writer is what he does with the English language.

Though vicious he is a doltish thinker, and his spurious editorials rely on doublethink and always with the Lashon Hara.

As I studied Judaism over the years, the shame and the shanda, grew almost too much. My heart was constantly on fire for justice. I could find no relief.

This winter I decided that the SJs [Silver Jews] were too small of a force to ever come close to undoing a millionth of all the harm he has caused. To you and everyone you know.

Literally, if you eat food or have a job, he is reaching you.

I’ve always hid this terrible shame from you, the fan. The SJs have always stood autonomous and clear.

Hopefully it won’t contaminate your feelings about the work … In a way I am the son of a demon come to make good the damage.

Previously I thought, through songs and poems and drawings I could find and build a refuge away from his world.

But there is the matter of Justice.

And I’ll tell you it’s not just a metaphor. The desire for it actually burns.

It hurts.

There needs to be something more. I’ll see what that might be.


David’s powerful note provides insight into the tortured feelings David has endured as the son of the Lobbyist from Hell. We well agree that Rick Berman is guilty of shamefully obstructing public health and working to crush those who care about public welfare, clean air, the environment, animal rights and other causes. For any normal father, this public note would be excruciatingly painful. For all we know, it might be for Rick Berman, too. But will the pain of this note be enough to change him?

We hope David’s public expression of his feelings about his father’s work will make Rick Berman think about what he is doing to society, if not his family. If it isn’t, well then David, we are on your side and are willing to help you in any way we can.

Obviously, a despairing son is not enough to touch the heart of this unrepentant fossil fuel propagandist.

Look long and hard. These are the people I started my blog to counteract. They are funded with millions of dollars earned by the destruction of the planetary life support system.  I don’t have that kind of funding, but we are making an impact, the curtain is being pulled back, and we’re no longer on the defensive.




24 Responses to “Thanks Dr. Evil! Fossil Fuel Propaganda Misfire Goes Viral”

  1. Haha, why didn’t the cute barrel of oil say something like: “Why do you leave me? I am all lubed up and ready.”

    I am just amazed at the amount of stupid that comes out of all these funny sounding “organizations”. And their creativity stretches to examples like “Independent Petroleum Association of America” – IPAA – geddit? Almost as creative as NIPCC.

    Not so sure they bothered to google up that acronym as it used in medicine where it is “Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis”, a procedure done… well… where these people pull most of their science from. Hopefully they are lubed up as well before they do it.

  2. Linda Plano Says:

    Oh man, I feel for David. I’ve been burned a few times in my life by people who cared more about their success than doing the right thing (who hasn’t?), but that’s nothing compared to facing that level of betrayal by a father. And if a son can’t influence his own father, I guess it’s no wonder it’s so difficult to influence some deniers.

    But I refuse to believe most people are like Rick. Most people don’t find gratification in misleading others (those guys are called con (wo)men. In fact, I think most people who deny any set of facts do so in part precisely because they are afraid of being misled by such people… and the more invested they become in believing the alternate reality, the worse the pain of discovering they’ve been trusting the wrong people and the firmer the resolve not to change.

    No doubt deniers would feel I am doing precisely the same thing. Well, tilting at windmills is my favorite form of exercise (especially those in wind farms ;).

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Could you explain exactly why you mean by “…tilting at windmills is my favorite form of exercise (especially those in wind farms)”?

      • Linda Plano Says:

        “Tilting at windmills” because I do what I think is right, not what is expedient or more financially rewarding, and I go up against others who I think are doing what is not right. Tough to win.

        E.g., I helped to found and then ran for a couple years what I believe was the first clean energy business competition in the country (world?) in 2004. A couple years later, someone came along and – after refusing an invitation to step in and take over the existing competition – announced in the paper (that rarely covered any of what we were doing) that he was launching a brand new, unique clean energy business competition.

        We kicked their butts, and the new competition folded after a year or two, but then more political maneuvering came along and my leadership was out (long story, but one bad decision on my part hastened this result) and the competition went from rapid growth to near-collapse.

        To say that I was devastated is an understatement. It took years for me to recover from that battle, which shows I took things *just* a little too personally. The good news is that the competition didn’t die, although it lost its early lead, and is now part of a nationwide competition. The current leadership is very focused on the goals of the original competition (with expanded market areas) and I am very proud of what they have accomplished. I volunteer every year to help prep the regional finalists and provide pitch training when asked, but am not a leader.

        So “tilting at windfarm windmills” was meant as a reference to my work helping entrepreneurs launch and grow all kinds of clean energy companies. In retrospect, I can see it was pretty confusing stated that way. 🙂

        • dumboldguy Says:

          “In retrospect, I can see it was pretty confusing stated that way”

          A bit—that’s why I asked—it could be interpreted that you were anti wind farm. Thanks for the explanation. (And it’s not really “tilting at windmills” when there are real “giants” being attacked and actual victories being won)

          Don’t lose heart and keep on plugging.

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    Dr. Evil is a good handle for this slick scumbag POS. His son says it all, so I won’t add to that list. The 60 Minutes clip and the transcript of the WEA talk are simply horrifying, and Berman is abominable beyond description.

    We in the Washington DC area are being inundated with ads from the American Petroleum Institute. One shorter one tells lies about the KXL pipeline and touts it as a “godsend” to America. Another longer and slicker one goes the whole nine yards with “U.S. is now the #1 gas producer, soon to be energy independent, fracking is great, fossil fuels create jobs and a strong economy” and similar BS. The finale is a “Fourth of July” type celebration complete with fireworks and waving flags. It’s enough to make one puke (although it probably brings tears to the eyes of the Bubbas). Is this happening anywhere else in the country or is it directed at Congress and the DC power structure? They are not afraid to spend big ad bucks to remind Congress that $$$ is there for those who toe the line. (I wonder if Dr. Evil was involved with either ad?).

  4. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    Love the stool in a Santa cap!

  5. Here’s the skit from “Kentucky Fried Movie” they ripped off for this:

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Excellent stuff! (Although, like Peter, the EPA one seemed like a joke to me at first And notice the letters EPA—think that was deliberate?—-now they can spread all kinds of BS in the name of the “EPA”

  6. anotheralionel Says:

    “And notice the letters EPA—think that was deliberate?—-now they can spread all kinds of BS in the name of the “EPA””

    Yes I did and wondered how they can get away with that one? After all look what happens when somebody else, a small entity, happens to have a good name for a product when one of the big companies decides to use that name too. The little guy gets taken to court and loses by default by not being able to defend their brand, even though they were first with the name.

    • There is a deliberate attempt at confusing people with the similar sounding acronyms, they know that people google things up and if they crosslink enough between sites (including posting links here on this site) the search rating will rise. That is why you get so much WUWT crap on the top of the search no matter what term within climate science you pick (or even papers or new research). As for me I have added an nice plugin that enabled me to block domains from google searches so I never again have to see all the crappy denier sites in my searches anymore. I suggest you all do the same. I had hoped Google would take a more deliberate stand on the climate issue by now and just downrated all those crappy denier sites.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Actually, there are hundreds of “EPA” acronyms, and I don’t think you can patent-trademark-copyright an acronym. Perhaps the actual words can be, though.

      You can bet these swine are going to use the acronym rather than spell it out.

  7. John Says:

    Reblogged this on jpratt27.

  8. […] the most powerful industry on the warming Earth unnerved by citizen activism, to the extent that Big Oil’s hired guns are launching new attacks on such figures as’s Bill McKibben. However, it’s just morbid to realize that […]

  9. Peter Sinclair, thank you for researching and writing this article. The letter from his son, David, helped show the darkness of Rick Berman’s character, and those like him. Nothing but power and greed matter to these psychopaths (attributes – lacking a moral conscience, empathy, and they don’t recognize that the consequences of their actions befall them as well). David’s courage, shared with the world, is a gift.
    There is another aspect of this story that should be told – Geoengineering (this was a big week for the mainstream to role that out, again with more lies). The fossil fuel industry is going to push hard for geoengineering’s acceptance as a remedy to CO2/warming. We are warming. Methane (Arctic, especially the potential 50 gigaton release from the E. Siberian Shelf) must be added to this danger. Geoengineering has been in place, or already deployed for years. Look at your crisscrossed skies everyday – SRM (Solar radiation Management). It’s made a bad situation exponentially worse, and now the geoengineers (and no doubt fossil fuel lobbyists as backers) are trying to ‘sell’ it to an unsuspecting public (who never looks at the skies) as a ‘fix’, when in actuality, it’s what has amplified the warming problem. – read current updates, and research more details.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      A perceptive comment until you got to “Look at your crisscrossed skies everyday”, where you made me wonder if you were going to go all “chemtrailer” on us and maybe even bring up 9/11.

      Living south of Dulles International, I get to “look” every day—just plain old contrails here—like the ones we have been seeing since planes first got up into the atmosphere far enough to produce them. Remember 12 O’clock High? And reading the Washington Post every day, I have seen the recent “buzz” about how we are soon going to embark on a geo-engineering “study”—-as you say, the fossil fuel industry is no doubt behind that to some extent (as are shadowy but honest government agencies who are trying to prepare us for SHTF time).

      True, there were “geo-engineering experiments” being conducted many decades ago, as in weather modification through cloud seeding by many countries, notably the Chinese (where it didn’t turn out too well). But we don’t need to get all squirrelly just yet (google “rainbow conspiracy” and check out Sprinkler Lady). The question I always ask is why the dirty rotten chemtrailers are always doing their dirty work in broad daylight over major metropolitan areas where everyone can see them? If they had half a brain, the fleets of planes would instead be flying over the oceans at night where nobody is watching. Any thoughts on that?

      – SRM (Solar radiation Management). It’s made a bad situation exponentially worse, and now the geoengineers (and no doubt fossil fuel lobbyists as backers) are trying to ‘sell’ it to an unsuspecting public (who never looks at the skies) as a ‘fix’, when in actuality, it’s what has amplified the warming problem.

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