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Podcast Episode 9

The Petroleum Papers

with Geoff Dembicki
Hosted by Neil Wilson

The Petroleum Papers

with Geoff Dembicki
Hosted by Neil Wilson
GEOFF DEMBICKI - Photo by Jody Rogak

The Festival’s Neil Wilson sits down with Geoff Dembicki, an investigative climate change reporter to discuss his acclaimed book, The Petroleum Papers: Inside the Far-Right Conspiracy to Cover Up Climate Change, published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute.


Burning fossil fuels will cause catastrophic global warming: this is what top American oil executives were told by scientists in 1959. But they ignored that warning. Instead, they developed one of the biggest, most polluting oil sources in the world—the oil sands in Alberta, Canada. 


In The Petroleum Papers, Dembicki draws from confidential oil industry documents to uncover for the first time how companies like Exxon, Koch Industries, and Shell built a global right-wing echo chamber to protect oil sands profits—a misinformation campaign that continues to this day. He also tells the high-stakes stories of people fighting back: a Seattle lawyer who brought down Big Tobacco and is now going after Big Oil, a Filipina activist whose family drowned in a climate disaster, and a former Exxon engineer pushed out for asking hard questions.


With experts now warning we have less than a decade to get global emissions under control, The Petroleum Papers provides a step-by-step account of how we got to this precipice—and the politicians and companies who deserve our blame.



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