The ABCs of Big Oil: A Podcast Coming Soon From Earther and Drilled

Home Technology The ABCs of Big Oil: A Podcast Coming Soon From Earther and Drilled
The ABCs of Big Oil: A Podcast Coming Soon From Earther and Drilled
An illustration of an American flag and a gold bald eagle covered in oil.

Earther is working with the podcast Drilled to take you to school.

Here at Earther, we often write about the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long misinformation campaign; how despite understanding the dangers of using their products, energy majors like Exxon and Shell have spent billions of dollars spreading propaganda on TV, newspapers, and social media to promote doubt about the climate crisis. But Big Oil has waged this war on climate science in an even more insidious way, bringing pro-fossil fuel messaging to an even more vulnerable population: kids.


In a new podcast, I’ll be teaming up with Amy Westervelt, an award-winning investigative climate journalist, on a mini-series of the true crime climate podcast, Drilled. The show will shine a light on the oil industry’s long history of crafting pro-fossil fuel lesson plans, from elementary school through the college level, to indoctrinate children. The industry’s campaign to infiltrate social science curricula is a particularly insidious form of propaganda.

These curricula aren’t always recognizable as outright climate denial. Just as often, they aim to subtly shape kids’ understanding of society and the economy, promoting the false idea that human prosperity and freedom depends on the continued existence of fossil-fuel-based capitalism. Millions of Americans have been exposed to these narratives. Even now, as the world tries to end its fossil fuel addiction and transition to clean energy, you can still hear Big Oil’s classroom arguments parroted in response to ambitious climate policy proposals.

The energy sector has been engaging in this surreptitious behavior for the better part of a century, and have gone to great lengths to spread their message. They’ve also enlisted a bizarre cast of characters to help them, from the Department of Energy to William Shatner. In The ABCs of Big Oil, we’ll take you inside the campaigns to shape children’s view of the world, introduce you the characters behind these efforts, and cut through the barrage of misinformation.