A Climate Poem for 2019: Big Oil’s Lies and How to Respond

by | June 7, 2019


I’ve got something a little different for you this week.

On occasion, I dabble with poetry. This one sort of just started pouring out of me the other night when I couldn’t fall asleep. The next day I decided some of you may actually enjoy it, so I spent several more hours getting it to a good place.

Stories of the fossil fuel industry, big agriculture, trade associations, utilities, and others’ misinformation campaigns are starting to come out. I just name big oil in this because it’s the most well known.

If there are any true crime fans out there, or if you just want to learn more about the incredibly destructive, effective, and decades-long misinformation campaigns (still happening today), check out the articles and podcast at the end of the poem.

…also any ideas for a title are more than welcome 🙂



Humanity’s future has all but been sold

And this is the tale that needs to be told.


For decades we’ve been cheated, lied to, deceived

Kidnapped by a wealthy few’s infinite greed.


Big oil knew climate change was real as can be

They knew it’d harm folks, like you and me.


You see, as they raised their oil rigs to deal with future sea level rise

They were also spending billions to fill our heads with propaganda and lies.


So our world today still runs on fossil fuels

Because from the 80s til now, they’ve played us like fools.


Big oil fights against humanity to make their profit sky-rocket

And pays off politicians – stuffing them deep in their pocket.


They have them delay action and spread all their lies

And they’re all okay watching, as life on Earth dies.


They tell us it’s our fault and to change our individual actions

They turn us against each other – creating new factions.


But that is another lie – a white one at least

Because individual action alone can’t tackle this beast.


We must rise united, we must work together

To have any chance of making life on Earth better.


Still today, they have a stranglehold on humanity’s fate

But the story’s not over – it’s not too late.


Though it is high time we all face what’s gone wrong

For the lies, greed, and evil have ruled us too long.


So what can you do, you may want to ask

How could you possibly help with this daunting task?


Though it’s easy to feel unimportant or too small to act

That belief is just false – it’s simply a fact.


So enough with the thoughts that make you feel powerless

Because your help is sorely needed to get us out of this mess.


And I don’t care if you’re brand new to this or how green you are

If you want a livable future, we’re on the same team – it’s not a high bar.


Although there’s much to do, the solution is clear

So share it around – fill many an ear:


This moment demands we join forces and do all we can think of

To protect this place we call home – and the people we love.


In case you want to dive in deeper:

  • Inside Climate News (award winning investigative journalism).
  • Drilled (great podcast).
    • “Secret documents, psychological warfare, whistleblowers, media manipulation, this is a story that has it all. Join us as we uncover the mechanics of the longest-running and most elaborate propaganda campaign of the century—the creation and spread of climate change denial—and why it’s been so effective.”

Read other content from the “Alarming” section or see all sections of the What on EARTH?! sustainability newsletter.

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