Note this from Davos via Tom Nelson:
Friedman adds that Exxon Mobil has “done a number” on the debate with PR. Brilliant says that their role is to get information to people, as much information as they can. Page says that success is the best message — that is, if they had three-cent power, everyone would come.
Gore, from the audience, takes issue with Brilliant, saying that getting information out is no longer sufficient. “That’s the way the world used to work. The world doesn’t work that way anymore. The reason that the tobacco industry was able to continue killing people for 40 years ater the surger General’s report…. they understood the power of strategic persuasion. They went about it in a very careful, organized, and well-funded way.” He says we are “vulnerable to strategic persuasion campaigns if the other side assumes that we should just get the information out there.” He says Exxon Mobil has funded 40 front groups to “in their own words position global warming as theory rather than fact.” He concludes: “We need to take them on, Goddamnit.”
Using what rational metric could anyone argue that ExxonMobil and the oil/power industry is winning or dominating the PR war on global warming? Gore and company are leading this race 1000:1. Every media story is sympathetic to their side. Every public school course teaches it their way. The entire scientific grant process is tilted to make sure only global warming believers get funding. Exxon has been outspent thousands to one in funding research. Only a few lone bloggers and scientists even keep the skeptic’s issues alive. If climate scientists really have such a warped perspective on measurement, can we really trust them to be measuring temperature correctly?
Gore’s frustration is that, despite this 1000:1 PR advantage, his side is still losing the hearts and minds of average Americans, who are far less likely to think in lockstep with their country’s "elites" than are Europeans. His definition of Exxon controlling the debate is having Exxon be able to excercise its free speech rights at all. And since he "takes them on" at every turn, my guess is what he means by this exhortation is to actually use the coercive power of the government to shut Exxon and other skeptics up completely.