For over a decade the coal industry has funded campaigns designed to convince Americans that coal can be burned without adverse environmental impacts. These campaigns raise troubling ethical issues. In fact, as we shall see, these campaigns have often been misleading and deceptive in several different ways. This deception is classic propaganda because propaganda presents facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented.

This new paper by Donald A. Brown from Penn State University compares science and ethics of the Gulf Deepwater Horizon with the Climate Change. It argues that although the Gulf spill is a huge disaster, climate change is a huge moral failure leading to a worse environmental disaster.