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Come to Our Launch of Geoff Dembicki’s ‘The Petroleum Papers’

It’s one of fall’s ‘most anticipated’ books. You’re invited to The Tyee’s celebration.

Em Cooper 2 Sep 2022TheTyee.ca

Em Cooper is the outreach manager at The Tyee and a standup comedian.

Join The Tyee, Greystone Books and Upstart & Crow booksellers in Vancouver to celebrate Geoff Dembicki's The Petroleum Papers, called an “essential” and “vivid expose.” This is one of Kirkus Media’s top anticipated books of the fall season and is already receiving acclaim from critics and readers alike.

The Petroleum Papers is published in partnership with the David Suzuki Institute. Founded in 2010, the David Suzuki Institute is an evidence-based, non-profit organization that stimulates debate and action in Canada on critical issues of nature and social justice, with emphasis on the climate and biodiversity crises and their solutions.

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 who drove us to this precipice — the companies and politicians, in Canada and the U.S., who knew for over a half century the looming catastrophe and chose to conspire to disinform and blunt an effective response. The cast of characters range from Newt Gingrich to Stephen Harper to the Koch brothers, and lawyers, activists and scientists who battled bravely against the co-ordinated effort to rob us of our future.

Renowned climate author and activist Bill McKibben calls The Petroleum Papers, “a truly needed compendium of Big Oil's endless lies — Geoff Dembicki has done the world a tremendous favor. Hopefully we'll act on it.”

The Tyee’s Andrew Nikiforuk says, “Dembicki documents how oil industry executives willfully ignored the findings of their own scientists, then spent nearly 30 years sowing confusion in order to paralyze public debate.... Read this book on the power of lies and scream.”

The event is on Tuesday, Sept. 20 and is free. Stop by from 5:30 p.m. onwards. Meet Geoff Dembicki, who started at The Tyee as an intern a decade ago and now is one of North America’s leading journalists on the climate beat. He’ll speak a bit at 6 p.m., followed by book signings. Enjoy food, drinks and good company until 10 p.m. that evening.

More about 'The Petroleum Papers'

Drawing from hundreds of confidential oil industry documents spanning decades, this explosive work of investigative reporting reveals for the first time the far-right conspiracy that’s stopped the world from preventing the climate crisis.

In The Petroleum Papers, Dembicki tells the story of how the American oil companies that founded the tarsands in Alberta — home to the third-biggest oil reserves on the planet — ignored warnings about climate devastation as early as 1959. Instead of alerting the world to act on this impending global disaster, Exxon, Koch Industries, Shell and others, sometimes in cahoots with the Canadian government, poured money and lobbying efforts into preventing political action in the U.S., while creating ad campaigns saying climate change isn't real and that alternatives to oil are an economic disaster.

These companies built a global right-wing echo chamber to ensure tarsands could keep flowing into the U.S., which helped elect Donald Trump and now leaves the Joe Biden administration and the rest of the world with a sprawling climate mess.

But Dembicki also tells the high-stakes stories of people fighting back: the Seattle lawyer who brought Big Tobacco to its knees and is now going after Big Oil, a young Filipino activist who saw her family drown in a climate disaster, and a former engineer at Exxon who was pushed out for asking too many 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.

Dembicki’s book will be the subject of further coverage in The Tyee around the time it’s released, Sept. 20. And if you want to be right there with him on that day, come to our big launch event! It’s free, and a celebration of The Tyee community as well as Geoff’s great accomplishment.

About the author

Dembicki is from Alberta, home of the largest tarsand deposits in the world. His book Are We Screwed? won the 2018 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature.

A regular contributor to The Tyee and Vice, Geoff honed his climate reporting on The Tyee’s digital pages and remains a sought-after voice on the climate crisis.

He now lives in Brooklyn (so we know that many Vancouver friends, family and fans will be in attendance to say hello at his launch party).

Accessibility and logistics

Please RSVP on Eventbrite, so we have a sense of numbers. This event is first come, first served so we recommend arriving around 5:30 p.m. to secure your spot.

Container Brewing hosts a selection of their locally brewed beer on tap and Burdy Food Tuck offers delicious hot sandwiches including chicken parm and eggplant parm. They serve salad, fries and even Beeramisu which is tiramisu made with Container's All Season Dry Stout. Non-alcoholic offerings will be available from Not Too Sweet Craft Sodas. All refreshments are available for purchase.

This event will be hosted outside, rain or shine, in Container’s lovely outdoor patio area to be COVID-safer. We recommend you bring weather appropriate clothing and your own camping chair if you would prefer seating. Further accessibility information can be found here.

Please RSVP and we will see you on Sept. 20!  [Tyee]

Read more: Energy, Media, Environment

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