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Tomorrow’s the Day! Help Us Launch ‘The Petroleum Papers’

Come to the celebration of Geoff Dembicki’s explosive new book Tuesday evening, Sept. 20. It’s free.

Em Cooper 19 Sep

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

Join The Tyee, Greystone Books and Upstart & Crow booksellers 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.

Be there tomorrow evening for this free event. Just RSVP with Eventbrite to let us know you're coming.

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 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 favour. 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.

Expect a number of well-known climate journalists, researchers and activists to be in attendance, including many members of The Tyee team.

Stop by from 5:30 p.m. onwards. Meet 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’

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.

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, investigative journalist Dembicki draws on American oil companies’ own archives to expose the fact that they’ve 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.

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.

The Tyee recently published an interview with Dembicki as well as an excerpt from his book.

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 and published widely including by the New York Times, Foreign Affairs and Rolling Stone, Dembicki 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 will host a selection of their locally brewed beer on tap and Burdy Food Truck will offer 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-19-aware. We recommend you bring weather appropriate clothing and your own camping chair if you would prefer seating. Further accessibility information can be found here. If you are unable to attend on this date, you are in luck as there is a VPL talk featuring Dembicki the next evening at the central library.

If you are able to attend, please RSVP and we will see you tomorrow, Sept. 20!  [Tyee]

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