Help call out the Dirty Lie

by Mike Gaworecki

July 26, 2010

We’ve all heard the arguments from Big Oil and King Coal: “Without coal and oil, energy and gas prices would go through the roof;” or “We have to use domestic coal and oil reserves to ensure our energy security;” and “Renewables can’t do the job, so we have to keep using fossil fuels.”

That’s the Dirty Lie: The idea, heavily promoted by coal and oil industry lobbyists and their friends in Congress, that there is no remedy for our addiction to fossil fuels. But the truth is that with today’s technology, we can continue to grow our economy while phasing out fossil fuels altogether.

Greenpeace: Don't believe the Dirty LieOur Energy [R]evolution report lays out a roadmap for achieving a clean energy economy. It also shows that we could create over a million American jobs in the renewable energy sector alone by 2030.

So if we have the means for kicking our dirty energy habit and moving to clean, green energy, and most Americans are more than supportive, why isn’t it happening? The reason is simple: Big industry has an incredible amount of influence over our energy policy, thanks to decades of campaign contributions to the politicians who make the rules. These companies and politicians defend their planet-killing actions by saying that we need coal and oil. It’s time to call out the Dirty Lie, and break their stranglehold.

That’s where you come in. We need help watchdogging the politicians and talking heads who take money from the fossil fuels industry and then push the Dirty Lie on the American public. Whenever you catch the Dirty Lie being promoted without challenge, or find a case where someone is regurgitating fossil fuels lobbyist talking points as if they were fact, let us know. In turn, we’ll let you know when and where to help set the record straight.

There are a variety of ways you can plug in to our work to call out the Dirty Lie:

3 Ways to expose the Dirty Lie


If you have a Facebook account you can immediately mobilize your friends to expose the dirty lie. When you find an article that repeats the lie, post it to your Facebook with a status message that says something like:

“This article claims that we can’t live without fossil fuels. That is a dirty lie! Please go to the article and leave a comment saying so.”


If you spot the Dirty Lie in the media and want to report it via Twitter, just use the hashtag #dirtylie and make sure you link to the news piece in question. We’ll be searching for this hashtag regularly, so we’ll be sure to find it. You can regularly search for tweets with this hashtag as well, we’ll use it to let you know how you can help call out the worst offenders.


Delicious is a Social Bookmarking service that allows you to bookmark and save web pages online, share them with other people, and see what other people are bookmarking. It’s perfect for the work before us of calling out the Dirty Lie!

Delicious also allows you to tag your bookmarks with a keyword. That makes it a great tool for collaboration because we can easily look up all web pages tagged with the key word “DirtyLie.”

Here’s how to help:

1) If you’re new to Delicious, the first thing you need to do is create an account. Go to and follow the instructions. If you have a yahoo account you can use that to quickly create one. If not you’ll need to create one of those too.

2) Add a bookmarklet button to your browser’s bookmark bar. This way you’ll be able to bookmark and tag articles anywhere on the web with just a click. Go to and follow the instructions for your web browser.

3) Now it’s time to start exposing the Dirty Lie by bookmarking and tagging articles. When you read articles that repeat junk science like “We’ll never have enough renewable energy to replace oil,” click your “Bookmark on Delicious” bookmarklet button you added to your browser. A pop-up window will appear. Add the tag “dirtylie” (important: keep “dirtylie” as one word) and any other tags or info you think is appropriate and click save.

4) Find other articles tagged with “dirtylie” at You can read and comment on these articles and find other Delicious users that are exposing the Dirty Lie.

Greenpeace staff and volunteers will be keeping an eye on all of these social networks for the instances of the Dirty Lie you report. We’ll prioritize the worst offenders and let you know how you can help set the record straight.

Of course, you can also stay tuned right here on this blog to find out when and where you can help push back on the Dirty Lie. Stay tuned.

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