Shortly prior to the so-called tobacco settlement of 1998 the big cigarette manufacturers adopted a tactic of acquiescence they thought would end their troubles with government.
Their strategy was complete capitulation on the scientific front. Henceforth Big Tobacco would peddle the scientific fraud concocted by anti-tobacco researchers, although in a more ambiguous and less hysterical fashion than the full-fledged panic attack preferred by anti-smoking shakedown artists. If anti-tobacco screeched that secondhand smoke was deadlier than plutonium, BT would talk about the need for reasonable smoking restrictions imposed by government. If the anti-smoking goon squad preposterously claimed that a 30 second exposure to a wisp of tobacco smoke hurt the heart, the cigarette manufacturers would encourage smokers to quit smoking. The Philip Morris company has often been particularly self-flagellating in all of this.
Big Tobacco’s financial prospects soared when it gave up the fight and rolled over for its enemies. Quite a paradox, it seemed, but the paradox was not forever. The long-term future of the large cigarette manufacturers is in reality quite dim. Being granted the privilege of price-fixing to ensure that the money for the settlement flowed did strengthen the companies’ financial position, at their customers’ expense. As the mid-point of the settlement’s life span approaches, however, the future of Big Tobacco grows bleaker.
After a decade of kowtowing to interest groups that have the demise of the tobacco industry as their goal, Big Tobacco has forgotten how to fight. While the industry knows, and used to assert before U.S. Congressional Committees, that there is no scientific proof that primary smoking causes illness or death, the industry is now on record agreeing with anti-smoking advocates whose "science" is epidemiological trash. Even on secondhand smoke, where the "evidence" is even more tortured than that used to demonstrate harm from primary smoking, the tobacco industry is "going along to get along."
Anyone who can read and digest history is well aware that before long "going along to get along" goes by the wayside as the stronger entity, in this case anti-tobacco, finds itself in the position to destroy the entity it has targeted. That tipping point, although not yet here, is, barring a timely change in the course of events, soon to be realized. The primary fault for the triumph of evil can be laid at the door of Big Tobacco.
American corporations can read history but are apparently incapable of learning any lessons. Exxon Mobil has announced that it is cutting funding for research that doesn’t adhere to the bogus, yet orthodox view that mankind, especially by its use of fossil fuels, is altering the climate of the earth. Exxon Mobil knows full well that there is no proof for this belief but, as with Big Tobacco, proof is not to be demanded. What’s important to Exxon Mobil is to be on the "right" side of an issue that has been manufactured out of whole cloth by special interests that wish the entire world to live more simply and without the reliable supply of the energy that has ushered in an era of mass prosperity unlike any seen in human history. Like Big Tobacco the oil company couches its acquiescence to fraud in politically correct mumbo-jumbo:
"We discontinued contributions to several public-policy research groups whose position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion about how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner."
In other words, we’ll support the lie that human beings are changing — for the worse, as always — the climate of the entire planet. We’ll do that, oh omnipotent government, if you’ll just let us make a buck or two by producing the oil that is a necessity for life as we know it. We’ll, in fact, donate hundreds of millions of our dollars to be distributed to enterprises that are working on alternative power sources that will make our industry irrelevant. We’ll do as you like so please stop persecuting us.
As with Big Tobacco it will be the customers who will provide the protection money that Big Oil thinks will bring relief from the regulators and thieves that operate in lawless times such as our own. The customers will finance the schemes to produce "renewable" power that would develop on its own if there really were a shortage of traditional power and if such power really were frying the planet. Big Oil, still a pretty powerful entity, will gradually become peevish, fretful and flaccid, unable and unwilling to provide the service it once provided with pride. In the end the relief it buys will run out and Big Oil will be destroyed, just like its model of accommodation, Big Tobacco.