(Tobacs - One Xceptionally Incredible Cigarette!) filter-tip cigarette. “Come on in! Good to see you! Tell me all about your findings.”
Head TOXIC scientist Ima Ree Sercher shuffles in. “You’re not going to want to hear this sir.” Ima informs B. Bucks that their product is a health hazard that addicts, sickens, and even kills its users.
Two weeks later - B. Bucks holds a private meeting with his public relations chief, T. Rick Ster. “You understand the gravity of our situation. Others will no doubt replicate this research. We have to… shall we say, ‘cloud’ the issue. I want you to find ‘doctors’ and ‘scientists’ who are willing to bend the facts. We’ll pay them plenty! Have them spread just enough misinformation to cause doubt in people’s minds. If suckers think the science is unsettled they’ll figure they might as well keep smoking, and TOXIC’s coffers will continue to overflow! We can’t let our shareholders down now can we? And Rick…we never had this conversation (wink).”
Dateline 1982 – Chief Executive Officer Phil T. Rich of SMOG (Sucking-up Millions Oil Group) “Come in, come in. Let’s hear what you’ve got.”
Head SMOG researcher Cy N. Tisst relates the bad news that the burning of petroleum products fills the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses unleashing untold detrimental effects on the environment.
Two weeks later - Phil T. Rich meets secretly with his public relations chief, Heidi Facts. “You understand the gravity of our situation. We can’t let this information interfere with our quarterly earnings. I want you to spread a little confusion so the public will think that the science is still unsettled. Every time someone publishes a scientific article about global warming have one of our ‘experts’ write a counter piece. Pay them plenty; money is no object! John Q. Public won’t know what to believe so nothing will change and our profits will continue to soar. Remember, we have an obligation to our shareholders. And Heidi…we never had this conversation (wink).”
Dateline 2016 - As fate would have it, researchers Tisst and Searcher meet on a park bench watching their grandchildren play. “I just couldn’t work for them anymore,” sighed Sercher. “Me neither,” Tisst remarked, “because I love this place. It’s the only home we’ll ever know. We’re forever…Earthbound.”