Trump visit sucks up social media oxygen on East Palestine
A roundup of the climate conversation across social media this week
Welcome to Climate Monitor, a weekly report on the digital strategies polluters and pro-Climate groups are using to shift public opinion and move legislation. We’ve examined political ad spending on social media platforms, as well as what’s trending on social media. Here’s what we found:
The plastics industry has spent a whopping $1.28 million on “greenwashing” Facebook and Instagram ads over the past 90 days.
Rewiring America is using television personality Jonathan Scott to tout the benefits of electric stoves to middle-aged women in key states
GreenLatinos is running acquisition ads on Facebook highlighting their community’s disproportionate impact from climate change
Former President Donald Trump’s visit to East Palestine, Ohio last week generated thousands of posts and millions of interactions across Facebook and Instagram - more than any other environment or energy-related topic
The Center for Climate Integrity is running video ads across Microsoft’s ad network attacking “oil company greed”
Climate activists on TikTok are collecting signatures and racking up views on videos about ConocoPhillips’ arctic drilling Willow Project
Digital Advertising Roundup
Facebook + Instagram 👍
For starters, here were the top 25 climate and energy-related advertisers on Facebook and Instagram last week:
The American Chemistry Council, which lobbies on behalf of the plastics industry, was once again the highest spending climate or energy-related advertiser on Facebook and Instagram last week. The group has spent a whopping $1.28 million on these kinds of “greenwashing” ads targeting users nationwide in the past 90 days.
That said, there were several new pro-climate or pro-environment advertisers last week worth mentioning. First is GreenLatinos, currently running newsletter acquisition ads aimed at highlighting climate change’s disproportionate impact on Latin@ & indigenous communities. They’re targeting Facebook users nationwide who are interested in J Balvin, KaRol G, Los Tigres del Norte, and Bad Bunny 😂 among other interests.
Another page, called Rewiring America, has spent several thousand dollars on this clever vertical video ad promoting the benefits of switching to electric stoves. Backed by the liberal group Windward Fund, the campaign is narrowly targeting female Facebook users aged 25-54 in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. They’ve spent over $11,000 in the past month.
Google & YouTube 🎞️
There were a few Google ad campaigns related to climate and energy issues last week that were archived according to the company’s political ad policies. As a reminder, only ads mentioning a candidate or ballot initiative are publicly archived here.
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters continued to spend $1,700 on these ads targeting Gov. Youngkin, and Evergreen Collaborative continued running its campaign around EPA pollution rules.
There were no new climate or energy-related advertisers on Snapchat last week.
Streaming Ads & Elsewhere 📺
There were a few climate-related ad campaigns running on CTV/streaming services or other digital platforms that we spotted last week.
Climate Action Campaign continued running ads on Roku devices touting President Biden’s clean energy plan and calling on elected officials to “finish the job.” The Center for Climate Integrity began running these punchy video ads across Microsoft’s ad network, attacking oil company greed and directing viewers to makingpolluterspay.com
What’s Trending on Social Media
How are climate and energy issues being discussed by Americans on social media? Every week, we conduct a robust keyword search using CrowdTangle for general terms like “climate,” “global warming,” “fossil fuels,” and over 30 more specific topics (things like “electric vehicles” and “pipelines.”) Here were the 15 top-performing public posts (by # of interactions) related to climate and energy on Facebook last week:
Last week, every single one of the most-engaged Facebook posts related to climate, environment, or energy issues was about former President Trump’s visit to East Palestine, Ohio. This singular focus is unique in the history of our tracking and shows the potency of right-wing media’s efforts to politicize the environmental crisis in the region. Here’s a good explainer from the NYT on how the former President’s visit went down.
Meanwhile, on Instagram, the picture was similar. Here were the top-performing feed posts (excluding Reels & stories) related to climate and energy last week:
The top climate, environment, or energy-related Instagram post last week came from Donald Trump Jr. - a video taken en route to East Palestine.
Lastly, on TikTok this week, activists have been educating users on the dangers of ConocoPhillips’ arctic drilling “Willow Project.” This video collecting petition signatures in opposition has racked up nearly 1 million views in 24 hours, and this one from two days ago has over 1.4 million views:
Enable 3rd party cookies or use another browser
How ‘15-minute cities’ turned into an international conspiracy theory (CNN, 2/27)
Fighting Corporate Lies on Climate (NYT, 2/21)
Anti-Solar Misinformation Spread By Group Lead By GOP Insider, Former Abramoff Aide (EcoWatch/Climate Nexus, 2/22)
The world promised to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. Instead, it doubled them. (Heated, 3/2)
That’s it for this week! If you enjoyed reading this week’s issue, feel free to forward it to a friend or colleague.
Climate Monitor is a product of the Digital Climate Coalition + FWIW Media. Tips/comments/questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org