January 05, 2007

ExxonMobil: Funding the Global Warming Skeptics

The Union of Concerned Scientists published a report Wednesday that showed just how much ExxonMobil has paid to fund a whole slew of global warming deniers using the same tactics the Tobacco industry used to ward off regulations for decades.

According to the report, ExxonMobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.

"ExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer," said Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' Director of Strategy & Policy. "A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years."

One would think that this report would get some coverage in the news. One would be wrong. Right now on Google News, there is exactly one news report that covers this report. Obviously, the fact that a major company used deceptive tactics to hold back meaningful action to address greenhouse emissions so they could keep their dirty profits isn't news worthy these days. Even when we are reading reports that 2007 is predicted to be the hottest year ever.

What is news? Oh, how about the number of news sources publishing a story how Senators Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe wrote a letter to ExxonMobil that tries to "suppress global warming skeptics?" (There are seven versions of that story online right now.) That clearly is more important than the fact that the company has colluded with the Bush administration to deny the US public information needed to make timely decisions.

Do read the UCS report and ponder on the cynicism and greed it takes to put this type of campaign together. ExxonMobil deserves our deep animosity for the danger in which they've help put the world's future for their own profits.

Posted by Mary at January 5, 2007 01:00 AM | Environment | Technorati links |
Comments

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Posted by: Karan at January 5, 2007 02:51 AM

Have you been by an ExxonMobil station lately? I don't usually go there -- had to yesterday. They provide quite the entertainment at the pumps now. I thought I was on my way into a concert. As soon as I started up the pump, on came Neil Diamond belting out "Coming to America" I felt sick.....

When I paid, I asked what station they were playing on the radio. The attendant said it's not a radio station, it's a song list that the company has them play. Out of curiosity, I must go back and see if they'll let me have a look at the play list. I can just imagine what other "songs" are on there.

Posted by: jerseycynic at January 5, 2007 03:09 AM