Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Exxon and the climate change denial industry...

...They made $10 billion in three months and are major funders of skeptical research into climate change. The world's largest company by revenue seems to take little interest in the future of life on this planet. At a time when there is a growing consensus on the reality of climate change Exxon is still in the denial business. Every day something new is reported on this issue, today the BBC says that the temperature of England is rising because of human activities. George Monbiot has written a new book, "Heat," exposing the antics of Exxon.
"Among the organisations that have been funded by Exxon are such well-known websites and lobby groups as TechCentralStation, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Some of those on the list have names that make them look like grassroots citizens' organisations or academic bodies: the Centre for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, for example. One or two of them, such as the Congress of Racial Equality, are citizens' organisations or academic bodies, but the line they take on climate change is very much like that of the other sponsored groups. While all these groups are based in America, their publications are read and cited, and their staff are interviewed and quoted, all over the world.
By funding a large number of organisations, Exxon helps to create the impression that doubt about climate change is widespread. For those who do not understand that scientific findings cannot be trusted if they have not appeared in peer-reviewed journals, the names of these institutes help to suggest that serious researchers are challenging the consensus." says Monbiot. There also seems to be an unholy alliance between Big Oil and Big Tobacco on this issue as the same methods and organisations are being used to run the denial campaign. At a critical time in the past few years when urgent action was needed to mobilise public opinion and governments to accept the facts of climate change Exxon seems to have been doing its best to obstruct and decieve. That's the power of too much money in too few hands.

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