Earth Science News  





. ExxonMobil Disinformation Campaign On Global Warming Science

The burning of oil and other fossil fuels results in additional atmospheric carbon dioxide that blankets the Earth and traps heat. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased greatly over the last century and global temperatures are rising as a result. Though solutions are available now that will cut global warming emissions while creating jobs, saving consumers money, and protecting our national security, ExxonMobil has manufactured confusion around climate change science, and these actions have helped to forestall meaningful action that could minimize the impacts of future climate change.
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 05, 2007
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists offers the most comprehensive documentation to date of how ExxonMobil has adopted the tobacco industry's disinformation tactics, as well as some of the same organizations and personnel, to cloud the scientific understanding of climate change and delay action on the issue. 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 and 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."

Smoke, Mirrors and Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco's Tactics to "Manufacture Uncertainty" on Climate Change details how the oil company, like the tobacco industry in previous decades, has

- raised doubts about even the most indisputable scientific evidence - funded an array of front organizations to create the appearance of a broad platform for a tight-knit group of vocal climate change contrarians who misrepresent peer-reviewed scientific findings - attempted to portray its opposition to action as a positive quest for "sound science" rather than business self-interest - used its access to the Bush administration to block federal policies and shape government communications on global warming

ExxonMobil-funded organizations consist of an overlapping collection of individuals serving as staff, board members, and scientific advisors that publish and re-publish the works of a small group of climate change contrarians. The George C. Marshall Institute, for instance, which has received $630,000 from ExxonMobil, recently touted a book edited by Patrick Michaels, a long-time climate change contrarian who is affiliated with at least 11 organizations funded by ExxonMobil. Similarly, ExxonMobil funds a number of lesser-known groups such as the Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy and Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. Both groups promote the work of several climate change contrarians, including Sallie Baliunas, an astrophysicist who is affiliated with at least nine ExxonMobil-funded groups.

Baliunas is best known for a 2003 paper alleging the climate had not changed significantly in the past millennia that was rebutted by 13 scientists who stated she had misrepresented their work in her paper. This renunciation did not stop ExxonMobil-funded groups from continuing to promote the paper. Through methods such as these, ExxonMobil has been able to amplify and prop up work that has been discredited by reputable climate scientists.

"When one looks closely, ExxonMobil's underhanded strategy is as clear and indisputable as the scientific research it's meant to discredit," said Seth Shulman, an investigative journalist who wrote the UCS report. "The paper trail shows that, to serve its corporate interests, ExxonMobil has built a vast echo chamber of seemingly independent groups with the express purpose of spreading disinformation about global warming."

ExxonMobil has used the laudable goal of improving scientific understanding of global warming-under the guise of "sound science"-for the pernicious ends of delaying action to reduce heat-trapping emissions indefinitely. ExxonMobil also exerted unprecedented influence over U.S. policy on global warming, from successfully recommending the appointment of key personnel in the Bush administration to funding climate change deniers in Congress.

"As a scientist, I like to think that facts will prevail, and they do eventually," said Dr. James McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's working group on climate change impacts. "It's shameful that ExxonMobil has sought to obscure the facts for so long when the future of our planet depends on the steps we take now and in the coming years."

The burning of oil and other fossil fuels results in additional atmospheric carbon dioxide that blankets the Earth and traps heat. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased greatly over the last century and global temperatures are rising as a result. Though solutions are available now that will cut global warming emissions while creating jobs, saving consumers money, and protecting our national security, ExxonMobil has manufactured confusion around climate change science, and these actions have helped to forestall meaningful action that could minimize the impacts of future climate change.

"ExxonMobil needs to be held accountable for its cynical disinformation campaign on global warming," said Meyer. "Consumers, shareholders and Congress should let the company know loud and clear that its behavior on this issue is unacceptable and must change."

Formed in 1969, the Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

Related Links
Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate Change: Frisson-Laden Year Lies Ahead
Paris (AFP) Jan 02, 2007
Nothing beats a whiff of Apocalypse for focussing minds and, next year, climate change will be the big issue that will send an icy shiver down spines followed by a clamour for action. On February 1, the world's top scientists will issue their first instalment of a massive three-part update on global warming.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • In Record Wildfire Season, NOAA Satellites Aid US Fire Managers
  • Emergency Measures In Hong Kong After Web Chaos
  • Scramble To Repair Telecom Lines Across Asia After Taiwan Quake
  • Weather Hampers Efforts To Reach Indonesian Flood Victims

  • ExxonMobil Disinformation Campaign On Global Warming Science
  • Climate Change: Frisson-Laden Year Lies Ahead
  • Climate Shift May Have Helped Destroy Tang Dynasty
  • UN International Year Of Deserts Ends With Stark Warnings

  • Northrop Grumman To Develop System Requirements For USAF Alternate Infrared Sat System
  • Digitalglobe Announces Ball Aerospace Is Building Worldview 2 Satellite
  • Raytheon Delivers VIIRS Sensor Engineering Development Unit
  • ITT Provides Air Force Better Way To Get Imagery To Distant Forces

  • Russia To Build Large Gas Pipelines To China
  • From Dairy Waste To Electric Power
  • Denmark Aims To Introduce Bio-Ethanol By End Of 2007
  • Mixed Prairie Grasses May Be Better Biofuel Source

  • Avian Flu Unlikely To Spread Through Water Systems
  • Zimbabwe Plans Huge Increase In AIDS Drugs Rollout This Year
  • Ramifications Of Widespread Use Of Tamiflu
  • Extend TB Tests To More Foreign-Born Residents And Citizens

  • Ocean Temperature Predicts Spread Of Marine Species
  • Researchers Identify A Heartbeat In Earth Climate
  • Medical Company Lists On Anonymous Trading Market To Avoid Animal Extremists
  • What Really Caused The Largest Mass Extinction In Earth History

  • Shotgun Sequencing Finds Nanoorganisms
  • Radionuclides Spreading Around The World
  • Bogus Data Masks Scale Of Pollution Woes Facing China
  • How To Protect Against Carbon Monoxide

  • History-Hunting Geneticists Can Still Follow Familiar Trail
  • Software Speeds And Enhances Access To Print Brain Atlases
  • Neanderthals different in north, south
  • Complexity Constrains Evolution Of Human Brain Genes

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement