Monday, June 23, 2008

Exxon Cuts Funding to Global Warming Denialists

I am sensing several turning points in the world today concerning climate change.
NASA global warming bigwig James Hansen is testifying to Congress that chief executives of large fossil fuel companies should be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, for actively spreading doubt about global warming just like tobacco companies did with smoking and cancer.

In news from just last week, "The oil giant ExxonMobil has admitted that its support for lobby groups that question the science of climate change may have hindered action to tackle global warming. In its corporate citizenship report, released last week, ExxonMobil says it intends to cut funds to several groups that "divert attention" from the need to find new sources of clean energy."

"Nine groups have reportedly lost the company's support, including the George C Marshall Institute, the Washington DC-based think tank that asserts there is no scientific consensus on climate change, and that changes in the sun, not greenhouse gases, could be responsible for rising temperatures."

in 2005 ExxonMobil distributed $2.9m to 39 groups that the society said "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence".

Locally, I notice everyone is beginning to realize that they need to alter their lifestyle, look towards the future, and realize that things are not going to be the same again. The local news stated that 2008 could be seen by historians as the year that gas consumption began a permanent decrease.


upinVermont said...

I just heard Hansen interviewed yesterday on the Diane Rehm show. She received one call from a denialist, sounded like he listened to the same pundits as our other erstwhile contributer.

As Hansen said, the media (including NPR) is as much to blame for all of this as anyone. Their obsession with "Fair and Balanced", rather than the truth, has provided a platform for the various oil-subsidized denialists to speak. It's time to shut these people down.

Science is not an exercise in free speech. The evidence either supports your thesis, or it does not.

Aaron said...

This is in fact the problem. And even the generally good NPR is under pressure to seem balanced to the public, even when the truth is not balanced. In fact, I think the media has entirely caved in to public stupidity, searching hard for a truce sort of like an old Japanese baseball game where both teams would purposely try to make it a tie at the end even if they had to strike out on purpose.

Remember Donohue getting fired for bringing dissenting guests on his show who turned out to be right? Fired, despite having good ratings. It just shows how easy public opinion can be manipulated, particularly when you have an uninformed (and in this case an uninformable) public.

These think tanks are fed money by oil companies to provide talking points to right wing media outlets. They've done a stellar job judging from the typical public opininion.

That whole "33,000 scientists" garbage was funded directly by a right wing organization with 6 faculty members that publishes books like "Nuclear War Survival Skills," and a home-schooling kit for parents who are concerned about how "American schools have degraded severely." La-La connect the dots.

Why is real science with peer reviewed journals called "propaganda" while paid punditry by entertainers with no science education called the "Truth".