Wednesday, January 17, 2007

ExxonMobil and Climate Change

I wanted to bring to attention this report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, detailing the efforts of ExxonMobil to muddy the climate change debate, primarily through channeling funds into organizations trying to discredit a position held by the vast majority of the scientific community.


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.


As with most everything put out by theUnion of Concerned Scientists, it comes with numerous appendices and an extensive reference list.

3 comments:

Brian said...

It is certainly good that these kinds of activities are uncovered. We should keep these giant corporations in check. When negative public opinion gains momentum, then they are more likely to make changes...especially if that negative opinion affects the bottom line. That's all that really matters in the board room: how can we increase shareholder profit. If they're smart, they'll realize that in the long run, this brand of anti-science tom-foolery will hurt them.

I think it's also important to put the burden on ourselves, the consumer. Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff that UCS does...but to only point the finger at corporations misses the big picture. These companies are not going to simply disappear...we need to work WITH them, make them better, while at the same time revealing their unethical activities. When private enterprise (which i still believe is the way to go) is rewarded with success for doing the 'right' thing, then we are on the right track.

I kind of look at giant corporations (whether it's oil, drugs, engineering/construction, communications, media, etc.) as a smaller version of the United States in its current form. The ones in charge and with a lot (too much) power...executives...are the ones to be scrutinized. To say everone at ExxonMobil, or GE, or Merck is evil and immoral is the same as saying every American is evil and immoral. It's the leadership!! The question, i guess, is can the employees/citizens really create positive change? I think so.

Thermochronic said...

I agree with you, I think the most important thing is to get the information out there, corporations only respond to the bottom line, and it is a little weird for me to complain about a company that I still patronize. But once bad publicity is out there, companies can be forced to change.

Another not, sorry your comment took so long to appear, I had the comment settings a little weird because of an earlier "increase your manhood" comment, but I think I have it all sorted out now.

Brian said...

Spammers really suck...some more popular blogs, especially political, must have people moderating comments continuously...oh well

I'm starting to put together a post about Peak Oil from a sedimentary/petroleum geologist's perspective...but real science is getting in the way of my blogging activities right now. Dang!