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Fw: Study: ExxonMobil Funded Global Warming Disinformation Campaign F rom 1998 - 2005

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  • mtneuman@juno.com
    Please note: forwarded message attached ExxonMobil Disinformation Campaign On Global Warming Science by Staff Writers Washington DC (SPX) Jan 05, 2007 A new
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 5, 2007
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      Please note: forwarded message attached
    • Pat Neuman
      Also see: New report from Union of Concerned Scientists documents ExxonMobil s disinformation campaign Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 Smoke, Mirrors &
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 5, 2007
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        Also see:

        New report from Union of Concerned Scientists documents ExxonMobil's
        disinformation campaign

        Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007

        Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco's Tactics to
        "Manufacture Uncertainty" on Climate Change, a report released today
        by the Union of Concerned Scientists, details 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. The
        section of the report on "Buying Government Access" includes
        discussion of documentation we made available in 2005 and issues we
        have raised since then.

        See Details
        http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/

        --- In ClimateArchive@yahoogroups.com, "mtneuman@..." <mtneuman@...>
        wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > Please note: forwarded message attached
        >
        >
        >
        > ExxonMobil Disinformation Campaign On Global Warming Science
        > 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.
        > http://www.terradaily.com/reports/ExxonMobil_Disinformation_Campaign_On_
        > Global_Warming_Science_999.html
        >
        > Exxon Accused Of Global Warming Deception
        > WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2007
        > ExxonMobil Corp. gave $16 million to 43 ideological groups between 1998
        > and 2005 in an effort to mislead the public by discrediting the science
        > behind global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists asserted
        > Wednesday.
        >
        > The report by the advocacy group mirrors similar claims by Britain's
        > leading scientific academy. Last September, The Royal Society wrote the
        > oil company asking it to halt support for groups that "misrepresented
        > the science of climate change."
        >
        > Many scientists say carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from
        > tailpipes and smokestacks are warming the atmosphere like a greenhouse,
        > melting Arctic sea ice and alpine glaciers and disturbing the lives of
        > animals and plants.
        >
        > ExxonMobil called the scientists' report Wednesday "yet another attempt
        > to smear our name and confuse the discussion of the serious issue of CO2
        > emissions and global climate change."
        >
        > ExxonMobil lists on its Web site nearly $133 million in 2005
        > contributions globally, including $6.8 million for "public information
        > and policy research" distributed to more than 140 think tanks,
        > universities, foundations, associations and other groups. Some of those
        > have publicly disputed any link between greenhouse gas emissions and
        > global warming.
        >
        > Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' strategy and policy
        > director, said in a teleconference that ExxonMobil based its tactics on
        > those of tobacco companies, spreading uncertainty by misrepresenting
        > peer-reviewed scientific studies or emphasizing only selected facts.
        >
        > Dr. James McCarthy, a professor at Harvard University, said the company
        > has sought to "create the illusion of a vigorous debate" about global
        > warming.
        >
        > The company said its financial support doesn't mean control over any
        > group's views.
        >
        > "We find some of them persuasive and enlightening, and some not,"
        > ExxonMobil spokesman Dave Gardner said. "But there is value in the
        > debate they prompt if it can lead to better informed and more optimal
        > public policy decisions."
        >
        > He said the company believes that despite many scientific uncertainties,
        > the risk that greenhouse gas emissions may have serious environmental
        > effects justifies taking action to limit them.
        > http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/03/tech/main2329178.shtml
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Group: ExxonMobil paid to mislead public
        > Updated 1/4/2007 7:25 AM ET
        > WASHINGTON (AP) - ExxonMobil gave $16 million to 43 ideological groups
        > between 1998 and 2005 in an effort to mislead the public by discrediting
        > the science behind global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists
        > asserted Wednesday.
        > The report by the advocacy group mirrors similar claims by Britain's
        > leading scientific academy. Last September, The Royal Society wrote the
        > oil company asking it to halt support for groups that "misrepresented
        > the science of climate change."
        > Many scientists say carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from
        > tailpipes and smokestacks are warming the atmosphere like a greenhouse,
        > melting Arctic sea ice and alpine glaciers and disturbing the lives of
        > animals and plants.
        > ExxonMobil called the scientists' report Wednesday "yet another attempt
        > to smear our name and confuse the discussion of the serious issue of CO2
        > emissions and global climate change."
        > ExxonMobil lists on its website nearly $133 million in 2005
        > contributions globally, including $6.8 million for "public information
        > and policy research" distributed to more than 140 think tanks,
        > universities, foundations, associations and other groups. Some of those
        > have publicly disputed any link between greenhouse gas emissions and
        > global warming.
        > Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' strategy and policy
        > director, said in a teleconference that ExxonMobil based its tactics on
        > those of tobacco companies, spreading uncertainty by misrepresenting
        > peer-reviewed scientific studies or emphasizing only selected facts.
        > Dr. James McCarthy, a professor at Harvard University, said the company
        > has sought to "create the illusion of a vigorous debate" about global
        > warming.
        > The company said its financial support doesn't mean control over any
        > group's views.
        > "We find some of them persuasive and enlightening, and some not,"
        > ExxonMobil spokesman Dave Gardner said. "But there is value in the
        > debate they prompt if it can lead to better informed and more optimal
        > public policy decisions."
        > He said the company believes that despite many scientific uncertainties,
        > the risk that greenhouse gas emissions may have serious environmental
        > effects justifies taking action to limit them.
        > http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2007-01-03-global-warmin
        > g_x.htm?csp=34
        >
        >
        > <<Picture (Metafile)>>
        >
        > Exxonmobil Cultivates Global Warming Doubt - Report
        >
        >
        > US: January 4, 2006
        >
        > WASHINGTON - Energy giant ExxonMobil borrowed tactics from the tobacco
        > industry to raise doubt about climate change, spending US$16 million on
        > groups that question global warming, a science watchdog group said on
        > Wednesday.
        >
        > "ExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of
        > global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused
        > lung cancer," Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists said at a
        > telephone news conference releasing the report.
        > An ExxonMobil spokesman dismissed the report as "an attempt to connect
        > unrelated facts, draw inaccurate conclusions and mislead the audience
        > with a fiction about ExxonMobil's true positions."
        > The union, a nonprofit group based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said
        > ExxonMobil, the world's biggest publicly traded corporation, had
        > succeeded in parlaying a relatively modest investment into unwarranted
        > public doubt on findings that have been overwhelmingly endorsed by
        > mainstream science.
        > ExxonMobil did this by using the same methods used for decades by the US
        > tobacco industry, the report said, including:
        > -- raising doubts about even the most undisputed science;
        > -- funding a variety of front organizations to create the appearance of
        > a broad platform;
        > -- recruiting a number of vocal climate change contrarians;
        > -- portraying its opposition to action as a quest for "sound science"
        > rather than business self-interest;
        > -- using its access to the Bush administration to shape federal
        > communications and policies on global warming.
        >
        > TOBACCO TACTICS
        > US tobacco companies used these tactics for decades to hide the hazards
        > of smoking, and were found liable in federal court last year for
        > violating racketeering laws.
        > Global warming has been blamed for stronger hurricanes, more wildfires
        > and worse droughts. While there have been cycles of warming and cooling
        > throughout Earth's history, the last 30 years have seen a steep warming
        > trend which most scientists say is due to emission of so-called
        > greenhouse gases by the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, factories
        > and power plants.
        > ExxonMobil has funded legitimate scientific studies on climate change,
        > the watchdog report said, but noted it has also spent approximately
        > US$16 million between 1998 and 2005 on 43 organizations that have cast
        > doubt on the reality of human-caused global warming.
        > The report said these have ranged from US$30,000 for the group Africa
        > Fighting Malaria, which argues on its Web site against urgent action on
        > climate change, to US$1.6 million to the American Enterprise Institute,
        > a pro-business think tank in Washington.
        > James McCarthy, professor of biological oceanography and director of the
        > Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, noted a 2005
        > statement issued by the US National Academy of Sciences and 10 science
        > academies from other countries, affirming that "climate change is now
        > sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action."
        > "This report reveals for the first time the degree to which efforts to
        > exaggerate uncertainty in climate science produce non scientific reports
        > designed to cast doubt on published scientific climate studies have been
        > orchestrated by ExxonMobil," McCarthy said at the news conference.
        > Company spokesman Dave Gardner said in an e-mail that the company
        > acknowledged the burning of fossil fuels is a major source of greenhouse
        > gas emissions.
        > He said ExxonMobil supports various public policy groups but said
        > financial support does not mean it has control over the groups'
        > positions.
        > "We find some of them persuasive and enlightening, and some not. But
        > there is value in the debate they prompt if it can lead to better
        > informed and more optimal public policy decisions," Gardner said.
        >
        > Story by Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent
        >
        > REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
        >
        > http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/39683/story.htm
        >
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