From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

Scientists’ Report Documents ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation
Campaign on Global Warming Science

Oil Company Spent Nearly $16 Million to Fund Skeptic Groups, Create

ExxonMobil Report (PDF)
Appendix C (PDF high resolution)
Appendix C (part 1)
Appendix C (part 2)
Appendix C (part 3)

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 3-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 & 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 & 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
* 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.”

Union of Concerned Scientists
For general media inquiries, please call our press office at

Press Contacts:

Press Secretary
erobinson [at] ucsusa [dot] org

Assistant Press Secretary
ahuertas [at] ucsusa [dot] org

Media Director
rhayes [at] ucsusa [dot] org

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