Exxon Finally Acknowledges the Inconvenient Truth

Cross-posted from The Global Sociology Blog.

Via the Guardian,

“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.

The move comes ahead of the firm’s annual meeting today in Dallas, at which prominent shareholders including the Rockefeller family will urge ExxonMobil to take the problem of climate change more seriously. Green campaigners accuse the company of funding a “climate denial industry” over the last decade, with $23m (£11.5m) handed over to groups that play down the risks of burning fossil fuels.

The ExxonMobil report says: “In 2008 we will discontinue contributions to several public policy research groups whose position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner.””

Personally, that last quote made me laugh out loud. I’ll believe that when I see concrete action on the part of Exxon. So, first, how about handing over that money to clean energy research groups or institutes. I’m sure a lot of them would appreciate the money and could put it to good use. In this case, skepticism is the right attitude.

And of course, that in itself, won’t be enough without enormous political changes in rich and big emerging countries (India, China, and Brazil). It would be nice to have a strong political push for companies like Exxon to have to be compelled shift to environmentally sustainable sources of energy and to invest in that kind of research.

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One Response to Exxon Finally Acknowledges the Inconvenient Truth

  1. I wrote my first national energy policy in 1983, and would have to modify very little of it if I started from scratch today.

    Exxon, of course, traces its lineage back to the old Standard Oil of John D. Rockefeller. As such it has to be considered to be tainted from then until now. Twenty three million dollars over a decade spent supporting folks on the wrong side of energy and/or environmental issues is less than a rounding error.

    In other words, in admitting that, Exxon is also only admitting how much it still has’nt come clean about.

    Would it be nice to have their help finally. Yeah!

    Do we really have their help now? I doubt it.