In its May 2008 Corporate Citizenship Report, ExxonMobil promised:
In 2008, we will discontinue contributions to several public policy research groups whose positions 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.
Okay, you’re not shocked. Still, it is worth publicizing their deceipt, as the UK’s Guardian did:
The world’s largest oil company is continuing to fund lobby groups that question the reality of global warming, despite a public pledge to cut support for such climate change denial, a new analysis shows.
Company records show that ExxonMobil handed over hundreds of thousands of pounds to such lobby groups in 2008. These include the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) in Dallas, Texas, which received $75,000 (£45,500), and the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, which received $50,000.
According to Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, at the London School of Economics, both the NCPA and the Heritage Foundation have published “misleading and inaccurate information about climate change.”
… Ward said: “ExxonMobil has been briefing journalists for three years that they were going to stop funding these groups. The reality is that they are still doing it. If the world’s largest oil company wants to fund climate change denial then it should be upfront about it, and not tell people it has stopped.“
The oil giant’s full list of 2008 grantees is here. They also gave money to such purveyors of misinformation on climate change policy as American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research and American Council on Science and Health and Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies and Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and National Black Chamber of Commerce, which recently released this doozy:
NBCC Study Finds Waxman-Markey Reduces GDP by $350 Billion
But apparently that utter nonsense doesn’t qualify as diverting attention from the important discussion of how to deal with climate change.
And the above is just a partial list of the “public policy research groups whose positions 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” that ExxonMobil is still funding. For the full list, just cross-reference the oil giant’s 2008 grantee list with the list of misinformers from ExxonSecrets.
Here are more details from the Guardian:
On its website, the NCPA says: “NCPA scholars believe that while the causes and consequences of the earth’s current warming trend is [sic] still unknown, the cost of actions to substantially reduce CO2 emissions would be quite high and result in economic decline, accelerated environmental destruction, and do little or nothing to prevent global warming regardless of its cause.”
The Heritage Foundation published a “web memo” in December that said: “Growing scientific evidence casts doubt on whether global warming constitutes a threat, including the fact that 2008 is about to go into the books as a cooler year than 2007″. Scientists, including those at the UK Met Office say that the apparent cooling is down to natural changes and does not alter the long-term warming trend.
If ExxonMobil wants to fund disinformation and anti-scientific deniers, no one can stop them. But hopefully we can stop them from lying about it.