Please buy your gasoline from non-ExxonMobil filling stations until this company shows responsibility in its current practices and contribution to global warming. ExxonMobil presented a well-paid defense that scientists were still assessing global warming and that the jury was still out. In fact, the climatologists who publicly doubted global warming have one common trait: petrochemical companies directly or indirectly paid their consulting fees. This tiny minority of climotologists did not prepare papers that passed scientific muster, but talking points for petrochemical companies’ public relations departments.
Chris Mooney’s article, “Some Like It Hot,” in the Mother Jones June 2005 issue counted about 40 ExxonMobil-funded organizations “that either sought to undermine mainstream scientific findings on global climate change or have maintained affiliations with a small group of ’skeptic” scientists who continue to do so.” Exxon Mobil had funneled more than $8 million into think tanks, media outlets, consumer, religious and civil rights groups. The climotologists did not openly disclose their consulting fees paid by ExxonMobil. As a certified public accountant, I am not only required to be independent of my clients but to have the appearance of independence. Otherwise, I would lose my license when challenged. These standards are not practiced by ExxonMobil’s consultants and do not adhere to disclosure and independence standards required in other professions.
In fact, the scientific community has been convinced for at least two years that mankind’s actions were adversely affecting climate change. An article in the December 2004 issue of Science shredded any doubt about scientific consensus. In that issue, Naomi Oreskes presented an article, “Beyond The Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus On Climate Change.” She analyzed 928 abstracts published in selected scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, listed in the ISI database with the keywords, “climate change.” None of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.
Campaign ExxonMobil, a shareholders initiative, reports that ExxonMobil stands alone among the four "supermajor" oil companies in refusing to take meaningful action to mitigate the growing risks posed by global warming, according to a study released by Claros Consulting of London, England. The Claros report notes that a host of global warming events and trends converging over the last year have "significantly increased" the climate-related risks to the wealth of ExxonMobil shareholders.
According to the study, three of the four supermajor oil and gas companies - Shell, BP, and ChevronTexaco - are using and exploring a wide array of energy and risk management options to deal with factors such as emerging carbon constraints, greenhouse gas emissions trading and new energy mandates. These strategies include incorporating "carbon pricing" into future planning scenarios and decisions, setting emissions reductions targets, developing emissions trading experience and investing in renewable energy. ExxonMobil does not report the use of any of these strategies or other steps to manage the risks of climate change.
Houstonians may be aware of Shell Oil’s efforts to conduct research in developing alternative fuels and its funding foundations such as the Shell Center for Sustainability at Rice University.
A psychological breakthrough came when Time Magazine ran a special report on global warming on April 3, 2006. Time’s cover page read. “ Be worried. Be very worried.” Those concerned are mainline people, not just tree huggers.
On May 20, 2006, former President Clinton, spoke to the graduating class of the University of Texas’ Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs telling them that global warming is a grater threat than terrorism, “It is the only thing we face today that has the power to remove the preconditions of civilized society.”
Indeed, mankind is witnessing the Sixth Great Extinction. Possible causes of the first five are volcanoes, meteorites and climate change. This one is self-inflicted.
My prediction is that by 2011, all the ExxonMobil officers and board members will be environmentalists. By then, the number of those in upper command who say that man’s effects on the environment is minimal will be about equal to the number of flat-earthers and Holocaust deniers. The public is wising up. Wall Street will too.
Quotations and much material taken from Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future by Jeff Goodell.
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Copyright © 2005 Ed O'Rourke, P.C.
Last modified: 04/19/2007