Royal Society Launches Direct Attack Against Exxon

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Exxon's former CEO Lee RaymondIn this sharp rebuke to ExxonMobil, the Royal Society’s senior manager of policy communications, Bob Ward, charges that the oil giant is 1) actively misrepresenting the state of climate science in its own communications and 2) aggressively subsidizing other organizations that also deny or dissemble on the truth of greenhouse-gas induced global warming.

For example, Ward says:

“I have carried out an ad hoc survey on the websites of organisations that are listed on the ExxonMobil 2005 Worldwide Giving Report for ‘public information and policy research,’ which is printed on your website. Of those organisations whose websites feature information on climate change, I found that 25 offered views that are consistent with the scientific literature. However, some 39 organisations were featuring information on their websites that misrepresented the science of climate change, by outright denial of the evidence that greenhouse gases are driving climate change, or by overstating the amount and significance of uncertainty in knowledge, or by conveying a mesleading impression of the potential impacts of anthopogenic climate change. My analysis indicates that ExxonMobil last year provided more than $2.9 million to organisations in the United States which misinformed the public about climate change through their websites.”

Ward notes that the Royal Society has brought this matter to ExxonMobil’s attention in the past and that Exxon promised to stop giving money to such groups. We all await that development with interest.

In the meantime, it’s gratifying to see one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious scientific organizations so firmly stating the obvious: that ExxonMobil and client “think tanks” like the Competitive Enterprise Institute are misleading the public on a matter of science that is objective and clear.

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