The tactical link between ExxonMobil’s funded denial of climate change and the tobacco industry’s organized denial of the health risks of its product have been documented in these pages before. But this new paper (pdf.) by the Union of Concerned Scientist brings such discipline and rigor to this argument that its conclusions are undeniable: Exxon is spending a fortune to prop up a convenient lie; and it’s using the same tactics and many of the same people that the tobacco industry used. This paper should be required reading for every policy maker.
The opening paragraph gives a pretty good sense of what to expect:
In an effort to deceive the public about the reality of global warming, ExxonMobil has underwritten the most sophisticated and most successful disinformation campaign since the tobacco industry misled the public about the scientific evidence linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease. As this report documents, the two disinformation campaigns are strikingly similar. ExxonMobil has drawn upon the tactics and even some of the organizations and actors involved in the callous disinformation campaign the tobacco industry waged for 40 years.