PR 101: actions speak louder than words; ExxonMobil needs to walk the walk

picture-8-1346574554.jpg
on

UPDATE: guess all our good karma is coming back, this story has been running on ExxonMobil’s Financial News page on Google all day!

Last week ExxonMobil chief spokesperson, Kenneth Cohen, was in London playing a bit of PR offense for the oil giant. Cohen went after Greenpeace for their recent report outlining the funding in 2006 that Exxon provided to 41 think tanks and associations.

These groups have been on the front lines of the war against the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing to humans as the cause of global warming.

Cohen stated that Exxon was not a “climate change denier” and “wanted to play a constructive role in countering global warming.”

While Exxon now appears to be moving to the right side of the global warming issue, here’s what some of the thinks tanks they continue to fund say about global warming on their websites and the amount of money they have received from Exxon since 1998:

Heartland Institute: ($830,000)

” All of the supposed catastrophic effects of global warming have been rebutted by scientists, including melting ice, hurricanes, other extreme weather, and extinction of wildlife. An increasing number of experts believe the recent warming is due to natural cycles driven by variability in solar radiation.”

The Frontiers of Freedom: ($1.1 million)

“These observations, however, do not prove that the rise in CO2 caused the rise in temperature; and peer-reviewed scientific journal articles appear weekly that demonstrate the diversity of opinion that exists on this issue.”

The Heritage Foundation: ($565,000)

“Given that the current upward trend in temperatures is not unprecedented, it stands to reason that minor warming will not lead to unprecedented catastrophes, and scientific evidence confirms this.”

ExxonMobil is the largest, most profitable company in the history of companies and to have such a player at the table working on real solutions would be a giant step forward. However, as long as Exxon continues to fund these think tanks and associations, the level of mistrust will remain high amongst the public, the scientific community and environmental organizations.

Unfortunately for Exxon, this mistrust will buffer any efforts by Cohen, et al, to make their company the climate change crusader it s now pretending to be.

The easiest move they can make in the short-term to boost their credibility would be to end their funding to the 41 think tanks.

picture-8-1346574554.jpg
Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

Related Posts

on

But demand for hydrogen-powered vehicles remains low, and claims the gas is a net-zero technology are still unproven.

But demand for hydrogen-powered vehicles remains low, and claims the gas is a net-zero technology are still unproven.
on

The Conservative leader voted in favour of protecting the planet only 13 times in 20 years as an MP, a DeSmog analysis of his voting record reveals.

The Conservative leader voted in favour of protecting the planet only 13 times in 20 years as an MP, a DeSmog analysis of his voting record reveals.

Campaigners likened the fossil fuel company’s patronage of climate events to letting an “arsonist sponsor a fire safety conference”.

Campaigners likened the fossil fuel company’s patronage of climate events to letting an “arsonist sponsor a fire safety conference”.
on

Ministers met with Onward, accused of being “a fossil fuel dinosaur in new clothing”, more than any other think tank last year.

Ministers met with Onward, accused of being “a fossil fuel dinosaur in new clothing”, more than any other think tank last year.