Graham Readfearn's blog

ExxonMobil: New Disclosures Show Oil Giant Still Funding Climate Science Denial Groups

ExxonMobil and the climate science denial machinery that it has helped to build over the years are now under more scrutiny than ever before.

At its most recent AGM, the oil and gas giant faced a barrage of questions and resolutions over its position on climate change. Then there is the not insignificant matter of investigations by a group of attorneys general that allege the company lied about its knowledge of the risks of burning fossil fuels. ExxonMobil is retaliating.

The company has pleaded innocence, with CEO Rex Tillerson telling the company’s shareholders that his views on climate science were perfectly in line with the United Nations.

But the latest disclosures on donations by ExxonMobil, reported publicly here for the first time, show it continues to support organisations that claim greenhouse gases are not causing climate change, or that cuts to emissions are a waste of time and money.

Organisations including the American Enterprise Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the National Black Chamber of Commerce — all organisations with a record of misinformation on climate science — all received grants in 2015 from ExxonMobil. The 2015 tally brings the total amount of known Exxon funding to denial groups north of $33 million since 1998.

How An Extreme Form of Climate Science Denial Has Found a Home in Australia's Senate

Australians went off to vote in a general election last week, but five days later and the country still doesn’t have a result.

As things stand, there appears to be every chance that neither of the two main party groupings — Labor on the left and the coalition of Liberals and Nationals on the right — will win enough seats to form a government in their own right.

But one result in the country’s upper house has sparked a wave of discontent, reflection and rage — the election of the right wing anti-Muslim, anti-Halal, anti-vaccination firebrand Pauline Hanson.

Hanson, who leads her own One Nation party, has won election to Australia’s Senate and, as counting continues, she could bring more candidates with her.

But as well as pushing xenophobia and division, the Queensland politician will also take a most extreme brand of climate science denial with her into the Senate. 

Bankrupt Coal Miner Peabody Energy Paid Climate Denialist Craig Idso To Write Greenhouse Gas Reports

A research center that has produced scores of reports dismissing the dangers of human-caused climate change was being paid by coal company Peabody Energy to produce reports about its greenhouse gas emissions.

The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (CSCDGC) is revealed as having historical financial ties to Peabody in the coal company’s bankruptcy papers.

A DeSmog investigation has also uncovered undisclosed financial links between the center, run by veteran climate science denialist Craig Idso, and another contrarian group, the Science and Public Policy Institute.

Peabody Energy was revealed as a funder of a web of groups and organisations that have worked to spread doubt over human-caused climate change while fighting rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Idso, the chairman and founder of CSCDGC, has written many reports claiming that extra carbon dioxide is a benefit to the planet, while ignoring or downplaying the many negatives.

Wall St. Journal Shows Why It Is Under Attack For Climate Science Denial By Publishing Another Dodgy Column

The Wall Street Journal has been spiced up substantially recently thanks to a series of adverts on its own pages attacking the paper’s slanted coverage on climate science.

The Washington Post has reported on the background to the advertisements and the group running them — the Partnership for Responsible Growth (PRG).

But basically, it goes like this.  PRG analysed a couple of decades of content from the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper and found it stunningly out of step with mainstream science, while being remarkably in step with the talking points of fossil fueled climate denialist think tanks and the views of Murdoch himself.

PRG analysed 201 WSJ editorials going back to 1997 and found not a single one of them acknowledged that fossil fuels cause climate change. This is like writing a couple of hundred articles on lung cancer without ever mentioning cigarettes.

The story was largely the same when PRG looked at columns and op-eds published by the paper.  Of the 279 op-eds published since 1995, just 40 reflect mainstream climate science, or 14 per cent. Of 122 columns published since 1997, only three per cent accepted as fact that fossil fuels cause climate change, or endorsed a policy to cut emissions.

All up, of the 602 op-eds, columns and editorials published since 1995, just 44 “treat fossil fuel-driven climate change as a reality”, the analysis found.

Denialist Blogger Anthony Watts Posts Error Strewn “Aerial Survey” of Climate Scientists’ Homes

Climate science denialist blogger Anthony Watts was sure he had a gotcha moment with some of his most hated figures caught red-handed.

Mysteriously popular blogger Watts had wondered how many vocal climate scientists “practice what they preach” when it comes to how they power their homes.

So Watts carried out what he described as an “aerial survey” but what others might call “looking at maps on Google” to look on the roofs of famous climate scientists to see if they had solar panels.

Watts was reacting to research finding that Americans were more likely to follow advice on cutting fossil fuel energy use from climate scientists who had also taken personal steps to decarbonize.

Imagine Watts’ delight to find the homes of celebrated scientists like Professor Michael Mann, Dr Jonathan Overpeck and Dr Kevin Trenberth, all bereft of photovoltaic panels. What hypocrites, right?

So Watts wrote a blog post with photos of the scientists' homes and then published it. What followed was a comedy of errors and corrections - a true car crash of climate science denial bloggery.

Were Historical Pictures of Great Barrier Reef Degradation Really Misused, as The Australian Newspaper Claimed?

The Australian published a convoluted story recently about the Great Barrier Reef and the claims of a scientist over some old pictures.

I've written a few stories about the reef recently - including this piece looking at a recent dodgy editorial in The Australian. But anyway, over the weekend The Australian published a story about Professor Peter Ridd, of James Cook University, who had apparently been disciplined for criticising colleagues and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) for using some old pictures of reef near Stone Island to show how coral cover had declined over time.

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