Exxon's Greenwash

Fri, 2008-06-13 02:24Mitchell Anderson
Mitchell Anderson's picture

Exxon's Greenwash

ExxonMobil recently launched a new ad campaign that is a significant flip-flop from their years of denial that climate change is not a problem. Perhaps this as good time as any to review some of Exxon's past conduct around climate change.

ExxonMobil has provided $23 million to the “climate denial industry” since 1998. They were implicated by the Union of Concerned scientists of funding a Big Tobacco-style PR campaign to misinform the public on climate science.

Exxon's conduct was so appalling that in 2006, the Royal Society in the UK asked in writing that the energy giant stop funding climate change deniers.

Greenpeace released a leaked email in 2003 alleging that the Exxon-supported Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) was colluding with White House to discredit the EPA's efforts to deal with climate change.

Specifically, this email indicated that someone in the White House had contacted the CEI to ask for “help”. Myron Ebell of the CEI suggested in this memo that they might sue the EPA and call for the resignation of then EPA Chief Christie Whitman. The CEI has received over $2 million in funding from ExxonMobil since 1998.

In 2007, the Exxon-funded Amercian Enterprise Institute (AEI) offered scientists and economists $10,000 each to undermine the findings of the latest IPCC report. AEI asked for “articles that emphasize the shortcomings” of the IPCC report, which “is widely regarded as the most comprehensive review yet of climate change science.”

Leading sciensts were not amused. “It's a desperate attempt by an organisation who wants to distort science for their own political aims,” said David Viner of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Former head of Exxon Mobil Lee Raymond remains vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees.

The energy giant finally stopped shoveling money to a number of the most odious climate change deniers and think tanks in 2007.

Of course Exxon can afford to spread a little money around. In the first three months of this year, they raked in a staggering $10.89 billion in profit. This is second highest quarterly profit in US corporate history – second only to the $11.66 billion Exxon earned in the previous quarter.

As for their record on renewables, Exxon shamefully lags far behind other energy companies. Shell Oil has invested over $1 billion in renewable energy technologies since 2000. BP, is now known as “beyond petroleum”, and has invested over $1.5 billion in renewable energy, and is slated to spend another $8 billion over the next decade.

And Exxon? They have chosen to invest less that 4% of that amount - $300 million over the next ten years researching potential energy sources – many not related to renewables. Compare that to the $47 billion they spent between 2003 and 2006 developing dirty fuels such as oil and gas.

As for their new ad campaign, we at Desmog Blog can only look on with amusement as the company that has consistently apposed progress or even discussion about climate change, attempts to slip into a new public persona with all the dignity of an elephant trying to slip into a bikini.

Previous Comments

Oh no, not the infamous “Trail of Pennies” leading right to Exxon’s doors again. Green paranoia rears its ugly head.

= ExxonMobil has provided $23 million to the “climate denial industry” since 1998. =

Hmmmm. That works out to less then one penny per person per year spent on propaganda and you can not do propaganda on such a tiny sum of money. It’s impossible.

= Exxon shamefully lags far behind other energy companies. =

Uh, I guess so, if you say so. Exxon is an oil and gas company. In spite of attempts by environmental groups to slander and blackmail Exxon, their efforts have been an abject failure. Time to move on.

“You can’t do propaganda on that much money” - really? Well, AEI and CEI have certainly played their part in keeping the climate denial message in the media, on blogs, and so on.

Speaking of blogs, what about you, Paul S.? You’ve posted here quite a bit, haven’t you? You apparently hold views diametrically opposite to those of the hosts of this blog. So what sources do you agree with? Who do you consider a good, reliable source of facts and interpretation on climate issues? Are there one or two websites you rely on most in this area?

Are you a fan of AEI and/or CEI? Junkscience?

What motivates you to keep coming back to this site which you disagree with so strongly?

Paul S visits various other blogs and gets laughed at or ignored regularly. If he’s getting paid to do it, he’s not earning his pay.

Interestingly oil companies are spending a lot more money than one might believe on… bying patents which would facilitate the use of regenerative energy and the use of renewables as buildingblocks for polymers and bulk chemicals.
The figures mentioned (23 mio) are nothing compared to patents sitting in the drawers of those companies and will never see the daylight. what a pitty for the developers of such great ideas…
Zauberer Berlin

= Well, AEI and CEI have certainly played their part in keeping the climate denial message in the media, on blogs, and so on. =

They have? What AEI and CEI have said would have been quickly forgotten but for the efforts of green organizations constantly retelling what AEI and CEI have said.

The bigger story is how the warmers, massively outspending any denialists, have failed so badly to persuade the general public to take action on AGW.

“What motivates you to keep coming back to this site which you disagree with so strongly?”

Somebody should be putting in a good word for Exxon from time to time, I might as well be one of them.

“What AEI and CEI have said would have been quickly forgotten but for the efforts of green organizations constantly retelling what AEI and CEI have said.”

Or maybe it’s the big honking megaphone that appears in Heartland’s denial-o-palooza material?

“The bigger story is how the warmers, massively outspending any denialists, have failed so badly to persuade the general public to take action on AGW.”

Why is it that, whatever the blog entry topic is, you folks keep insisting on talking about something else?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Hi there,
Really nice job,There are many people searching about that now they will find enough sources by your tips.
Also looking forward for more tips about that

“Why is it that, whatever the blog entry topic is, you folks keep insisting on talking about something else?” - Frank Bi

My comments are on topic Frank. I offer balance to the one-sided and biased posts on this subject.

No, you just keep insisting we talk about something else.

Not balance. Distraction.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Afraid not Frank.

Distorting and demonizing Exxon’s influence is a green specialty. Notice how the amounts spent by green organizations like Greenpeace, WWF, etc., is never reported on a site like this?

when was the last time Greenpeace, WWF etc posted profits in the $billions?

Fern Mackenzie

It’s how much Greenpeace, WWF, etc., spent promoting action on AGW. They have far outspent Exxon in this regard.

References please! Something that can be independently verified.

My point is that Exxon is motivated by profit. Greenpeace, WWF etc are motivated by the health of the planet and the lives (all species) that depend on it. That’s a huge difference.

Fern Mackenzie

Distorting and demonizing Exxon’s influence is a green specialty. Notice how the amounts spent by green organizations like Greenpeace, WWF, etc., is never reported on a site like this? clubpenguin

I note that you have failed to offer any references.

No references, = no proof!

I’m pulling together a load of greenwash/carbon strategy ads for a research project. A brief analysis of the ads if you click on my name link.

http://www.alexlockwood.net/2008/06/26/more-on-ads-the-exxon-flip-flop/ cheers.

It’s how much Greenpeace, WWF, etc., spent promoting action on AGW. They have far outspent Exxon in this regard.
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I note that you have failed to offer any references. Acid reflux symptoms Rosacea