Exxon flak argues global warming good for us

At a time of rising public concern about climate change, global warming and environmental degradation, an industry-funded spokesman has stepped forward to tell us the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Writing in Forbes , Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based recipient of some $2 million from Exxon since 1998, tells us debate has been unfairly biased against global warming.

“When talk turns to global warming, there are only three socially acceptable opinions that may be expressed,” Ebell complained. “It's going to be bad, terrible or catastrophic. As our leading alarmist, former Vice President Al Gore, makes clear in his book and movie, An Inconvenient Truth, ‘the negative impact of climate change vastly outweighs any local benefits.’”

Ebell’s latest denial happened to coincide with release of a new Decima poll showing environmental policy is both the top priority of Canadian voters and the subject of the most dissatisfaction with government performance. The survey also found the environment to be the most pressing concern of Canadians, eclipsing health care, the Afghanistan conflict, taxes and the economy.

Ebell said “more people die from blizzards and cold spells than from heat waves,” and alluded to “the promising scenario” of milder winters in northern regions. “Instead of 20 below zero in January in Saskatoon, it might be only 10 below.”

Ironically, Ebell said global warming is unlikely to result in reduced energy consumption because people will want more air conditioners. “Given our obvious preference for living in warmer climates as long as we have air-conditioning, I doubt that we're going to go on the energy diet that the global warming doomsters urge us to undertake.”

So the polar bears might not take much comfort from Ebell’s view, but industry most likely will.


I look forward to the day when CEI is forced to shut it’s doors because it can’t pay it’s rent or pay the salaries of people like Ebell.

I believe it was Sun Tzu in the Art of War that said the best way to defeat an army is to cut off their supply of food and water. In the case of the CEI, I think a similar fate will occcur – no money, no mouthpieces like Ebell saying whatever they (and their industry backers) want to say with no accountability to anyone.

$2 million from Exxon since 1998? That’s it? Is this the same CEI that is confusing and paralyzing the public on taking action on AGW?

$2 million. That can’t be right. There must be a typo in the above article.

All you spare people, pick your own CEI flak to get up the nose of with a “kooky blog in England”. How about Iain Murray for example?

If Exxon has a point of view, they should be prepared to say it in their own name, and not retain idiots like this who have the pretence of having an independent position.

The biggest responsibility, however, is the press who for years have known where Ebell was coming from. If they want to “balance” their story, they can phone up Exxon’s PR office. If that office gives a “no comment” as the usually do, then they should assume that no one wants to defend it, and leave it at that.