ExxonMobil ‘Disinformation’ on Climate? The Company Responds

Jan 3, 2007 4:57pm

Did ExxonMobil follow the lead of tobacco companies, funding front groups to "cloud the scientific understanding of climate change"?  That was the charge from the Union of Concerned Scientists (see below).  A little while ago, ExxonMobil emailed us a statement in reponse to the report: "This clearly is yet another attempt to smear our name and confuse the discussion of the serious issue of CO2 emissions and global climate change. The report is nothing but a ‘faction’…an attempt to connect unrelated facts, draw inaccurate conclusions and mislead the audience with a fiction about ExxonMobil’s true positions…."  …and we were still reading through it when a second email arrived: "Please replace the statement previously sent you with the one below:" This second version removes the opening language about the "smear," and replaces it with this: "From our initial review of the 63-page report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, many of its conclusions are inaccurate.  Let me clarify ExxonMobil’s position on climate change." You can read the full text HERE. In brief, it says, "We recognize that the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere poses risks that may prove significant for society and ecosystems…."  It quotes from an ExxonMobil statement titled "Tomorrow’s Energy." The company says it has supported research and policy analysis from many different universities and public policy organizations.  "As you might expect,"it says, "in many cases and with respect to the full range of policy positions taken by these organizations, we find some of them persuasive and enlightening, and some not.  But there is value in the debate they prompt if it can lead to better informed and more optimal public policy decisions." So.  Two sides, both apparently seething, in a debate on a major issue. 

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