Friday, February 12, 2010

Big Shock: Exxon's Still Funding Climate Deniers While Denying They're Doing It

Last year, ExxonMobil told the New York Times (via MotherJones) that the company was cutting off the spigot of funding it has long provided to several think tanks that deny the science surrounding global climate change:
Alan T. Jeffers, a spokesman for ExxonMobil, said by e-mail that the company had ended support “to several public policy research groups whose position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion about how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner."
Turns out that was a bit of a red herring: the UK Independent reports that Exxon has continued funding the deniers to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece following its promise to stop doing it:
The attack against scientists supportive of the idea of man-made climate change has grown in ferocity since the leak of thousands of documents on the subject from the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit last December.

Free-market, anti-climate change think-tanks such as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the US and the International Policy Network in the UK have received grants totaling hundreds of thousands of pounds from the multinational energy company ExxonMobil. Both organizations have funded international seminars pulling together climate change deniers from across the globe.
Mother Jones offers a bit more on where Exxon's money is going:
Josh Harkinson reported on Atlas's role in the international climate change denier web in December, and Exxon topped our list of climate deniers in December. In fact, they've been the top source of climate-change-denier funding for some time, as Chris Mooney reported for Mother Jones in 2005. Exxon gave Atlas $100,000 in 2008, according to the oil company's reports, and Atlas has in turn supported at least 30 other foreign think-tanks that spread climate change misinformation. A number of these groups have been at the forefront of efforts to flog the so-called ClimateGate issue, and are now leading assaults on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
So remember: the next time you gas up at an ExxonMobil, you're pumping dollars into the fight against sound climate science.