The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 11th, 2015: The Planet Killers

Over the last few days, several related and intertwined articles are pulling together more and more evidence that Exxon-Mobil, BP, Chevron, other fossil-fuel giants, and the Koch Brothers, along with their front groups, have deliberately and willfully been funding a disinformation campaign denying global climate change reports that they have known about since the early 1980s.

From yesterday’s ThinkProgress thread written by Joe Romm, “Oil Company Exxon Knew About The Scientific Reality of Climate Change in 1981”:

“…despite a growing understanding of the scientific reality of climate change in the 1980s and 1990s, Exxon became one of the biggest funders of scientists and think tanks and others who do little but deny and cast doubt on the scientific understanding of human-caused global warming.
Over the years, fossil fuel company executives have funneled tens of millions of dollars into this disinformation campaign. The top funder was ExxonMobil for a long time. But the company was overtaken years ago by Koch Industries, run by billionaires Charles and David Koch, who spent more than $48.5 million from 1997 to 2010 to fund disinformation. From 2005 to 2008, the Kochs outspent Exxon-Mobil well over 2-to-1 in funding the climate denial machine.”

From Huffington Post’s July 8th article, “Internal Documents Show Fossil Fuel Industry Has Been Aware of Climate Change for Decades”, written by Elliott Negin:

“Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse created a stir recently when he speculated that fossil fuel companies may be violating federal racketeering law by colluding to defraud the public about the threat posed by carbon pollution.”

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“Exxon Recognized Carbon Emissions Problem 34 Years Ago
The collected documents reveal the fossil fuel industry campaign has relied on a variety of deceptive practices, including creating phony grassroots groups, secretly funding purportedly independent scientists, and even forging letters from nonprofit advocacy groups to lobby members of Congress.

ExxonMobil’s duplicity is perhaps the most remarkable. Internal documents and public statements stretching back decades show that ExxonMobil’s corporate forerunners Exxon and Mobil, which merged in 1999, acknowledged the threat posed by global warming as far back as the early 1980s.”

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In November 1988…Mobil President Richard F. Tucker cited the “greenhouse effect” in a list of serious environmental challenges during a speech at an American Institute of Chemical Engineers national conference.

“Our strategy must be to reduce pollution before it is ever generated — to prevent problems at the source,” he said. “That will involve working at the edge of scientific knowledge and developing new technology at every scale on the engineering spectrum. …Prevention on a global scale may even require a dramatic reduction in our dependence on fossil fuels — and a shift toward solar, hydrogen, and safe nuclear power. It may be possible — just possible — that the energy industry will transform itself so completely that observers will declare it a new industry.”

Fossil Fuel Companies Disregard Their Own Scientists

Tucker’s warning went unheeded even by his own company. A year later, in 1989, 50 U.S. corporations and trade groups created the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) to discredit climate science. Its founding members included API, British Petroleum (now BP), Chevron, Exxon, Shell, Texaco and … Mobil.

Until it disbanded in 2002, GCC conducted a multimillion-dollar lobbying and public relations campaign to undermine national and international efforts to address global warming. One of its fact sheets for legislators and journalists, for example, claimed “the role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood” and emphasized that “scientists differ” on the issue.”

From a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), titled “The Climate Deception Dossiers: Internal Fossil Fuel Industry Memos Reveal Decades of Corporate Disinformation” (also linked to within the HuffPost article):

“Containing 85 internal memos totaling more than 330 pages, the seven dossiers reveal a range of deceptive tactics deployed by the fossil fuel industry. These include forged letters to Congress, secret funding of a supposedly independent scientist, the creation of fake grassroots organizations, multiple efforts to deliberately manufacture uncertainty about climate science, and more.
The documents clearly show that:
– Fossil fuel companies have intentionally spread climate disinformation for decades.
– Fossil fuel company leaders knew that their products were harmful to people and the planet but still chose to actively deceive the public and deny this harm.
– The campaign of deception continues today.

The UCS report includes links to all of the memos, emails, and other documentation. While I haven’t had the chance to delve into it much, a quick glance at the titles of the seven “Deception Dossiers” includes “Deception Dossier #6: Deception by the American Legislative Exchange Council”.

Gee, whodathunk?

As Inspector Kemp [played by Kenneth Mars] said in Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein”, “A riot is an ungly thingk… undt, I tink, that it is chust about time ve had vun!”

This is our daily Open Thread–get your pitchforks and torches ready!

28 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 11th, 2015: The Planet Killers

    • You do have great insight, Wayne. (unfortunately very little, for the better, has changed in the five years you penned that ditty)

  1. When I played Sid Meier’s Civilization PC game, oh 25 years ago now…. one of the big advancements you could make in improving your society was the invention of the ‘Corporation’ – presumably as an adjunct to advanced banking practices to allow for great projects and works, beyond the means of normal people to achieve…..

    …. there was nothing there about how a corporation could destroy the earth since the only thing it actually cares about is making a larger pile of money.

    Wonder how history, if anyone cares or survives enough to write it, will view this after it plays itself out and the Great Anthropogenic Extinction runs its course?

      • Sorry, TtT! As I was reading the TP article, I just kept sinking further into a morass of emotions, anger being one, but despair was right up there with anger.

        No punishment is terrible enough for these monsters, who, if they profess to believe in any ‘creation’ god, have done their unholy utmost to defile and ultimately destroy said creation.

        And the worst that can happen to them, now that they’ve done their worst to kill the other inhabitants of our planet, is that they will die, too, being mere mortal men.

  2. ACD — Anthropogenic Climate Disruption aka Climate Change — is real; scientifically confirmed. Fossil fuel consumption is the cause of elevated atmospheric CO2. The polar ice caps are disappearing; the oceans are warming; the permafrost is melting and in the process releasing huge volumes of Methane which is 100 times better, in the short term, than CO2 at accelerating atmospheric warming. The sixth Mass Extinction is underway, and it’s very likely that the human species is on the way out, perhaps within a century, destined to become the first viable species to ever orchestrate its own extinction. Whoopee!

    None of that matters, though, because there is lots of MONEY!! in fossil fuels. And besides, who cares? In a hundred years we’ll all be dead anyway!!

    Homo sapiens “intelligence” is the most overrated concept in the history of the universe. For confirmation, all anyone need do is take a quick look around.

  3. Crazy Uncle Joe and the Dump are together in Phoenix.

    Trump spent a lot of time jabbing at the companies who have severed business ties with him over his remarks about Mexicans and immigration, including NASCAR, NBC, Univision and Macy’s.

    “Thousands and thousands of people are cutting up their Macy’s credit cards,” he said.

    At one point, Trump was disrupted by a group of protesters shouting and waving a banner. The crowd booed and shouted down the demonstrators as they were escorted from the ballroom.

    Trump wondered aloud if maybe the Mexican government had sent the protesters.

    “Don’t worry, we’ll take our country back,” he said.

    The crowd chanted “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

    (if you’re interested for more: http://www.azcentra (dot).com)

    • I watched some of that today, for yucks.

      At least when the Germans descended into madness, they were suffering from the consequences of a crippling depression. This country is full of fat, bloviating, worthless jackasses that are well paid, well fed, and have a roof over their heads. What the fuck is their excuse for being such worthless right-wing, nationalistic pieces of shit?

      But at least it was a dry derp.

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