Drum roll, please. All cards are on the table! The ExxonMobil climate 'beast deck' has been disclosed! The oil behemouth, currently braced for a fight on Capitol Hill over oil company tax breaks, was recently exposed for funding nine of the top internationally renowned authors of climate change denial literature. The charges emerged in a report conducted by the European organization The Carbon Brief.
The Climate Brief is headed by Tom Brookes, director of the Energy Strategy Centre, which is funded by the non-profit European Climate Foundation.
The analysis, which reveals that climate skeptics are a small, close network of individuals linked primarily by the oil industry funding, discounts assertions of climate denial network that their opinions are based on significant scientific concensus on the causes of climate change.
According to The Carbon Brief, the climate skeptic organization The Global Warming Policy Foundation amassed over 900 papers, primarily funded by the oil industry, to promote distrust of scientific findings which project dramatic irrevocable socio-economic and environmental devastation if anthropogenic global warming (AGW) remains unchecked.
An example of GWPF policy is reflected in a recent posting Breakthrough: New Coupled Climate Model Results.
NoCarbonTax, creators of the above model, claims to have "spared no expense, time and supercomputer power to create a completely new Coupled Climate Change model" and offers to release their data when the University of East Anglica Climate Research Unit releases theirs. (The theft of data and emails from CRU launched ClimateGate just prior to the December 2009 UNFCCC COP15 Meeting In Copenhagen.)
Exxon's First Responder Climate Skeptic Team
The most prolific climate-skeptic author on the list is Sherwood B. Idso, president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, an ExxonMobil-funded think-tank. Idso's claim to the throne of CD literature comes from his authoring -- or co-authoring -- of 67 of the 938 papers analyzed. (See CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic's view of potential climate change.
The Cato Institute's Patrick J. Michaels is heir apparent, with 28 CD papers under his belt. Michaels makes no attempt to fudge the fact that 40% of his funding comes from the oil industry.
Other Key Players
• Willie Soon: Research Physicist, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Senior Scientist at George Marshall Institute, Tech Central Station Science Director and principal scientific researcher at Freedom's Center for Science and Public Policy. The Freedom Center was established in 2002 with a $100,000 grant from ExxonMobil.
The Center for Sound Science and Public Policy, also appearing under the name of the Center for Science and Public Policy, is run by the Frontiers of Freedom Foundation, an organization founded and chaired by former Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming. Frontiers of Freedom receives money from tobacco and oil companies, including Philip Morris, ExxonMobil and RJ Reynolds Tobacco. Frontiers of Freedom Institute and Foundation has received $467,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. (http://www.exxonsecrets.org/...
Soon is perhaps best known for his paper “Polar bears of western Hudson Bay and climate change: Are warming spring air temperatures the "ultimate" survival control factor?”, in which he concluded that AGW is not a threat to polar bears. In the acknowledgments section, Soon wrote: “W. Soon’s effort for the completion of this paper was partially supported by grants from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, American Petroleum Institute, and Exxon-Mobil Corporation.”
Source: "Case Study: Polar Bear Junk Science and Koch Industries" (emphasis mine)
• John R. Christy: another affiliate of the George C. Marshall Institute appeared March 8 as a witness at the Congressional Hearing on Climate Science and EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulations.
Dr. Joe Romm writes of Christy in a March 7 Climate Progress article House GOP line up the usual disinformers for climate science hearing: "Christy is one of the nation’s few remaining seriously credentialed disinformers who has arguably been wrong longer than any other serious disinformer and thus deserves our inattention and scorn “Should you believe anything John Christy and Roy Spencer say?“.
As RealClimate wrote: “We now know, of course, that the satellite data set confirms that the climate is warming , and indeed at very nearly the same rate as indicated by the surface temperature records. Now, there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes when pursuing an innovative observational method, but Spencer and Christy sat by for most of a decade allowing — indeed encouraging — the use of their data set as an icon for global warming skeptics. They committed serial errors in the data analysis, but insisted they were right and models and thermometers were wrong. They did little or nothing to root out possible sources of errors, and left it to others to clean up the mess, as has now been done.”
Christy contributed the chapter “The Global Warming Fiasco”to a 2002 book called Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths, published by Competitive Enterprise Institute, a leading provider of disinformation on global warming that was funded by ExxonMobil.
• Ross McKitrick: a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Ontario, and another affiliate of the Exxon funded George Marshall Institute. McKitrick co-authored a 2006 Interfaith Stewardship Council letter which stated: "The role of the IPCC in climate studies is similar to that of the Jesus Seminar in New Testament scholarship in the 1990s and Darwinism for the past century" (Source: Interfaith Stewardship Council (2006) as well as The IPCC, the "Hockey Stick" Curve, and the Illusion of Experience
• Bruce Kimball: Agricultural scientist, is number three on the list. Most of his cited papers were co-authored with Dr Sherwood Idso.
In a statement to Environmental Leader, ExxonMobil writes: “The post conveniently ignores the hundreds of millions of dollars we are investing in new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and manage the risk of climate change
“We’ve committed $100 million to the Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford University. We’ve invested $100 million in a new technology to help remove carbon dioxide from produced natural gas streams. We’ve committed $600 million in algae biofuels that could one day help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And, since 2005, we’ve spent more than $1.3 billion in activities to increase efficiency and reduce emissions.
“The list of groups we fund can be found on our website. Also, more information on our position on climate change and steps we are taking to reduce emissions can be found here.”