With British Petroleum spewing more than 200,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico in what could be an ecological cataclysm, it is useful to look at the hypocrisy of the energy companies when it comes to an even worse crisis threatening life itself on the planet–rapid climate change due to increasing carbon in the atmosphere.
For years, the oil industry, and especially its largest company, Exxon Mobil, has been funding foundations and scientists that seek to refute the mounting evidence of global warming. A recent Greenpeace study, released in March, found that Exxon Mobil was second only to Koch Industries in offering financial backing for these climate change deniers. Between 2005 and 2008, Koch Industries, a privately held oil firm based in Texas, gave $24.9 million to anti-global warming scientists and foundations. Exxon Mobil, over the same period, gave $8.9 million.
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Heavily criticized for its climate denial propaganda and lobbying, Exxon Mobil claimed in 2006 that it would no longer fund such activities. It has continued to do so, however, though a stealth campaign of funding foundations like the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and International Policy Network in the UK and the Cato and Heritage Foundations in the US, all of which themselves give money to the climate change deniers.
Other oil companies, like Shell, Chevron and others, do the same thing but at a lower level and with a lower profile than Exxon Mobil.
But here’s where the hypocrisy and lying become chutzpah.