Saturday, 29 March 2008

Exxon-Mobil to abandon climate change obfuscation

I stumbled on this, probably not meant to be in a publicly accessible place. I hope ExxonMobil will not be too outraged if it appeared early on my blog.

-----EMBARGOED UNTIL April 1st, 2008-----

SPRINGFIELD--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 1, 2008--Speaking today at City Hall, Springfield, C M Burns, President Corporate Affairs of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), announced a major change in ExxonMobil's approach to climate change.

Burns was speaking as part of Springfield's new Business Leaders Who Pay To Speak Program.

He described the actions ExxonMobil has taken in the past to obfuscate climate change science as "consistent with maximizing the corporation's profits. The modest cost of piggybacking onto tobacco and ozone hole denial has been an excellent investment. Excellent..."

Reaffirming ExxonMobil's commitment to being a constructive and active participant in dialogues concerning proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Burns outlined the de facto change in policy. "This time, we actually mean it. We came to the sudden realization that pretending the science was wrong would not save us if everyone is burned to a crisp. Bad for profits. Very bad."

He highlighted ExxonMobil's actions to increase confusion about climate science. These included giving financial support to groups claiming to represent "sound science". "Sound science," he explained, "is that which increases ExxonMobil's profits, no matter how tenuous or where published." These same groups, he continued, were paid to portray peer reviewed science as "junk science", no matter how well-founded, if it was contrary to ExxonMobil's interests.

In describing ExxonMobil's work with partners, Burns reported that the company is now planning on entering a new phase of supporting climate science that is accurate and not influenced by short-term concerns for profit. To facilitate this change, a blind trust to disburse research funds is being set up, to be headed by fabled jazz saxophonist, B.G. Murphy. Said Burns, "No one could imagine Murphy as advocating causes dangerous to the common good."

Steepling his fingers for emphasis, Burns concluded, "We must care enough to treat the risks of global warming seriously. We need to manage the risks of companies distorting the science effectively if we are to maximize the economic and environmental benefits available to future generations."

Full text of the speech is available on the ExxonMobil website. Some text copyright L Simpson.



* The Business Leaders Who Pay To Speak Program aims to encourage debate amongst senior business figures on issues where they are prepared to pay to be heard. The inaugural event took place in November 2007 and C Montgomery Burns was the second speaker in this Program. The first speaker was less gullible and merely bribed the press without bothering to show up.

* The International Energy Agency estimates that, by 2030, it is likely world energy demand will increase by 45 percent. This growth equates to about 100 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, which is in addition to the 240 million barrels oil equivalent a day currently consumed.

* No one with any sense actually believes that this amount of oil can continue to be extracted without running into limits, sometimes referred to as "peak oil".

CONTACT: ExxonMobil
Media Relations: Dallas (US) office, +1 972 444 1107
Leatherhead (UK) office, +44 1372 222261/74

SOURCE: Exxon Mobil Corporation

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