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Big Oil Funds Propaganda on Global Warming

Al Gore is in the news today, exposing the oil companies (most notably Exxon) for intentionally misleading the public by funding research intended to dispute the scientific consensus on global warming. Gore cites the similarities between the manipulation of public opinion today the oil companies, and the tobacco companies who lied to the American public about the effects of smoking back in the '70's.

"This is one of the strongest of scientific consensus views in the history of science," Gore said. "We live in a world where what used to be called propaganda now has a major role to play in shaping public opinion."

After the release of a February report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of the world's top climate scientists, that warned that the cause of global warming is "very likely" man-made, "the deniers offered a bounty of $10,000 for each article disputing the consensus that people could crank out and get published somewhere," Gore said.

"They're trying to manipulate opinion and they are taking us for fools," he said.

The August 13 issue of Newsweek (available online now) reports, in an extensive article titled "The Truth About Denial", that the oil companies are orchestrating a well-funded effort at misinformation and out-right lies.

The article is extensive, and damning - and it cites specifics in this multi-decade effort by big oil to lie to the American public, and highlights the support they've had in this effort from the Republicans in Congress and in the White House.

The concerted, deliberate intentional effort to lie to the American public is well-documented:

Groups that opposed greenhouse curbs ramped up. They "settled on the 'science isn't there' argument because they didn't believe they'd be able to convince the public to do nothing if climate change were real," says David Goldston, who served as Republican chief of staff for the House of Representatives science committee until 2006. Industry found a friend in Patrick Michaels, a climatologist at the University of Virginia who keeps a small farm where he raises prize-winning pumpkins and whose favorite weather, he once told a reporter, is "anything severe." Michaels had written several popular articles on climate change, including an op-ed in The Washington Post in 1989 warning of "apocalyptic environmentalism," which he called "the most popular new religion to come along since Marxism." The coal industry's Western Fuels Association paid Michaels to produce a newsletter called World Climate Report, which has regularly trashed mainstream climate science. (At a 1995 hearing in Minnesota on coal-fired power plants, Michaels admitted that he received more than $165,000 from industry; he now declines to comment on his industry funding, asking, "What is this, a hatchet job?")

Hatchet job indeed. The Republicans are selling off our future again, our children's future. Check out the entire article here.

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Comments (7)

One man's "propaganda" is another man's "research", Lee.

Then again, we know the Environmentalists (National Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, etc.) are always pure in their intentions, right?

Lee Ward:

You two need to put down the Republican kool-aid.

It's notable the neither of you are denying that the oil companies are funding propaganda, just as Gore said.

Slowly the wheel is turning 'round. First the liars denied global warming was a problem, then they admitted it was a problem but denied it was a man-made problem.


put down the pipe, lee.

what do you call Gore's movie if not propaganda?

the oil companies, and for that matter, anyone else who so chooses, is absolutely free to fund whatever research they want to. and let's be honest here, they would be remiss *not* to fund research that could debunk the hysteria around so-called man-made global warming.

and this is not the one of the strongest scientific consensus views in the history of science. it's one of the strongest politically liberal consensus views of science in history.

if it was a scientific consensus they would actually be willing to listen and entertain criticisms of faulty research and bogus claims. but they're not. instead, they insult, bully, and destroy the careers of those who speak out against this consensus.


Gee, couldn't you find something to post that wasn't common knowledge?

WOW Big (evil) Oil funds anti-climate change zealots. How shocking!

Of course we know the other side, the Sierra Club for example, would never do something of the sort would we?


Not to mention they are funded in part by Democracy Alliance, founded by former Clinton Treasury official Rob Stein and various donors in 2005.

Members of the Democracy Alliance include billionaires like George Soros and his son Jonathan Soros, former Rockefeller Family Fund president Anne Bartley, San Francisco Bay Area donors Susie Tompkins Buell and Mark Buell, Hollywood director Rob Reiner, Taco Bell heir Rob McKay ... as well as New York financiers like Steven Gluckstern.

Yep, no bias there, move along nothing to see, "unlike" Big (evil) Oil not an agenda is sight!

Unless you really want to look.


And who funded research on the health effects of tobacco smoke? The ultra-biased anti-tobacco nuts at the American Lung Association, that's who! Why would you trust anything coming from those commies? They have an agenda!

I don't know if I achieved your level of idiocy with this one, marc, but I'll keep trying.



I don't know if I achieved your level of idiocy with this one, marc, but I'll keep trying

The only idiocy on display is yours.

As usual. Too bad you missed the point that all sides of this issue have an agenda and are funded by those holding the same agenda.

It's a tired an frankly BS attack, ohhhhhh, look out the evil oil companies are funding something.

It's crapola on a stick. They also spent a lot of cash on conservation issues as well. But you'll never hear the ecco-weenies, including yourself, mention it.


Too bad you missed the point that all sides of this issue have an agenda and are funded by those holding the same agenda.

The agenda's are different, friend. What is the motive of the energy companies in sponsoring denialists? Profit. What is the motive of energy companies in appearing to be "green?" Profit.

What is the motive of the Sierra Club and Democracy Alliance (as if that had anything to do with funding climate research)? Tell you what, find out how much money the top executives at the oil companies make every year, and compare that to the how much the Sierra Club board of directors get for their work. Then we can talk about agendas.

They also spent a lot of cash on conservation issues as well. But you'll never hear the ecco-weenies, including yourself, mention it.

You do realize you linked to a "so-called" eco-weenie website to point that out right? Moron.


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