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The Carbon Lobby's Thinktanks
Alex Steffen, 22 Apr 05

Mother Jones has an excellent little piece Put a Tiger In Your Think Tank, about ExxonMobil's funding of climate-obstructionist intellectual infrastructure:

ExxonMobil has pumped more than $8 million into more than 40 think tanks; media outlets; and consumer, religious, and even civil rights groups that preach skepticism about the oncoming climate catastrophe.

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They forgot to mention Peter Huber and Mark P. Mills, currently making their rounds with "The Bottomless Well
The Twilight Of Fuel, The Virtue Of Waste, And Why We Will Never Run Out Of Energy". Jon Stewart even had Mills on his show a month or two ago.


Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 22 Apr 05

When a penny falls out of your pocket, do you take the trouble to pick it up? $8 million isn't even pennies for a company with $21 billion in income and $247 billion in revenue. (specifically 0.00032% of revenue)

The real question is whether this expenditure is having any effect on public opinion or regulatory action. Is Exxon's money well spent, or does everyone see through the smokescreen? If nobody's being fooled, then we should encourage them to keep wasting their money on more useless work.

If people are being fooled, we need to understand why. Is the publicity due to bogus "journalistic ethics" that require a crackpot spokesman to "balance" every authentic scientific finding?

Posted by: Alton Naur on 22 Apr 05

Forgot to mention: quoting Jon Stewart as an authority for any serious discussion is part of the problem. As Stewart is at pains to point out, his is a pretend news show, not a real one; he deals in pretend journalism and pretend ethics, not real ones. But nobody ever pretended that extremists on any side had a sense of humor or were capable of distinguishing a serious comment from a joke.

If the only news show that non-warming advocates can get on is The Daily Show, then Mother Jones is getting all worked up over nothing.

Posted by: Alton Naur on 22 Apr 05

If the only news show that non-warming advocates can get on is The Daily Show, then Mother Jones is getting all worked up over nothing.

It was just an example of where I saw them, among other places. And his interviews are meant to be taken more seriously, even if it's a "fake news" show. It's also important that the demographic he's reaching is the younger generation.

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 25 Apr 05



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