Esso's tactics to create uncertainty over climate change
1st March, 2007
How Esso employs tactics and people used by tobacco firms to create uncertainty over the science of climate change. Report by Jon Hughes
It’s not often that a journalist gets to bandy the words liar and lies in print. They are guaranteed to attract the interest of m’learned friends. So here’s hoping. The OED definition of a lie is: ‘1: to speak untruthfully with intent to mislead or deceive 2: to convey a false impression or practise deception 3: an untrue or deceptive statement deliberately used to mislead 4: something that is deliberately intended to deceive.’ A liar is defined as someone who tells lies.
On that basis it is right and proper to call the CEO and board of ExxonMobil (formerly Exxon and known as Esso in the UK) liars. This group, with a hotline to the White House, has made a concerted effort to mislead and deceive and convey a false impression to the world about the truth of climate change.
Its underhand activities have recently been exposed in a damning investigation undertaken by journalist Seth Shulman on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit organisation working for a healthy environment and safer world. Entitled ‘Smoke, Mirrors and Hot Air’, it details documents obtained under freedom of information legislation to shed light on the company’s funding of...
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