Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Business of Climate Change Deception

How is it that despite the wealth of scientific evidence some continue to question the facts about climate change?

Although many businesses support efforts to educate the public about the dangers of increasing levels of C02, others are investing in campaigns that breed subterfuge and manipulate the debate.

One of the biggest sources of misinformation funding comes from Exxon Mobile, the world's largest publicly listed corporation. Exxon Mobile is also one of the world's biggest polluters, a study from the Friends of the Earth found that Exxon Mobile is responsible for 5% of all man-made carbon dioxide emitted over the past 120 years.

Although Exxon Mobile made a pledge to stop funding lies, a Guardian article reports that the oil giant has continued to provide money to lobby groups that publish "misleading and inaccurate information'" about climate change.

In 2008 Exxon Mobile provided over $100,000 to the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) in Dallas, Texas and the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC.

On its website, the NCPA says: "NCPA scholars believe that while the causes and consequences of the earth's current warming trend is [sic] still unknown, the cost of actions to substantially reduce CO2 emissions would be quite high and result in economic decline, accelerated environmental destruction, and do little or nothing to prevent global warming regardless of its cause."

The Heritage Foundation published a "web memo" that says: "Growing scientific evidence casts doubt on whether global warming constitutes a threat."

Many businesses large and small see the value of incorporating sustainability into their practices. While others are still trying to protect their margins by manipulating public awareness to avoid climate change legislation.

Exxon Mobile may be the worlds largest oil company and one of the largest corporations in the world, but in terms of the environment, it is also amongst the most irresponsible firms on the planet.

Shareholders should not confuse sustained campaigns of deceit with sustainability. In a near term future such businesses may be subject to legislation, but they will also be tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.

Related Articles:
Green Dissent (Part 1)
Green Dissent (Part 2)
Primer on CO2 and other GHGs
CO2 Myths and the Science of Climate Change
The Effects of Global Warming
Green Science
Green Stimulus and Opposition
What is Wrong with the Right
Action on Climate Change
Helping Small Businesses Accept US Cap-and-Trade
Cap-and-Trade Implications for Business
Small Business Can Save Cap-and-Trade Legislation
Small Business' Silence on US Cap-and-trade Legislation
US Cap-and-Trade: Business
US Cap-and-Trade: What and Why
US Cap-and-Trade: Solutions
COP 15 Implications for Business
COP 15 Timetable
US Green Legislation
Environmental Politics
Market Based Social Change
Green Capitalism
Green Blueprint

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