Saturday, 6 March 2010

Exxon's Junk Science funding - A bluffers guide

A pretty central contention of mine is that the energy industry is funding climate change denial. Well actually I can't claim that as an original thought. Much wiser heads than mine have been saying it for years. My contention is that many journalistic institutions whom we would like to consider impartial buy into the denialist lies whilst ignoring the fact that the oil and coal lobby is generating disinformation for public consumption.  This propaganda is then recycled by reputable sources such as the BBC.

The proof is too deep and too wide to go into here, but this is a quick incomplete list of resources supporting the fact that the fossil fuel industry has for many years been manipulating public opinion on climate change. You could start with exxon-secrets . Or there's this piece by Monbiot , or the film The Denial Machine ; a recent piece from The Independent , another piece by Monbiot , something else from The Guardian or this from the trade press. Is that enough ? No ? Try this or this blog or if you're gonna insist on something sciencey try this PDF from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Even Newsweek have picked it up. Still not convinced ? Try this excellent documentary Out of Balance. Let's not forget the excellent Naomi Oreskes , or DeSmogblog

Notice a pattern here? The story originates from activists and pressure groups and is mostly picked up by the more liberal print media, from there the story withers on the vine. It does not get onto the broadcast media where most people get their news from. Junk science funding immensely influences the debate on TV and radio, but you wouldn't know it, they aren't credited . The oil industry sponsor the arguments of the denialists but that is not allowed to be mentioned on TV or radio . Exxon are like a master of the dark arts, a largely unseen influence.

The Oil Dollar and climate change denial are joined at the hip, and evidence for that is available by the yard. Although it usually passes those folks at the BBC by.  Oil companies playing fast and loose with the facts is nothing new but the even bigger scandal here is the media whose job it is to spot the slant in the story and present an impartial viewpoint have not just sorely failed in that task, they have relied on their reputations to tip the slant in the climate change story even more in Big Oil's way.

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