Everyone is being terribly cwuel to Exxon, and they feel the need to respond. You can probably chalk that up as a success, though a minor one. On the ultimate substance I don't feel any need to revise my previous posts: that Exxon's climate science research was far less interesting than the stories are trying to say; that it wasn't secret, but indeed clearly public; and that it didn't give them any special insight that wasn't widely available to everyone else.
However, the flipside of that is that Exxon did spend years when run by Lee Raymond spreading FUD on GW. Since Rex Tillerson took over they've been rather better. But for reasons of their own - company culture, reluctance to admit mistakes, or because LR still has his hand on RT's testicles, who knows - they can't bring themselves to say that the change in CEO made for a change in policy. Perhaps its embarrassing that just one person's opinions count for so much in a company that perhaps prides itself on an engineering, fact-based culture. I don't know.
So when Exxon say that media and environmental activists’ allegations about the company’s climate research are inaccurate and deliberately misleading I agree. But when they continue For nearly 40 years we have supported development of climate science in partnership with governments and academic institutions, and did and continue to do that work in an open and transparent way then I demur; because it glosses over their campaign of FUD, some of which was open and transparent (they published stuff in the shareholders newsletter, for example) and some was (and probably still is) distinctly non-transparent (funding dubious denialist think tanks). They don't ignore this entirely; they can bring themselves to say We recognize that our past participation in broad coalitions that opposed ineffective climate policies subjects us to criticism by climate activist groups but suggesting that their campaigns were limited to opposing ineffective policies is dishonest.
Exxon's Activists deliberately cherry-picked statements attributed to various company employees to wrongly suggest definitive conclusions were reached decades ago by company researchers. These activists took those statements out of context and ignored other readily available statements demonstrating that our researchers recognized the developing nature of climate science at the time which, in fact, mirrored global understanding is correct. But The facts are that we identified the potential risks of climate change and have taken the issue very seriously isn't; except when very carefully interpreted. They "took the issue seriously" in the sense that they realised it was a threat to their business model. But the FUD wasn't an honest response.
Since 2009, the company has supported a revenue-neutral carbon tax is nice; but I think their "support" has been weak. It is their policy, but they don't push it hard; they don't campaign for it.
[Financial disclosure: I’m sure I’ve said this somewhere years ago (and this text is copied from the "round three" post), but I can’t find it and I doubt anyone else can: I don’t own any Exxon shares or have any direct financial interest but my parents in law worked for them, and I have received proceeds from Exxon shares. AFAIK Exxon themselves haven’t read this post, and certainly aren’t paying me for it.]
* Climate Denial Crock of the Week with Peter Sinclair: Prison for Exxon Execs?
* Tamino: Whack-a-Mole
* What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part 1) David Middleton at WUWT. Astonishingly and disturbingly I find myself in agreement. Not only does he get this mostly right, he fails to over-egg his pudding significantly. Part 2 doesn't add much.
* How Exxon went from leader to skeptic on climate change research - LA Times. This is close to balanced; certainly the best meeja presentation I've seen. Notice that they report that in 1988 Exxon urged a "balanced scientific approach".
* Exxon Knew about Climate Change Almost 40 Years Ago - Unscientific USanian; poor.
* Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General
Yes, this statement does somewhat stick in the craw, doesn't it....“We recognize that our past participation in broad coalitions that opposed ineffective climate policies subjects us to criticism by climate activist groups,” said Cohen. “We will continue to advocate for policies that reduce emissions while enabling economic growth.” What a bunch of lawyerly weasel words. What a carefully crafted sentence by the piglet squashing sow's lawyers to make the piglet squashing sow appear blameless! It looks for a moment like they are admitting culpability in polarizing humanity against itself and its best interests, but ... nah. What it really says is that they accept guilt for fighting inefficiency? And it names the real bad guys, those awful climate activist groups?
Pardon me, but I have to go spin up my grinding stone. My pitch fork has been severely dulled by shoveling manure out of the path these many years. .
Perhaps its embarrassing that just one person’s opinions count for so much in a company that perhaps prides itself on an engineering, fact-based culture.
In my ideal world, it would be. In the world we habit, when the company in question is a US-based megacorp, it's to be expected on days that end with Y. AFAICT, Raymond acted in a way he reasonably believed was in the best short-term interests of his shareholders, which is exactly what the CEO of a US corporation is supposed to do. That it was likely against his company's long-term interest is irrelevant, as long as he was gone by the time the manure intersected the rotating blade, which he was.
"... ineffective climate policies ..."
I missed the part where any effective climate policy was considered by anyone.
Would you almost imagine that "ineffective climate policy" was any climate policy they could imagine?
It pleases the activists not at all that Exxon is now amenable to a carbon tax. So steeped in the climate war mindset, they cannot forgive or forget past sins against the climate message. Tis a pity, sacrificing a ton of progress for their living in the past pound of flesh.
Paul, William, the comment from Exxon about supporting a carbon tax since 2009 may well be outright deceptive. In May this year, according to Bloomberg, Tillerson stated that Exxon would support a carbon tax "if a consensus emerges in the U.S. for climate action". In other words, as long as no such consensus exists, and remember that Exxon has done (and likely still does) a lot to prevent such a consensus to emerge, it is *not* supportive of a carbon tax!
[You mean http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-27/exxon-ceo-says-it-won… ? Those aren't Tillerson's words. Those are Bloomberg's. Exxon's *written* words are support for a carbon tax, unconditionally. http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/current-issues/climate-policy/climat… -W]
"If, policymakers conclude that more action is required, such as putting a more direct cost to carbon to incentivize different choices, we suggest that these policies ensure a uniform and predictable cost of carbon across the economy; that this lets markets drive solutions; that maximize transparency, reduce complexity, and promote global participation.
For some years now, ExxonMobil has held the view that a “revenue-neutral carbon tax” is the best option to fulfill these key principles."
Tillerson's own words from two weeks ago. Note the qualification right after the word "if", and note it is the same as what Bloomberg reported Tillerson said already 5 months ago.
Perhaps the activists might be more forgiving of Exxon if they actively worked to make ammends. After more than a decade of funding anti-science in the USA especially, the movement is self sustaining and has embedded itself into Republican culture. Exxon needs to do more than just say "we support a tax IF" - they need to fund campaigns saying "actually, the scientists were right all along, CO2 is a problem" and put money into fixing the political problem they helped create.
I think it’s crucial to combine draconian but suspended sentences for these crimes against humanity and the Earth, millions (eventually billions) of felony murders associated with RICO and other violations… with an escape hatch.
People who deceived the public and used their wealth (or took others’ wealth in the form of campaign money, bribes, revolving door jobs, etc) to delay rational action to avoid cataclysm should be able to appeal to a Truth and Reconciliation process. If they plead guilty they’d be allowed to avoid prison and seizure of all assets if they agreed to turn over all documents and confess all such offenses legal and illegal, forfeit their fortunes and agreed to never hold a position of responsibility in business, education, government, non-profit or religion again. They should be able to support themselves as janitors, servers and similar jobs that seem to suffice for billions of other people, and maybe they should agree to read, watch and listen to daily reports of the unimaginable suffering their despicable actions have caused. Maybe they should also be asked to publicly perform the song “Faith’s Review and Expectation” more commonly known as “Amazing Grace” once a month for their community.
Purely hypothetically speaking, if AGW turns out to be a costly affair (financially and wrt human lives), then yes, what climate risk deniers have been doing for the past 10-20 years, is much worse than Holocaust denial. Especially the professional ones who profited from it financially.
Actually, the analogy is wrong for another reason. A more fitting analogy would be if let's say before World War 2 it was common knowledge that horrible things were going to happen in concentration camps and that this needed to be prevented, and a small group of vociferous ideologists and profiteers managed to sow doubt and delay any meaningful action, causing the thing to happen.
It didn't go this way, of course, because no one had a clue beforehand that such a thing could happen (although Hitler and his minions had alluded to total extermination several times). A social scientist might have posited it as a theory, but hard scientists would have a tough job providing evidence for what might happen.
And that's where this second analogy isn't perfect, right?
Tom, if you put up a video on YouTube of you singing Amazing Grace for us, I'll send a letter pleading for a not too harsh sentence to the court that will judge you 25 years from now. :-P
[This is effectively trolling; I strongly discourage you from doing that -W]
So far, the only lives lost to climate change are Argentinian. A couple killed their child, then themselves in despair at the doom prophesied by climate change addicts.
Well, there's the suicide by cop from the loon who took over the Discovery Channel, but he had other issues in addition to climate change.
So when you want to sing Amazing Grace, let me know. I'll put on my headphones and listen to Joan Baez do it better.
According to these scientists: "Mortality due to heat extremes in Stockholm, Sweden was significantly elevated in the past thirty years because of more frequent events compared with the beginning of the twentieth century." Their number is a few more than the 3-4 you managed above. As in two order of magnitudes more, and for Stockholm alone.
Thank you for leaving it somewhere, at least, so people can judge for themselves, W. I'll solve your problem by not posting here any more, but it wasn't intended as a rant, just a comment responding to another--the question of the analogy and how accurate it was to compare Holocaust denial to climate denying delayalism, and the thus necessary comparison of the 2 societies.
But there are actually 50 million current climate refugees, and 40,000 people die every year from climate change.
[I prefer to leave so that, as you say, others can judge. The comments were somewhat degenerating, from my viewpoint; you were the one that got unlucky -W]
Sorry, typo. Make that 400,000.
So far, the only lives lost to climate change are Argentinian.
That is unwarranted certainty on your part, Tom. How are you so sure that climate change did not contribute to the death toll for Typhoon Haiyan, to choose just one example?
Does your self-declared status as a lukewarmer require you to take such a firm position?
RE: David Middleton at WUWT.
"Exxon's model forecasted ~0.8C of warming from 1980-2015. Actual warming was less than 0.5C"
1) 2015 isn't over yet. Every month in 2015 has ben well over 0.5C warmer than the 1980 average. Most recent month was 2015/08 at 0.740C less the 1980 average of 0.092 = 0.648C
2) HadCRUT4 current yearly average value for 2015 is well over 0.5C. Today's has 2015 0.692C again less the 1980 average equals 0.600C.
No point in pointing this out there, of course.
[I wouldn't be too bothered either way. Its not necessary to defend a GCM from 1980 or before -W]
Yes, Tom Fuller is full of it (per usual). For just as we can't say with any certainty that weather episode XXX was due to global warming, likewise we can't say with any certitude that weather episode XXX *wasn't* due to - or made more extreme by - global warming.
Deniers always forget that uncertainty cuts two ways.
Of course the majority of the evidence says that AGW will make extreme events more common and/or more extreme, so there is at least some logical reason to believe an extreme event has been caused by or made more extreme by AGW.
Two verses from The New Testament:seem singukarly apposite to Thomas Fuller's lawerly remarks:
Matthew 27 :5 and Luke 10: 37
J4Zonian, why not make it 4,000,000? It's from DARA. Their 400k was an inexplicably inflated version of Global Humanitarian Forum's inexplicably doubled version of a questionable World Health Organization estimate. Be creative! It's allowed!
[Odd. It *was* there: http://web.archive.org/web/20150906094354/http://corporate.exxonmobil.c… -W]
"But there are actually 50 million current climate refugees, and 40,000 people die every year from climate change."
Total refugees have increased from 42 million in 2010 to 50 million in 2014. It is difficult to classify the nature of the conditions that caused people to flee their homes. Some people appear to want to ‘claim’ refugees as victims of climate change inappropriately.
The IOM estimated the numbers of refugees at 15.4 million internationally, with 27.5 million displaced within the borders of their native countries. However, in June of 2014 the UN marked World Refugee Day, noting that the number had exceeded 50 million for the first time since WWII. So the number has risen sharply in just four years, from 42 to 50 million.
But the UN didn’t talk about climate at all during that commemoration. “We are seeing here the immense costs of not ending wars, of failing to resolve or prevent conflict,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “Peace is today dangerously in deficit. Humanitarians can help as a palliative, but political solutions are vitally needed. Without this, the alarming levels of conflict and the mass suffering that is reflected in these figures will continue.” …”Overall, the biggest refugee populations under UNHCR care and by source country are Afghans, Syrians and Somalis – together accounting for more than half of the global refugee total.”
"I wouldn’t be too bothered either way. Its not necessary to defend a GCM from 1980 or before" and "David Middleton at WUWT. Astonishingly and disturbingly I find myself in agreement. Not only does he get this mostly right, he fails to over-egg his pudding significantly."
Perhaps I parsed your English incorrectly. I went to WUUT not expecting to read a paper full of what appears to be deliberate misstatements, because you defended the paper. That's not what I found there.
[I didn't mean to warrant it all; since its at WUWT bits of it are inevitably wrong. That bit I found uninteresting so ignored -W]
One should be able to criticize science from 35 years ago without resorting to falsehoods. Exxon knew the science 35 years ago, and chose to not act on their knowledge, but to act on their self interest.
As a Libertarian, do you find this to be the correct action on Exxon's part?
[I find it to be the wrong question. You're *still* assuming secret knowledge on Exxon's part. They had no secret knowledge, only what is public. So the correct question is "Exxon knew the science 35 years ago, just like everyone else who could be bothered to look, and chose to not act on this common knowledge, but to act on their self interest, just like almost everyone else".
I don't label myself as a Libertarian, but the distinction is fine enough that I don't mind if you do, as long as you don't associate me with the right wing nut jobs that pass for Libertarians in the US.
The correct answer to the question is "support a carbon tax" -W]
"You’re *still* assuming secret knowledge on Exxon’s part. They had no secret knowledge, only what is public."
No, I don't so how I'm assuming secret knowledge, only that Exxon knew that the public knowledge was correct, and started a massive public misinformation campaign to advance their self interest. I don't forgive them of that, not then, not now. BTW, I owned Exxon stock and did business with Exxon back then. I once admired Exxon.
[I don't think you should forgive Exxon for the disinfo; I'm not suggesting you should -W]
Washington State is probably voting on a carbon tax. I hope.
I've given money and a signature.
Hillary Clinton joins the call for an investigation:
So, to those of you Users, what do you think will happen with the death of the Oil Dealer formally known as Standard Oil, err Esso, err Chevron, err ExxonMobil?
Other than sat tens of billions of dollars in fines, ExxonMobil continues production and if not, it sells off in situ production assents to other oil companies, nothing gets shut down in the form of total global oil production, no refineries are shut down and no low echelon workers lose their jobs, they just have a different company name on their paychecks.
The oil and gas in the ground don't go away and the equipment used to extract that oil and gas don't go away. Zero sum game.
You Users get to fell good and gain a moral victory but you are still Users. D'oh!
It does looks like I'll make it through the year on one single 14 gallon fill up!
@Everett, that's about 13 gallons more than I've bought. Electric car, with mostly hydro electric power. Did need to buy a gallon for yard equipment.
Everett, you make the same mistake made by those opposed to taking action to address AGW: you discount the value of initiating legal action against Exxon (or delaying pipeline construction, or promoting fossil fuel divestment) as a public education and persuasion tool, just one of many that we will need to use to convince and enable people to stop being Users.
You Users get to fell good and gain a moral victory but you are still Users. D’oh!
So are you, Everett. While you live, you consume. If you have offspring, you are responsible for their consumption, and their offsprings' consumption, unto the Nth generation. Unless you're photosynthetic, you produce nothing of value to the Biosphere. The best thing you can do for the Earth is die, childless.
"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog", but everybody can see you're a fool when you congratulate yourself on your virtue. D'oh!
”Overall, the biggest refugee populations under UNHCR care and by source country are Afghans, Syrians and Somalis – together accounting for more than half of the global refugee total.”
Even of those, climate change may have played a part: "Syria’s current social unrest is, in the most direct sense, a reaction to a brutal and out-of-touch regime and a response to the political wave of change that began in Tunisia in the early months of 2011. But this is not the whole story. The past few years have also seen a number of significant social, economic, environmental, and climatic changes in Syria that have eroded the social contract between citizen and government in the country, strengthened the case for the opposition movement, and irreparably damaged the legitimacy of the Assad regime." - https://climateandsecurity.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/climatechangeara…
"Somalia and the broader Horn of Africa is in the grip of an extended drought that is likely attributable to climate change. This drought, coupled with other factors such as poor or nonexistent governance, has in the past led to widespread famine. As populations become more and more destitute, the probability that they flee en masse to other countries (if they have the means), or join terrorist enterprises like the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabab, increases. In short, climate change threatens to make fragile states even more fragile, which can lead to the potential for violence directed either at the United States, or its partners and allies in these key regions. This concern is so acute that the U.S. Department of Defense, through its Minerva Initiative, is investing considerable resources to map the security implications of climate change in Africa." - http://climateandsecurity.org/2012/04/25/climate-and-security-101-why-t…
I know I've had this conversation with someone else before, maybe it was even you.
The best thing you can do for the Earth is die, childless. Check!
My only other two siblings? Checkmate!
My pets? All have been neutered!
I would suggest that you go out and kill the CEO of ExxonMobil for all the 'good' that that would do.
Sigh... zombie arguments.
“The annual time series of globally averaged % drought indicates a mean value of 66%, a range of about 4%, and no long-term trend (−0.2% per 100 years, non-statistically significant)” This rather unambiguous statement comes from a recently published paper “Variability and Trends in Global Drought,” published in the journal Earth and Space Science.
Syria did experience a drought. Farmers did indeed move into the cities. The drought was exacerbated by aquifer depletion and the withholding of water from Turkey, which has built several new dams.
The drought was not unusual in terms of severity or periodicity. Neighboring countries also affected by drought did not suffer mass migration. Not only that, most of Syria's migration was internal, not to other countries, during the period of the drought.
"I can take the barrel bombs. I can take the poison gas. I can take the destroyed infrastructure. I can take the dictatorial government of the Alawites who hate my religious beliefs. I can take the disintegration of the country. But another drought? No way. I'm outta here."
Yes, because that worked so well for global tobacco production and per capita consumption ...
ITEM = Tobacco, unmanufactured
AREA = World
FROM YEAR = 1961
TO YEAR = 2013
AGGREGATION = Average
Do a little math wrt the USA and B-I-N-G-O!
Per capita global tobacco consumption is quite close to overall population growth.
Stick that in your ... pipe ...
List of countries by cigarette consumption per capita
USA != World
You can continue to think parochially or provincially, I'll just keep on keeping on thinking globally, if you don't mind.
Am I scoring any points with the Boomer Doomer crown yet?
Oh look, tobacco! Change the subject much, Everett?
Tell us, how many of those proposed tar sands pipelines have been built to date?
Has the percentage of Americans concerned about AGW increased or decreased recently?
Will Steven Harper still be dragging his feet or worse in Paris this December?
Honestly, you're rants have become about as interesting as Fuller's.
Enbridge has been using its existing lines to move dilbit from the Canadian tar sands to the USA by reversing flow that used to move oil *from* Superior, WI to Alberta. Now Line 67 (aka, Alberta Clipper) is scheduled to be as large as Keystone XL.
Thomas, thanks for the pointer to the McCabe and Wolcott paper. Very interesting.
Notice that they use an unconventional definition of "drought." Usually drought is regarded as a temporary decrease of precipitation below its usual value, especially a decrease that leaves too little precipitation for a given application. There's no single, universal definition of drought because different applications (agriculture, transportation, etc) have different water requirements. But what the definitions have in common is that the precipitation decrease is a deviation from normal -- see this FAO discussion for example.
What M&W call drought is more often called aridity. That makes the paper a little problematic in terms of how we usually think of drought because there's no comparison to normal or to the needs of any particular application. By M&W's measure deserts are in a perpetual drought (P always less than PET) but that's not how we usually think of drought. Conversely a region that experienced a large rainfall decrease but still had P greater than PET would not be in a drought in M&W's context -- even if precip fell below what was needed to sustain agriculture or some other requirement.
I'm a little surprised that this conflation of drought and aridity made it past the reviewers. I guess as long as you're clear up-front about what you mean by the term it's OK.
Do you have anything more than incredulity to show that it was barrel bombs and poison gas that drove farmers from their dying crops into the cities? (rather than the most severe set of crop failures ever recorded?)
You are aware that the Gulf Coast is already getting tar sand oil?
What Kevin said ...
See that CO2 emissions trendline? Get beak to me when that one goes down and keeps on going down.
See that atmospheric CO2 curve? Get beak to me when that one starts to go concave down.
I do hope that something good comes out of COP21, but promising to do something isn't the exact same thing as actually doing something.
History is the ultimate judge, as in, what we actually do, not what we say we will do.
ExxonMobil revenue stream is about 9% of the total global oil and gas revenue stream of ~$4 trillion dollars. Take that and its associated production permanently of the table and keep it off the table and then you have actually done something useful.
Short of actual substantive actions words mean nothing..
Tar sands oil already gets to the Gulf Coast?
No shit, Everett, you don't say.
I said *proposed* pipelines, not existing pipelines, Everett. The proposed new pipelines are not required to handle existing production, they are needed to allow for the *expansion* of tar sands production. A quadrupling in fact. And to date not one of them has been built, despite Harper gutting the Navigable Waters Protection Act at the behest of TransCanada and Enbridge. Despite Joe Oliver labeling those opposing them as foreign-funded environmental radicals. Despite the National Energy Board's refusal to allow anyone to use climate impact in a written objection or in person at its hearings. Instead, Enbridge is resorting to repurposing existing lines, as Kevin O'Neill pointed out.
That's not just words, Everett, that's action, or rather the lack of action. Not one of the proposed new pipelines have been built. Not Keystone XL. Not Energy East. Not Kinder-Morgan. And there has been no expansion of tar sands capacity. True, the Saudis can take most of the credit for the latter, but it wasn't the Saudis that stymied the pipelines.
Yes, words are cheap, Everett, none cheaper than yours.
[The to and fro here is getting a little too excitable for my tastes; not just this comment. Please remember respectful debate is encouraged. If you're arguing with an idiot, the chances are that he is doing the same -W]
Thomas Fuller: Re Syria, you forgot to mention the withdrawal of fossil-fuel subsidies, which was one of the bigger factors contributing to the move away from farms and into the cities. (Well pumps need juice - and a lot of juice when aquifers are all pumped-out.)
Which of course means that activists will soon start saying that fossil-fuel subsidies are a good thing.
Oh? Really. Forget that last bit, then.
PS: Who or what was 'Glover'?
I have no idea.
Here's what Exxon has as of ten minutes ago:
"Among the various proposals, ExxonMobil believes a revenue-neutral carbon tax would be a more effective policy option than cap-and-trade schemes, regulations, mandates, or standards. A properly designed carbon tax can be predictable, transparent, and comparatively simple to understand and implement."
My caution is that while many supporters of carbon taxes are genuine supporters, I think there are a few corporations and American right-wing types that realize that both cap-and-trade and regulations are more of an immediate threat than carbon taxes. Professing support for a carbon tax instead (by those groups) is a good way to get the real goal of nothing.
Having said, the Washington state carbon tax looks like a fantastic idea. They're getting really close to the deadline, so hopefully they'll get enough signatures to make the ballot.
Jim Eager - You have the timeline all wrong. The Superior facility was used to move oil *from* the refinery in Superior Wisconsin to points in MN, ND, MI, IL, and Canada.
Once the tar sands came to fruition and Keystone XL ran into political problems Enbridge saw an opportunity. This is when the flows were reversed. Line 67 would likely never have brought dilbit to Superior if Keystone XL had not run into problems.
Line 67 was never part of the original plans to bring tar sands to the USA, but it now serves as a replacement (volumetric) for Phase IV of Keystone.
Another black mark on Exxon vis a vis the whole climate change propaganda campaign was the Philip Cooney affair. Cooney, a longtime American Petroleum Institute lobbyist went to Washington in 2001 as part of the Bush administration where he was appointed chief of staff of the Council on Environmental Quality.
Over the next few years he had his staff began censoring and editing government scientific reports. Shortly after Revkin wrote about Cooney's actions in the NY Times Cooney resigned.
Exxon then promptly hired him.
Connect the dots.
You're forgetting Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline, Kevin, which is what I had in mind when I wrote that comment.
New York State Attorney General investigating Exxon
[That's interesting, thanks, though I prefer the linked http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/science/exxon-mobil-under-investigati…. Legally it appears mad, but we'll see -W]