Wednesday, May 17, 2006

From: Think Progress

Big Oil Launches Attack On Al Gore

By Faiz on Radical Right-Wing Agenda

Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) will unveil two 60-second TV ads focusing on what it calls “global warming alarmism and the call by some environmental groups and politicians to reduce fossil fuel and carbon dioxide emissions.” The ad, which will be aired in more than a dozen cities across the country, is being released just a week before the May 24th opening (in LA and NYC) of Al Gore’s new movie on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.

Who is CEI? The Washington Post explains:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, which widely publicizes its belief that the earth is not warming cataclysmically because of the burning of coal and oil, says Exxon Mobil Corp. is a “major donor” largely as a result of its effort to push that position.

CEI also gets funding from other oil companies through the American Petroleum Institute.

Exxon documents reveal the company gave $270,000 to CEI in 2004 alone. $180,000 of that was earmarked for “global climate change and global climate change outreach.” Exxon has contributed over $1.6 million to CEI since 1998.

CEI’s general counsel Sam Kazman said, “I think what attracted [Exxon] to us was our position on global warming.” CEI’s position? The Institute believes the dangers of global warming are akin “to that of ‘an alien invasion.’

Exxon’s spokesperson Tom Cirigliano has explained why the company is so dedicated to funding CEI’s pushback on global warming:

We want to support organizations that are trying to broaden the debate. … There is this whole issue that no one should question the science of global climate change that is ludicrous. That’s the kind of dark-ages thinking that gets you in a lot of trouble.

The science is not questioned because the science behind global warming is indisputable. Science Magazine analyzed 928 peer-reviewed scientific papers on global warming published between 1993 and 2003. Not a single one challenged the scientific consensus that the earth’s temperature is rising due to human activity. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program concluded that humans are driving the warming trend through greenhouse gas emissions. And the EPA has said that the recent warming trend “is real and has been particularly strong within the past 20 years…due mostly to human activities.”

For the oil industry, Al Gore’s film exposing the truth is perceived as a threat, and they have no shortage of funds to try to distort it.

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