Hot year for Exxon, planet

Global profits, global temperatures: both soaring

Feature story - 30 January, 2006
ExxonMobil announces record company profits of US$32 billion in 2005. Meanwhile, NASA notes that 2005 was the hottest year on record for our warming planet. Coincidence? We don't think so.

Exxon profits while the world warms.

While Exxon sees the billions rolling in faster and faster, evidencethat global warming is gathering pace is rapidly piling up. While mostoil companies are making huge profits, what Exxon does -- and doesn'tdo -- with those profits is what marks them out as the world's numberone climate criminal.

It's pretty easy to see why Exxon isrich. Higher oil and gas prices, a friendly US administration whichsubsidises big oil and goes easy on taxes and fees, and the kind of fiscal conservatism that holds back compensationfor environmental disasters like the Exxon Valdez.  That $US 32billion is the largest profit ever recorded by an American corporation.

Butdespite the worldwide consensus to the contrary, Exxon continues tofund the view that we just can't figure out what oil has to do withglobal warming. 

Last year, an industry lobby group called the Scientific Alliance was working the halls of government in Britain to soften Tony Blair's position of global warming.  They publisheda joint report with the George C Marshall Institute in Washington thatthey claimed "undermined" studies that attribute global warming tohuman activity, and in particular the burning of fossil fuels like coaland oil. The Marshall institute has received more than a half a milliondollars from ExxonMobil since 1998 including US$95,000 for its "globalclimate change programme."

And in September 2003 we uncovered a smoking-gun memothat revealed an Exxon-funded lobby group had been asked byconservative elements in the Bush Administration to sue their owncolleagues at the Environmental Protection Agency.  An EPA studyhad dared to suggest there might be a link between oil and climatechange.

Now the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies has openly said the Bush administration is trying to censor the science of climate change.

James Hansen, who broke the news that 2005 was the hottest year on record,is facing an official review of all his written publications and beingrequired to vet requests for interviews from reporters. His crime wastelling the truth.

Thereis broad and overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change isoccurring, is caused in large part by human activities (such as burningfossil fuels), and if left unchecked will likely have disastrousconsequences. 

Eight of the 10 warmest years since 1860 have occurred within the last decade.

Inaction could cost the Earth

Thereis solid scientific evidence that we should act now on climate change.So says the scientific community that is not paid by Exxon.  Thatincludes declarations such as the Joint Statement last year by thenational science academies of the US, UK, France, Russia, Germany,Japan, Italy, Canada, Brazil, China and India.

"[Climate change is]the only thing that I believe has the power to fundamentally end themarch of civilization as we know it, and make a lot of the otherefforts that we're making irrelevant and impossible." --Former USPresident Bill Clinton, Davos, January 2006

Exxonmobil isstreets ahead as the world's number one climate criminal. It has donemore than any other company to stop the world from tackling climatechange. Exxonmobil admits that it has a 'vested interest' in stoppinggovernments from taking action on climate change. For over a decade, ithas attempted to sabotage international negotiations on the issue andblock agreements that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It'stime the company took some of that massive profit and invested it inclean, safe, renewable energy. Write the new CEO of ExxonMobil anddemand that the world's richest oil company stop funding inaction, andstart working on solutions.

Have a word with the new Exxon boss

There's a brand new CEO over at ExxonMobil -- Rex Tillerson. Let him know your views on energy and the environment as a consumer and a global citizen now.

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