WASHINGTON — A group promoting skepticism over widely-accredited climate change science has a web of connections to influential oil giant Exxon-Mobil, Raw Story has found.
The organization is called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), apparently named after the UN coalition International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). An investigation into the group reveals its numerous links to Exxon-Mobil, a vehement opponent of climate legislation and notorious among scientists for funding global warming skeptics.
“Exxon-Mobil essentially funds people to lie,” Joseph Romm, lauded climate expert and author of the blog Climate Progress, told Raw Story. “It’s important for people to understand that they pay off the overwhelming majority of groups in the area of junk science.”
The NIPCC’s signature report, “Climate Change Reconsidered,” disputes the notion that global warming is human-caused, insisting in its policy summary that “Nature, not human activity, rules the planet.” Many of its assertions have been challenged by, among others, the scientists’ blog RealClimate.
The report was released and promoted this summer by the Heartland Institute, a think tank that claims to support “common-sense environmentalism” as opposed to “more extreme environmental activism.” It alleges that “Global warming is a prime example of the alarmism that characterizes much of the environmental movement.”
“To call global warming a hoax is to question every scientific journal, every scientific academy, and buy into the most extreme conspiracy theories,” Romm said.
Heartland has received at least $676,500 from Exxon-Mobil since 1998, the year Exxon launched a campaign to oppose the Kyoto Treaty, according to official documents of the two groups that have been compiled and reproduced by the website ExxonSecrets.org. Also, the institute’s self-described Government Relations Adviser Walter F. Buchholtz has been a lobbyist for Exxon-Mobil, the Washington Post reported in 2004.
The study’s two principal authors and NIPCC leaders S Fred Singer and Craig D Idso are both associated with various organizations that have gotten generous funding from Exxon-Mobil.
Singer has researched and published for the Cato Institute, which has accepted $125,000 in grants from Exxon-Mobil since 1998. Other professional affiliations include the National Center for Policy Analysis, Frontiers of Freedom, and American Council on Science and Health — which have accepted contributions of $540,000, $1.27 million and $150,000, respectively, from Exxon.
Although some praise him as a hero, Singer has been slammed by many fellow climate scientists as “a fraud, a charlatan and a showman” for his unorthodox views and research.
His co-author Idso is founder, board chairman and former president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, whose mission statement is to “separate reality from rhetoric in the emotionally-charged debate that swirls around the subject of carbon dioxide and global change.” The organization has taken $100,000 in funding from Exxon since 1998, according to the oil company’s reports.
Idso is also affiliated with the George Marshall Institute, which has reportedly won $840,000 from Exxon.
Exxon-Mobil has spent more money lobbying Congress in the last two years than any enterprise other than the Chamber of Commerce, dishing out $29 million in 2008 and over $20 million so far in 2009 to legislators. It’s among the top 10 biggest spenders of lobbying cash since 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
“Exxon has waged certainly the biggest, most concerted, and most extreme disinformation campaign on this issue,” Romm told Raw Story. “The trouble is they don’t have to win the argument — all they have to do is blow smoke and cast doubt, and they’ve accomplished their end.”
In a recent incident, hackers exposed private emails exchanged between climate scientists. Some said the revealed information didn’t add up to a conspiracy, while others declared it definitive proof that anthropogenic global warming is made-up.
The Senate will soon take up the mantle on climate bill that the House narrowly passed this summer, and a heated debate is likely to occur in Congress over the nature of the threat and the type of action that needs to be taken.
“I think we’re going to pass it, but it’s going to be an epic struggle,” Romm said.
Republican Sen. Orrin Harch has referenced the NIPCC report, calling it a “Comprehensive scientific answer to the IPCC [sic] Reports.” Various blogs, such the conservative Free Republic, have touted this report as evidence that “global warming is not a crisis, and never was.”
George Conway reveals Trump is being shunned by law firms because young lawyers ‘want nothing to do with him’
Conservative attorney George Conway asserted in a column over the weekend that President Donald Trump's history of mistreating law firms is catching up with him.
In a Sunday op-ed for The Washington Post, Conway explains that Trump is now faced with sparse choices for legal representation in his impeachment trial after years of not paying attorneys and generally being a bad client.
Pointing to Trump's choice of Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr, Conway writes:
?The president has consistently encountered difficulty in hiring good lawyers to defend him. In 2017, after Robert S. Mueller III became special counsel, Trump couldn’t find a high-end law firm that would take him as a client. His reputation for nonpayment preceded him: One major Manhattan firm I know had once been forced to eat bills for millions in bond work it once did for Trump. No doubt other members of the legal community knew of other examples.
Texas GOPer Cornyn blames Trump’s problems on campaign ‘grifters’ — then calls Giuliani ‘not relevant’
Appearing on CBS's “Face the Nation," Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) attempted to blame Donald Trump's impeachment problems on "grifters" who found a way to attach themselves to the now-president when he began to run for president.
Speaking with host Margaret Brennan, Cornyn was asked about allegations made by Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas that have implicated not only the president but Vice President Mike Pence and senior White House officials in an attempt to strongarm the leaders of Ukraine in return for military aid.
"Doesn't it trouble you that [Parnas] was working so closely with Rudy Giuliani, who was acting on the president's behalf and saying he was acting on the president's behalf?" host Brennan asked. "
‘No sound basis’: Georgetown law professor explains why Alan Dershowitz will crumble under Senate questioning
Georgetown law professor John Mikhail suggested on Sunday that the portion of President Donald Trump's defense which is being covered by Alan Dershowitz to fail because it has "no sound basis" in history and law.
"There is no sound basis for Alan Dershowitz to claim that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. In addition to being at odds with common sense, this claim is contradicted by a clear and consistent body of historical evidence," Mikhail stated.
The law professor cited the impeachment of Warren Hastings in the 1780s.
"Some of the best evidence comes from the case of Warren Hastings, which informed the drafting Art. II, Sec 4," Mikhail wrote. "The fact that he was not guilty of treason, but still deserved to be impeached, was a major reason 'other high crimes and misdemeanors' was added to the Constitution."