Exxon Was Only Offering $10,000

Recently, Newsweek staked out the position that a) Much of global warming skepticism is tainted because Exxon was paying $10,000 honarariums for skeptical articles and b) James Hansen is a man we can all trust and is above reproach and untainted by bias.


How many people, for instance, know that James Hansen, a man billed as a lonely "NASA whistleblower" standing up to the mighty U.S. government, was really funded by Soros’ Open Society Institute , which gave him "legal and media advice"?

That’s right, Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros’ flagship "philanthropy," by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI’s "politicization of science" program.

That may have meant that Hansen had media flacks help him get on the evening news to push his agenda and lawyers pressuring officials to let him spout his supposedly "censored" spiel for weeks in the name of advancing the global warming agenda.

Hansen even succeeded, with public pressure from his nightly news performances, in forcing NASA to change its media policies to his advantage. Had Hansen’s OSI-funding been known, the public might have viewed the whole production differently. The outcome could have been different.

Look, I don’t really care if Hansen took private money freely given to espouse his global warming opinions.  However, I am tired of skeptics taking media pot-shots for being "tainted" and "biased" for being funded at levels that are orders of magnitude lower than are climate catastrophists.  As I pointed out in the post linked above, James Hansen, Al Gore & Co. are to skeptics in terms of funding as is Hillary Clinton is to Mike Gravel in campaign contributions.  Never before can I remember the side getting outspent 1000:1 being the one targeted for being tainted by money.  Maybe we can stop and put real scientific scrutiny on James Hansen’s work.

  • I do care that he took the money. Without disclosing its highly politicized origin.

    Never before can I remember the side getting outspent 1000:1 being the one targeted for being tainted by money.

    It’s called “projection.” While in a hysterical state, you accuse your opponent of doing exactly what you are doing yourself to deflect any accusations that come your way. It’s characteristic of personality disorders and rank hypocrites.

  • sagacious

    Unfortunately, you have the story wrong. Exxon wasn’t offering $10,000. An organization long funded by Exxon, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) was offering the money. Former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond also sits on the board of AEI. The story is not about the amount of money AEI was offering to scientists willing to attack the IPCC – it’s that while posing to be “balanced” about climate change, AEI was clearly offering money to unknown random scientists to find the conclusion that AEI was looking for (that IPCC methods shouldn’t be trusted). This is the true taint of money. (BTW: IPCC tells the big picture of our state of knowledge about global warming by assessing the entire body of peer-reviewed research – it doesn’t do the science on its own.) Once exposed, AEI canceled its whole program, which shows its intentions were bogus to begin with. The deal with Exxon funding groups like AEI, Heartland Institute, and a specific network of other climate change denier groups goes back to 1998.

    It’s not that Exxon “hires” groups that deny climate science for money, it’s more insidious than that. A leaked 1998 industry memo made public by The New York Times exposed a deliberate plan to delay policy action by manufacturing uncertainty around climate science, much like the tobacco industry did around smoking. Exxon was the only corporation part of the team involved in the plan and its ex-lobbyist Randy Randol was one of the chief architects of the plan. The memo laid out a strategy to “identify, recruit and train” a small team of unknown scientists who would then be paraded around by specific organizations (who formed a close network to share the scientists) to create societal debate. And that’s exactly what they did.

    “Victory will be achieved,” the memo declared, “when uncertainties in climate science become part of the conventional wisdom” for “average citizens” and “the media.” This plan was based on the tobacco industry’s 20 year success in undermining science around nicotine. Indeed, several of the participants had worked for RJ Reynolds in its heyday of beating back regulation. And many of the groups involved & named in the memo as ideal misinformation spreaders (including Competitive Enterprise Institute & George C Marshall Inst.) are still being funded by Exxon. (Actually, CEI just lost its Exxon funding after all this was exposed broadly by the mainstream media in late 2005, but the rest still get their funding.) Individuals like Kenneth Green (behind AEI’s offer of $10,000 to scientists), Steven Milloy, Fred Singer and a number of others work for/write for/strategize with as many of five to ten of the groups. Many were involved from the start. Needless to say, the industry plan worked – until now.

    To this day, ExxonMobil is still the only oil giant directly funding organizations that deny the science and urgency of global warming.