What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part Deux, “Same as it ever was.”)

Guest post by David Middleton

 

If you thought Part 1 was a doozy, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”…

Exxon Believed Deep Dive Into Climate Research Would Protect Its Business
Outfitting its biggest supertanker to measure the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide was a crown jewel in Exxon’s research program.

Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song, David Hasemyer
Sep 21, 2015

In 1981, 12-year-old Laura Shaw won her seventh-grade science fair at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Cranford, N.J. with a project on the greenhouse effect.

For her experiment, Laura used two souvenir miniatures of the Washington Monument, each with a thermometer attached to one side. She placed them in glass bowls and covered one with plastic wrap – her model of how a blanket of carbon dioxide traps the reflected heat of the sun and warms the Earth. When she turned a lamp on them, the thermometer in the plastic-covered bowl showed a higher temperature than the one in the uncovered bowl.

If Laura and her two younger siblings were unusually well-versed in the emerging science of the greenhouse effect, as global warming was known, it was because their father, Henry Shaw, had been busily tracking it for Exxon Corporation.

[…]

Henry Shaw was part of an accomplished group at Exxon tasked with studying the greenhouse effect. In the mid-70s, documents show that Shaw was responsible for seeking out new projects that were “of national significance,” and that could win federal funding. Others included Edward E. David, Jr., a former science advisor to President Richard Nixon, and James F. Black, who worked on hydrogen bomb research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1950s.

Black, who died in 1988, was among the first Exxon scientists to become acquainted with the greenhouse effect. Esso, as Exxon was known when he started, allowed him to pursue personal scientific interests. Black was fascinated by the idea of intentionally modifying weather to improve agriculture in arid countries, said his daughter, Claudia Black-Kalinsky.

“He believed that big science could save the world,” she said. In the early 1960s, Black helped draft a National Academy of Sciences report on weather and climate modification. Published in 1966, it said the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “agrees quite well with the rate of its production by man’s consumption of fossil fuels.”

In the same period, a report for President Lyndon Johnson from the President’s Science Advisory Council in 1965 said the burning of fossil fuels “may be sufficient to produce measurable and perhaps marked changes in climate” by the year 2000.

By 1977, Black had become a top technical expert at Exxon Research & Engineering, a research hub based in Linden, N.J., and a science advisor to Exxon’s top management.  That year he made a presentation to the company’s leading executives warning that carbon dioxide accumulating in the upper atmosphere would warm the planet and if the CO2 concentration continued to rise, it could harm the environment and humankind.

[…]

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/16092015/exxon-believed-deep-dive-into-climate-research-would-protect-its-business

Firstly, the Earth’s atmosphere is not air in a jar.

Secondly, the Black presentation was dated in 1978.

Thirdly, the Black presentation was just another survey of government and academic publications on the so-called greenhouse effect.

Here’s what Exxon knew in 1978…

Exxon knew that most government and academic scientists wanted more research money.

Exxon knew that most government and academic scientists wanted more research money.

“Same as it ever was…”

XOM4

“Same as it ever was…”

In 1978, Exxon knew that the effects on sea level and the polar ice caps would likely be negligible, models were useless and more effort should be directed at paleoclimatology.

In 1978, Exxon knew that the effects on sea level and the polar ice caps would likely be negligible, models were useless and more effort should be directed at paleoclimatology.

“Same as it ever was…”

In 1978, Exxon knew that the models were useless.

In 1978, Exxon knew that the models were useless.

“Same as it ever was…”

Inside Climate then bemoaned the fact that Exxon management scrubbed a science project…

Exxon’s enthusiasm for the project flagged in the early ’80s when federal funds fell through. Exxon Research cancelled the tanker project in 1982, but not before Garvey, Shaw and other company engineers published an initial paper in a highly specialized journal on the project’s methodology.

We were anxious to get the word out that we were doing this study,” Garvey said of the paper, which did not reach sweeping conclusions. “The paper was the first of what we hoped to be many papers from the work,” he said in a recent email. But the other publications never materialized.

I never worked for “big oil,” however, “little oil” tries to avoid spending money on science projects.

98 thoughts on “What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part Deux, “Same as it ever was.”)

  1. And why would Black working on the hydrogen bomb at Oak Ridge be involved in the basic science of measuring things in the air down to trace levels. Radiation which was being used to scare the hell of the populace in those days. Thats when they found the beginnings of the narrative as well as the shared interests that needed it.

  2. Why hasn’t the skeptic/doubter/thinker community popularized a more accurate name for the “greenhouse effect”?

  3. No amount of discussion of the events surrounding this case, is ever going to remove the “big oil knew all along, but then covered up and denied” meme from the minds of alarmists.
    This is demonstrated by the work of Lewandowsky. Or at least by it’s reception by the left.
    Once you implant a dumb idea into the minds of gullible simpletons then no amount of factual evidence can remove it.
    Whether that dumb idea is the conclusion of a Lewandowsky paper, or a conspiracy theory thrown together by Naomi Oreskes.
    Unfortunately, people such as Lewandowsky and Oreskes and their leagues of adoring imbeciles are prone to “conspiracy ideation”.
    You just have to get used to it.
    They seem to enjoy being gullible.

    • I have to admit that I find this story of a cover -up conspiracy by Exxon and others very confusing.
      In an earlier post there was a link to pages of papers published by Exxon staff on aspects of climate change and one person stood out as being in many of the papers: H S Khesgi. His work seemed to be well cited and I picked out one of his papers (2002)
      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/298/5595/981.abstract
      it was coauthored by geoscientists and other academics from institutions of impeccable reputation as can be seen by the list of affiliations of co authors (he is No 9):-
      1 Department of Physics,
      2 Department of Biology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA.
      3 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA.
      4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
      5 Institute of Space Systems Operations, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA.
      6 Department of Economics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2T7, Canada.
      7 MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
      8 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
      9 ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, Annandale, NJ 08801, USA.
      10 Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering,
      11 Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.
      12 Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
      13 Centre for Climate and Global Change Research, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6, Canada.
      14 Plasma Physics Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA.
      15 NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, USA.
      16 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307, USA.
      I won’t inflict the abstract on you , a prosaic but professional review of energy alternatives in the face of climate change , but just wanted to point out that senior people at Exxon were co presenting and hanging out with recognised geoscientists . He was even on a IPCC working party .
      So how can journalists say that Exxon hid information for decades when I could find one fact that disproves that assertion in less than 5 minutes?.

      • I am guessing (climatologically style) that they are upset because Exxon didn’t immediately jump in with the “consensus”. As we know independent thinking is NOT appreciated in this area.

      • Your list is made up entirely of hard science/scientists from institutions that were respected world wide at the time. Note the lack of NGOs/environmental activist groups.

        Your list is made up entirely of once respected institutions that have now been infested by bandwagon-jumping, fund-seeking, fear-mongering, Luddite-worshipping, under-performing, control freaks who sauntered through the government created revolving door between them and the NGOs/environmental activist groups.

        I blame the lawyers.
        ;)

    • Luckily the world’s population aren’t really interested as the UN poll showed and, well, just about every other poll shows global warming/climate change is not of great interest or importance.

      • “Luckily the world’s population aren’t really interested as the UN poll showed and, well, just about every other poll shows global warming/climate change is not of great interest or importance.”

        Be careful what you assume to be true. If the world was truly jazzed up about it, they perhaps would pay more attention to the growing evidence that “this” is going to cost them alot of money/wealth.

        Part of the successful con is to wiggle in just enough to secure enough effectiveness to carve out the thing you want. A con doesn’t necessarily want attention directed towards the thing they really want.

    • Inspirational ending.

      I was in that line of work back in the 70’s, but they never let us drop one.

  4. Perhaps a coinkindinky … around ’81 Exxon Enterprises was going full bore on … you guessed it … photovoltaics. Early adopters I suppose. Even back then, there was government slush to be had for solar.

  5. If the Earth was covered in a sphere of plastic wrap, it too, would get hotter. However, just adding CO2 to the atmosphere has almost no effect. Back to the fuel pump Exxon.

  6. https://debunkhouse.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/xom6.png?w=1200&h=900

    Your squiggly line is oh so close to the range of predicted temp increases. You say … no big deal … they say, it’s just the buildup before the quickening.

    It’s just enough to give them validity and just enough to be skeptical. Neck and neck, the horses are running round the bend. For them, it’s justification for action. For you, it’s justification for further study before action.

    Remember the term “preemptive strike” used in Iraq ? Well, one intellectually corrupt decision taught the other how to play that hand.

      • Gary

        Depends ya know. Ya can slowly boil the frog blah blah. It’s no coincidence that u are seeing micro home shows on the boob tube. Slooooowly getting the mass movement participants into the groove is the way to do it. Hoffer talks about this …. in fact there’s that poem about coming for the Jews in Germany that comes to mind.

        Abuse works the same way. Do it slow and the abused thinks it’s just a normal way of life.

    • “Your squiggly line is oh so close to the range of predicted temp increases.”
      ///

      Well yes, but, materially, it is below the very lower limit of the predicted warming; it is lower than the predicted minimum climate sensitivity.

      So if you want to argue that it is broadly still on target, you have to consider whether the lower level of climate sensitivity is scary. Surely the answer to this is that it is not scary.

      So the fact that it is broadly tracking the very lowest climate sensitivity, which is not a scary scenario, is a good argument for the wait and see approach. Especially since in fact it is tracking underneath the lowest predicted climate sensitivity.

      • “Surely the answer to this is that it is not scary.”

        Tricks of the trade. I’m sure you know that the risk u take upon yourself is perceived far less so than the risks (fear) someone does to you.

        What they are doing is totally mercenary and they are so schmart. It’s the home stretch …. they can see the beginning of their new creation within eyeshot.

    • The air temperature projections on slide 3 were made with the assumption that everything else in the climate holds constant. Of course, the climate adjusts to changes in forcing; especially convection, evapotranspiration, and cloud cover. So, those projections are not at all realistic.

      They also have no uncertainty limits. Were those plotted, they’d go off the upper and lower margins of the graph by 2050. Off the lower margin at -1 C by 2 years out, actually.

      In short, those temperature projections are physically meaningless. Whether they are near the squiggly line or not is of no predictive import.

    • LOL, yeah…the decision to go to Iraq in 2002 is to blame for climate change activism. Sure thing, bud.

    • Knute, read the Bush 2002 speech at West Point graduation. Seriously, know about what you post.
      Read the actual history of Saddam Hussein. All you can find on the net that is sourced.
      Note that “yellow cake” uranium oxide was found hidden in steel scrap in Iraq. British MI6 said he tried to buy it from Niger. He had a nuke plant but Israel bombed it.
      Being a nut on one subject may be harmless, but being a nut raises questions about your ability to deal with facts. Hopefully your “Bush derangement” will improve and recede. Perhaps learning the US military found about 1000 WMDs and had troops injured by chemical weapons will start your recovery.

      • Thanks JH

        I remember the speech. A call to war to take it too the enemy. Reread it. Brings back some of the feel and flavor of the time. I’m familiar with the speechwriter and the use of the
        epideictic rhetoric.

        I am quite familiar with Hussain’s history, rise to power and injustice to his people. Always open to additional reading if you’d like to suggest a well written book. I’ve read a few.

        Also familiar with the yellow cake intel and have reviewed additional levels of intel concerning WMDs.

        Allow me to agree to disagree about the urgency and tactics that required the actions that were taken.

        There are distinct similarities in how both parties use marketing strategies to pursue their causes. I’ve noticed a few passionate dismissals concerning my opinion on the rush to the Iraq war so, I’ll leave the opinion out of any effort to draw attention to how causes are promoted/marketed within, in this case, the US.

        Doing this should circle me back to my main goal which is to understand why the skeptical side of CAGW is struggling to be recognized in both Europe and the N America. Skeptics have the better science but lack an effective approach to counter the urgent call to war on climate change. On the otherhand, it is equally interesting to watch how the current POTUS uses his rhetorical style to drive urgency.

        I’ll pay attention to other examples of how the parties mimic each other because I’ve learned that much can be learned by watching how your opponent is succeeding when you are not.

      • Mr, Harmon,

        I remember that speech, and I remember a few years later Mr, Bush saying there were no WMD in Iraq. All I ever saw reported were old corroded/degraded stuff, that was no longer weaponry, but hazardous chemical waste at that point.

        And if you really believe no one in positions of power (over us) ever conspire(d) to at least deceive us, I consider you just plain gullible.

  7. “Exxon’s enthusiasm for the project flagged in the early ’80s when federal funds fell through. Exxon Research cancelled the tanker project in 1982, but not before Garvey, Shaw and other company engineers published an initial paper in a highly specialized journal on the project’s methodology.

    “We were anxious to get the word out that we were doing this study,” Garvey said of the paper, which did not reach sweeping conclusions. “The paper was the first of what we hoped to be many papers from the work,” he said in a recent email. But the other publications never materialized.”

    Interesting, If they where working for EXXON did they not sign non disclosure agreements. Also was not the 1970s a time wheres the greatest concern was leaded fuel? I do not recall any mention of CO2 being a problem prior to the 1990s.
    issues, oil embargo, Cold War, Iran hostage taking. Has anyone seen any of these documents with a EXXON logo at the top? proper dates, with era typewriter strikes?
    Well I guess since Democrat’s can get dead people to vote its only a short step to get them to write papers and give presentations. This will take more then just a grain of salt, rather all the salt in all the oceans; On which the “Flying Dutchman Tanker” never sailed. :-D
    michael

    • “Has anyone seen any of these documents with a EXXON logo at the top? proper dates, with era typewriter strikes?”

      Wow, you guys are epically mistrustful. I deal with liars alot and I never even considered that one. I’ll have to check in with my peers to get a sense for my naivety.

      • “Has anyone seen any of these documents with a EXXON logo at the top? proper dates, with era typewriter strikes?”

        Wow, you guys are epically mistrustful. I deal with liars alot and I never even considered that one. I’ll have to check in with my peers to get a sense for my naivety.

        ——————
        Many here are familiar with the references to typewriters and such, for good reason.
        It would be fair to say, that in the early days of weblogs, quite a number of WUWT regulars were once attracted to the blog which blew Dan Rather’s faked document out of the water. That blog’s owner had discovered that the allegedly GWB- damning, 60’s- era typewritten page was actually composed in MS Word. Many here, are obviously and inherently seekers of truth and have little use for propagandists of any stripe.

      • Alan

        My peers confirmed that I am slipping. I’m usually very sharp to identify manipulations. Thanks for pointing out the potential. I think I’m slipping because I’m loosing faith. Makes me sad. I think I come here because you guys by and large are no bullshit.

        A few more years and I’m gonna pack it up and go native. When I was a young man, I was full of piss and vinegar, built like a rock, and a mind sharp as a tack. I distinctly remember the time and place where I decided I was either gonna go native and live the life of a spartan or join the world.

        I never forgot that moment or that choice.

      • Knute: (need for Exxon letterheads etc.)The papers are actually pubished so, 1) they’ve been available to all, 2) they collaborated with academia on the work and 3) Remarkably, they covered all the bases that have been covered in climate science almost 40 years ago. This latter, in a fledgling science, is very telling. The support for an ideology couldn’t be better – why tamper with and advance the science. You might end up refuting it.

      • GP

        Akin to most cults and psuedoscience. Sprinkle a little truth or perhaps an interesting theory with some sembelance of good but don’t take it too far that it may reveal the truth. Xenu was supposed to be a secret forever.

  8. There was an attempt to show George W Bush fail his flight med exam. It was the Typewriter that showed the document was a fake. The attempt was made during a US election cycle. This is just a rerun of that flop.
    michael

  9. I’ve always been curious about how a chart with earlier back casting would look. So actually the computer modeling has flunked since 1978:

  10. This whole Exxon conspiracy has only demonstrated that those who are convinced of a cover up have an actual learning disability. I don’t mean this in a pejorative or flippant sense but rather, they seem to be incapable of simple and logical mental operations. Exxon’s knowledge of the greenhouse effect came from public sources. How can a rational person get this so turned around and mixed into a conspiracy? Well, I’m answering my own question, they are learning impaired. Replace anger and frustration with pity and compassion for these people.

    BTW my 1980 “Modern Geography” textbook by Strahler & Strahler describes and predates everything in these Exxon documents and even includes one of Hansen’s temperature graphs with a Co2 graph along side. The section titled Carbon Dioxide and Global Climate Change lists a dozen academic references from the 1970s! From the geography 101 textbook:

    “From the long-range standpoint, Man’s combustion of fuels has some serious implications and these must be studied with care. Sustained research combined with intensified monitoring of the environment deserves high priority.”

    It makes sense that science illiterates would be completely ignorant of the vast academic literature on the subject and that only Exxon knew these things and kept it from the world. The mind boggles. What a condemnation of the media’s most basic ability to differentiate lunacy from reality.

    • “What a condemnation of the media’s most basic ability to differentiate lunacy from reality.”

      One of the more fabulous quotes that is burned into my mind. It’s from a very famous person that most would know in the media. We argued and battled late into the nite years ago. In a fit of anger I threw my drink at the fireplace and shouted :

      “What the f__k happenned to you. I grew up idolizing what you stood for. Where is your integrity ?”

      The answer:

      “Grow the f__k up. There are 100s of places where people can get their information from. The only way we can compete is to also sensationalize”.

  11. One of the ironies is that the experiment run by Laura Shaw is measuring the greenhouse effect, but she was measuring the greenhouse effect that actually occurs in green houses, specifically the reduction of heat loss from convection. The greenhouse effect arising from CO2 is something different. I haven’t yet figured out whether the authors of this article know this and didn’t care just deciding it was an anecdote so so cute that they would not let facts get in the way, or if they just simply don’t understand.

    • They simply don’t care about reality !!!! They are blinded by their religious faith in Glo.Bull Warming !!!

    • Ohhhh Phil

      Bonus prize. Did you know that telling a cutsey anecdotal story temporarily suspends the analytical part of your brain ?

      POTUS is a master at it. He uses the above, candence and body language to seduce your brain. His first speechwriter was actually a young bloke graduate of Holy Cross and the Jesuit school of rhetoric. They are masters of this and other techniques dedicated to serve the papacy. IF you dig hard you’ll find that his speechwriter is now a screenwriter in Hollywood.

    • Phil.
      Excellent comment, when I read that in the beginning, It led me to suspect that everything thereafter is simply garbage like Dan Rather’s attempt to affect the election with phony fraudulent documents .

  12. I stick my nose out the door, and I KNOW that things haven’t changed that dramatically in 60 years. But of course my observations don’t count because weather isn’t climate, or words to that effect. My observation of that DOES leave me open to the charge that I must— ABSOLUTELY MUST, I TELL YOU– be receiving money from Exxon if I say these things.

    Truth: I’m an expedited driver, driving a van with a gasoline engine. I don’t get paid by big oil—- I have to PAY big oil. A lot. But don’t tell the warmistas. Wouldn’t want to wake them up from that dream they’re having, now would we?

    • Yes , but all the money you save by driving a van that use gasoline (from the big oil companies) instead of their green machines is the same as big oil paying you !!!! Your GUILTY !!! / sarc….

    • “But of course my observations don’t count because weather isn’t climate, or words to that effect”

      No, your words don’t count because you have not published in a pal-reviewed journal. And because they don’t fit the narrative.

  13. There is a basic assumption in all this that somehow, warmer is worse. Whatever Exxon knew or didn’t know needs to be measured against this assumption too. If Exxon was looking into the science and making heroic assumptions about what CO2 might do to the weather, surely they were considering the subject objectively.

    I have no doubt that there would be many people living in the Washington area who would much prefer to have the place wrapped in plastic most of the year. Exxon scientist and all.

      • Marcus

        Would you be shocked if I told you that liberals learned much from right wing techniques ? Bullshit smells the same no matter who dishes it out.

        Here’s the true travesty. The modern governing technique relies on appealing to a knee jerk reaction. There is power there. There is little or no power in the reasonable middle.

        Sad, but true.

      • Knute
        “Would you be shocked if I told you that liberals learned much from right wing techniques ?”
        I can’t speak for Marcus, myself, the only thing that shocks me is how badly your history lessons were neglected. The Democrats had controlled the US house of Representatives from the 1950s until the Gingrich revolution in 1994. For almost 40 years the Democrats used ever trick in the book and invented as many more to stay in power. If you were a Republican and wanted a Bill of spending in your district you had to get a Democrat to submit it for you, His name would lead on the “Bill” and your’s would be as a co-sponsor, so you would not get credit. The Republicans were slow learners and for the most part ineffectual. But you play go with Masters, you get good. They (Republicans) are still not in the same league, Which is a good thing.
        michael

      • Indeed Mike
        I touched the third rail.
        WE are not served well by either side. You’ve picked yours.

        I expect no resolution or agreement on the issue, just a moment to acknowledge the possibility that what you see is theatre and a very orchestrated one at that.

      • Knute
        I confess you puzzle me. You seem to slam both sides, and also seem disgusted with all of it. your earlier comment about President Obama and the speech writer was interesting. As was the comment about the fireplace and drink. Its what happens when those we look up to turn out to not be worthy of us.
        As for the side I have picked, you will note that I said “President Obama” , I do not like him but I will honor the office. But then we never really were talking about climate change were we?
        michael

      • Yup, good point Mike. This is a climate science site. Perhaps the meandering to politics is a symptom of the weak science surrounding CAGW. It’s a ruse that is being politicized as part of the current mass movement. I reread Hoffer, The True Believer recently after someone quoted it here. Great book, great writer. It stirred me up.

      • Knute, yes it is a science site, but on climate, politics seems to have become intertwined. Not a good thing.
        Stirring up the pot may be fun and for some people beneficial, but it has one real big draw back. Once you create the mob you soon lose control. Think Robespierre.
        michael

  14. The model GAT predictions are way out but the polar predictions are w – a – y out, the Antarctic hasn’t warmed at all (as per a previous essay) and the Arctic ~+1.5C since 1980 as opposed to 4.5C as per model and that ~1.5C is a repeat of a similar trend peaking around late ‘30s to early ‘40s.

    • I just couldn’t bring myself to ripping apart the polar projections. I have way too much respect for ExxonMobil to treat them like Hansen.

      • And let’s not forget that this was 40 years ago almost. At least it represented ideas they actually believed to be important. The establishment climate has chosen not to change anything because this 40 yr old stuff suits the ideologues – the main battle with skeptics has been the fight to preserve the scary scenario. Losing on the science front, they’ve taken the whatever-it-takes approach, right up to calling for jailing and even executing pesky skeptics who cause them all this trouble.

  15. Anyone notice that they accepted a 4°C rise in polar temperatures by 2015 but negligible effect on ice sheets and sea levels?

    • and as C Hanley pointed out, only a 1..5 degree rise in the Arctic but we can, apparently, see sea-level rise accelerating once the data has been corrected.

  16. “Same as it ever was” gets another mention!

    23 Oct: NYT Dot Earth: Andrew C. Revkin: Climate Talks Imperiled by Rich-Poor Fight Over Hard Targets for Aid
    But a much tougher battle for hard targets — over money — has moved into the foreground and could still do for Paris what the emissions fight did for Copenhagen…
    Here are a couple of relevant Twitter comments, starting with a note about Mexico’s lead delegate growing emotional in describing the danger posed by Hurricane Patricia…
    Here’s the best possible interpretation of the outcome, from Christiana Figueres, who leads the U.N. office shepherding the talks…
    Figueres Tweet: We now have balanced & complete Party-owned text. Challenge = bring it down to concise & coherent form…
    All of which brings back to mind my quandary over whether the best soundtrack for the treaty process comes from the Talking Heads (“Same as it ever was….”) or T Bone Burnett (“They just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, but they don’t say nothing….”).
    Actually, I vote for T Bone…
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/23/climate-talks-imperiled-by-rich-poor-fight-over-hard-targets-for-aid/?_r=0
    (only four comments when posting, but worth noting.)

  17. Excellent posting David.
    One odd thing I noted

    “Henry Shaw was part of an accomplished group at Exxon tasked with studying the greenhouse effect. In the mid-70s, documents show that Shaw was responsible for seeking out new projects that were “of national significance,” and that could win federal funding. Others included Edward E. David, Jr., a former science advisor to President Richard Nixon”

    Dr. David was the president of Exxon Research and Engineering, which is a separate no profit no loss Company within Exxon (Now Exxon Mobil). It is an oversight to suggest that he was part of a team on the research side of the greenhouse effect, since he had much greater responsibilities and issues to deal with given the large number of Research and Engineering projects that were ongoing. I don’t doubt that climate change may have been one of his initiatives since he did bring a lot of other crazy ideas to the company that did not work out well. For example he seemed to think that everything could be modeled with a computer rather than doing lab experiments. I recall, as an employee during his “reign”, it was reported that he would be clipping his nails during technical presentations given to him. Employees were quite happy when he left, and reportedly he was paid handsomely to depart. He probably was a bright and accomplished individual who appeared to be a fish out of water in an energy company.

  18. As long as there is no viable energy alternative to inorganic hydrocarbons, why wouldn’t Exxon et al do everything to increase energy price?

    • Inorganic hydrocarbons?

      ExxonMobil has no control over the price of hydrocarbons. There is nothing they can do to increase energy prices.

      • Inorganic hydrocarbons?

        What else could they be – many alarmists prefer buying organics? Joke aside NASA’s discovery of Kraken Sea calls for a semantic update.

        There is nothing they can do to increase energy prices.

        Funny. But admit my ignorance of ExxonMobile et al influence in Venezuela, Kuwait, Iraq and other OPEC members. Albeit it seems Iraq troubled Kofi Annan, the previous UN secretary general.

      • Titan is not a source of terrestrial hydrocarbons. While inorganic methane (CH4) is abundant throughout the solar system, heavier hydrocarbons,,, the sort that ExxonMobil produces and sells… are almost exclusively of organic origin on Earth.

        If ExxonMobil or any other private sector energy company had any control over energy prices, oil would still be around $100/bbl and natural gas would be in the neighborhood of $15/mcf.

      • DM. NASA published plans of Kraken Mare exploration mission and, as such, doesn’t share your conviction.

  19. FYI, I wrote a rebutal to this Exxon story at http://www.skyfall.fr/?p=1658 but in French.

    Let’s say my “papier” has been submitted Octobre 1st, accepted October 8th, and published Octobre 13th 2015..

    And we have reached the same conclusion.
    :-)

  20. Follow the Money!
    The tobacco settlement is running out of steam.
    Most states have bonded their settlements well into the future, ie spent all the money.
    The Lawyer’s front end cash-ins are banked, the residuals aren’t much.
    Fast food proved a bust.
    So this is the next class action victim,being prepped for the slaughter.
    “You knew your products were killing the earth, but hid the facts.”
    This might be bigger than asbestos.
    Soon, in addition to ciggie singles, we’ll be able to buy gas repackaged in 8 0z bottles for our motorized scooters, while the Govt and lawyers claim 90% of the fuel sales revenue.
    And “saving the world” is a much better tug at the liberal heartstrings that “anti-smoking education”.
    That’s the class action rationale that consumes afractional percentage of the proceeds..

    Shakespeare was right…you know the line I mean.

    • RI

      Very good. If there is such a thing as fair, an NGO should be referred to as a special interest group. It’s no different than other K street orgs that lobby for their military, pharma or industrial client to name a few categories.

      Part of the marketing magic is that they are NOT referred to as special interest groups. Once you see this clearly, you then naturally ask yourself the question … why doesn’t the opposition pounce on this image difference ?

  21. Exxon didn’t “know” very much. It assumed a lot, mainly that the cAGW conjecture was real, and could eventually affect the energy business. So did many others. Those were the Dark Ages of climate research. Now, we know better. There is way more information, and readily available, all showing that the cAGW conjecture has failed. The only thing keeping it going now is that it has become a huge, trillion dollar industry based on a lie, and politics.

    • Indeed, temperature is not cooperating with the storytelling (I hate the spin word narrative, reminds me of downsizing when your fired).
      The momentum is theirs so the counter to the stagnant weather is that it’s just within some new and improved range of projected temperature change. Middleton’s squiggly line does a good job illustrating how a skeptic says there is no evidence and a warmista can say it’s in a lull.

      I think one of the big clues to the wild and wicked storytime is the historical pattern of late Clinton era interest in carbon cap n trade followed by the no interest Bush Kyoto period then followed by the Al Gore truth fruit loops movie.

      Dems specialize in organizing, supporting and creating thru codification the concept of protected classes. NGOs represent these groups as special interests. The identification of CO2 as a pollutant was a major victory which allows the further pandering to oppressed classes thru future class action lawsuits.

      They are not ready to roll out national CO2 attainment criteria. Correction, they are ready but the timing to release them isn’t ripe. The satellite that spins around the globe is measuring localized CO2 differences that are being compared to protected class disparate impacts.

      That’s the prize here.
      Appease the pockets of the protected classes and you assure a voting block.

  22. Exxon is guilty of knowing things that haven’t happened. An unusual indictment. Meanwhile we the pea wait for resources promised to us by the screeching giants on the other side. John Beale must be chuckling as he washes dishes at the penitentiary.

  23. In 1981, 12-year-old Laura Shaw won her seventh-grade science fair at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Cranford, N.J. with a project on the greenhouse effect.

    So, for sure, …. from 1981 to present day (35 years), the US Public School System has been teaching their students the evils associated with CAGW.

    And therein is the primary problem that must be addressed and corrected.

    Thus an “all out attack” to discredit the Science curriculum being taught in the Public Schools must be initiated post haste. Doing so would/should force the PS Administrators and School Boards to explain why “junk science” is being taught to their “captive” student attendees.

    • “Thus an “all out attack” to discredit the Science curriculum being taught in the Public Schools must be initiated post haste. Doing so would/should force the PS Administrators and School Boards to explain why “junk science” is being taught to their “captive” student attendees.”

      Ever notice how most people shy from conflict ? Lessons learned from how they did it. They crept in slowly. It wasn’t a full frontal assult. They replaced it with something that felt good.
      People, all people, hate being embarrassed … or being seen as the fool. If you could figure out an easy why for people to identify BS, you’d capture their attention and THEN be able to direct them towards your version of the better way.

      • If you could figure out an easy why(sic) for people to identify BS, ….

        That “easy way” is called “education” …… and it begins with parental nurturing … and continues with the teaching of the Public School curriculum.

        If the Public Schools are teaching a BS curriculum …… then the parental nurturing will follow suite when the aforesaid students start birthing children.

  24. Recommend reading Brian P. Flannery’s letter dated March 18, 2002 from the Inside Climate website.

    http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/Exxon%20Scientist%20Lobbies%20the%20White%20House%20%282002%29.pdf

    Good summary of the problem areas in climate studies and politization of the entire subject. Inside Climate is banking on people not reading the source material or checking beyond its own press releases, which, come to think of it, is how it often works.

  25. Wow. I had no idea Exxon had PowerPoint in 1978. Imagine the killing they could have made if they’d gone public with it back then…

    • During a presentation I was making a few weeks ago, I asked, “How did we ever manage to get by without Excel and PowerPoint?” One of my fellow geo’s replied, “We had drafting departments back then.”

  26. My father once worked as a chemist for Esso I think he worked for them for about a month back in the 1950s. I guess I shouldn’t admit that, I might be get sued. On Earth day 1971 I came home from school very scared about the coming ice age my teachers told me about, my father said “people have been worried about ice ages and warming for centuries, first they worry about one and then they worry about the other.” little did I know that Esso knew all about climate change was were covering it using the code word “put a tiger in your tank.”

  27. I remember Oppenheimer, when asked how to keep atomic secrets from
    the Russians, said the secrets of Nature couldn’t be concealed.. So what
    did Exxon do to keep others from learning about climate????

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