Exxon Mobil’s response to climate change is consummate arrogance
April 4, 2014
[Excerpt]: Monday saw the release of the latest climate report from the planet’s scientists. Predictions of famine, flood, and so on – mostly what we already knew, in even more striking language.
But Monday also saw the release of another document somewhat less expected, and probably at least as important in the ongoing battle over the future of the atmosphere and hence all of us who live in its narrow envelope.
Here’s the backstory. For 18 months now some of us have been campaigning for colleges, churches, cities and the like to sell their shares in fossil fuel companies, on the grounds that their business plans call for burning far more carbon than scientists believe the planet can safely handle. It’s become the fastest growing divestment movement in history— but some have tried to reach out to the industry and reach a middle ground instead, hoping to reform them instead of simply trying to break their power.
Profound thanks are due, then, to those shareholder activists who urged “constructive engagement” with the oil, gas and coal barons.
Because those organisations, groups like As You Sow, CERES, and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, managed in very short order to get Exxon Mobil, the leader of the fossil fuel industry, to show its cards. In fact, in a truly historic moment, Exxon Mobil turned over the whole deck — and to its credit it showed it has nothing up its sleeve, no tricky rhetoric or sleight of hand. Just endless amounts of oil and gas…
It’s never fun to see one’s cynicism confirmed. But Monday was a day for reality, on the scientific front but also the political, economic, and corporate.
The only open question left is what we’re going to do about it.
Read full article at The Guardian.