Despite what I said the other day, oil companies are still responsible for providing significant funds to lobby groups ’sceptical’ about the reality of global warming. Now it has emerged that Britain’s leading scientific institution, the Royal Society, has written to ExxonMobil asking them to withdraw from funding groups which have “misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence”.
In a letter earlier this month to Esso, the UK arm of ExxonMobil, the Royal Society cites its own survey which found that ExxonMobil last year distributed $2.9m to 39 groups that the society says misrepresent the science of climate change.
These include the International Policy Network, a thinktank with its HQ in London, and the George C Marshall Institute, which is based in Washington DC. In 2004, the institute jointly published a report with the UK group the Scientific Alliance which claimed that global temperature rises were not related to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
“There is not a robust scientific basis for drawing definitive and objective conclusions about the effect of human influence on future climate,” it said.
In the letter, Bob Ward of the Royal Society writes: “At our meeting in July … you indicated that ExxonMobil would not be providing any further funding to these organisations. I would be grateful if you could let me know when ExxonMobil plans to carry out this pledge.”
The letter, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, adds: “I would be grateful if you could let me know which organisations in the UK and other European countries have been receiving funding so that I can work out which of these have been similarly providing inaccurate and misleading information to the public.”