Post #95: Corporate Irresponsibility and Climate Change


Research by the Union of Concerned Scientists ( finds that 90 global organizations account for about two-thirds of industrial carbon pollution, and that historically, over 12 percent of such pollution has been produced by just 5 companies.  You can easily guess which five: ConocoPhillips, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Chevron, and BP.

As you might also expect, the Big Five oil giants are the biggest drivers of climate-change denial.  They have been funding predetermined studies for years to support their opposition.  And they have done so knowing all along that fossil fuels were the major contributor to climate change. As a “Frontline” program ( recently brought out, based on an investigation by Inside Climate News (, one of Exxon’s senior scientists told company executives in 1977 that “there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels.” The probable impact on agriculture, population movement, and especially fossil fuel production prompted Exxon to explore climate change further.  Its research program then was serious and well funded, those same scientists tell us now.

But by the end of the 1980s Exxon management concluded not that the company should move onto a soft-energy path, but that it should engage in a coverup of its research.  As Inside Climate News reports, Exxon’s job became to “manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming its own scientists had once confirmed. It lobbied to block federal and international action to control greenhouse gas emissions. It helped to erect a vast edifice of misinformation that stands to this day.”

The flip side of climate-change denial is the claim that clean-energy sources are too expensive.  In fact, the price of solar in the US keeps dropping as solar panels improve. Electricity rates from solar are edging closer to rates from ordinary electric power stations. See, for example, this National Geographic article:  Five European countries lead the way globally in reliance on solar and wind power for their energy. Even in Japan, where the Abe Shinzo administration is attempting to reinvigorate the nuclear industry despite strong pubic opposition, he is also pushing major budget and other changes on behalf of renewable energy and conservation so as to meet a target of 26 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 (  In the US, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, solar energy in 2014 “accounted for nearly 30 percent of newly installed electricity capacity . . . ” ( But solar still only provides about 1 percent of electricity generation. A comprehensive study by an MIT group, The Future of Solar Energy (, advocates a “massive scale-up of solar generation over the next few decades,” with federal funding focused on new technologies, materials, and system designs.  Producers of carbon dioxide would be penalized.

Once we’ve brought climate change under control, we can turn to…chemtrails, which threaten to undo all the good outcomes of alternative energy:

It’s a never-ending struggle, folks.  Quite a burden to pass on to our children. And in the meantime, you’ll excuse me for saying that what leaders of the oil majors have been doing over the last 40 years or so amounts to criminal negligence, and they are literally destroying the planet.

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  1. I liked what Martin OMalley said at the Dems debate last night. He was really clear about the transition and the others were identifying the problem.

    ROBERT WISE, Associate Principal
    503.278.3454 |

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