Tell The AGU To Do The Right Thing About AGW #ExxonKnew

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A while back it became apparent, or should I say, more apparent, that Exxon corporation had been playing a dangerous and unethical game with the science of climate change, and for decades, misled people on the relationship between their fossil fuel related activities, the effects of those activities, and possible solutions. (They’ve known about this problem all along.)

Part of this seems to have involved making misstatements about climate change, and pumping resources into anti science activities and organizations.

The American Geophysical Union is the unifying organization for geologists and physicists and other scientists who study climate change. The AGU does a lot more than that, but a good portion of the climate science community, internationally, engages at the AGU’s annual conference.

Meanwhile, the AGU has a rule against accepting sponsorship from anti science organizations. Yet, Exxon has been sponsoring events at the AGU for some time.

Obviously this can get tricky. Why not take money from a major corporation that ultimately benefits from the AGU, as it does by having a better equipped scientific community from which to draw both employees and expertise? And to some extent that is true, and to some extent many situations of tension exist like this.

But in this case, there is a very strong argument that AGU should stop taking money from Exxon.

Also, see this piece by Geoffrey Supran: Scientific organizations must be braver in confronting climate denial

Recent revelations about Exxon have indicated that that organization’s activities are over the top. And, hundreds of members of the scientific community that is served by AGU and that engages in this sort of research signed on to a letter demanding that the AGU stop taking Exxon’s tainted money.

And, the AGU board met, and blew off the scientists, and sidled up to Exxon. They gave all the usual, but rather lame, excuses.

Tomorrow the board meets again. is asking people to sign a petition supporting the scientists. Below is information from HERE IS THE LINK TO SIGN THE PETITION.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is the largest association of Earth scientists in the world and a well-respected institution that advances public understanding of science. Yet, the AGU continues to accept funding from Exxon, one of the world’s leading funders of climate change denial.

The AGU’s own sponsorship policy forbids accepting funding from any organization that supports science misinformation, a rule that was put in place for good reason. It’s time for the AGU to start abiding by its own policy — starting with Exxon.

Now’s your chance to take a stand. Over 300 Earth scientists have signed on to an open letter calling on the AGU to reject Exxon sponsorship. Signers include renowned climatologists James E. Hansen, the former director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Michael E. Mann, Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. Today, we’re asking you to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these scientists, and 50,000 citizens, by adding your name.

The AGU Board meets TOMORROW and we’ll be hand-delivering the thousands of petition signatures from across the nation directly to AGU headquarters in Washington, DC. It’s not too late! You can still join this collaborative campaign of scientists and citizens — and help us remind the AGU that its leadership matters to all of us.

Stand with scientists and tell the AGU: Stop taking funds from Exxon, a company that misleads the public about climate change.

Exxon has been deceiving the public about the science of climate change for decades and funding climate disinformation at a massive scale. Yet, the AGU Board couldn’t be convinced at their last meeting and decided to continue accepting funding from Exxon. It took a letter from U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Ted Lieu to push the AGU Board to vow to once again “review and discuss the information” at its next meeting tomorrow, on September 14.

Your voice matters. Tell the AGU to drop Exxon sponsorship.

Thank you for helping us hold the AGU accountable and for standing up for science — today and every day.
Truthfully Yours,

Amanda, Emily, Brant, Brandy, Daniela and the rest of the team

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12 thoughts on “Tell The AGU To Do The Right Thing About AGW #ExxonKnew

  1. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and 16 other state Attorneys General brought a much publicized case against Exxon for its alleged climate change sins.
    Why has the case been dropped?

  2. I’m sure you can provide a citation for the case against ExxonMobil being dropped. You might forward the same to Rep. Lamar Smith, who is set to hold a hearing on whether his subpoenas of the AGs are too constitutional after nine legal scholars said they’re not, and to the Competitive Enterprise Institute which has sued the New York AG.

  3. Julian, more relevant is that this WSJ piece not even supports SN’s claim.

    Also funny: a week after that WSJ piece, Exxon was in court battling the subpoena from the Mass. AG. Now, why would they do that if the investigation has been suspended?

  4. If a bunch of lawyers get together, with much publicity, to bring a *murder* case,
    but then later *change* the charges to *fraud*,
    then you could say they dropped the case, the first case (i.e. for murder).
    At a minimum, you would say they’ve moved the goalposts.

    Similarly, Schneiderman & company seem to have moved *from* allegations of *past* positions regarding global warming (to the extent that they were demanding 40 years’ worth of company documentation) *to* allegations of *future* financial *fraud*.

    “But in an extensive interview, Mr. Schneiderman said that his investigation was focused less on the distant past [Really? Why then were they demanding 40 years worth of Exxon documents?] than on relatively recent statements by Exxon Mobil related to climate change and what it means for the company’s future.

    “In other words, the question for Mr. Schneiderman is less what Exxon knew, and more what it predicts.
    For example, he said, the investigation is scrutinizing a 2014 report by Exxon Mobil stating that global efforts to address climate change would not mean that it had to leave enormous amounts of oil reserves in the ground as so-called “stranded assets.””

  5. If you read that New York Times article carefully, you have to conclude that the case is still very much alive. (Well, you don’t have to, but it’s the reasonable assessment.)

    For example, consider the paragraph you quoted, paragraph 6:

    For example, he said, the investigation is scrutinizing a 2014 report by Exxon Mobil stating that global efforts to address climate change would not mean that it had to leave enormous amounts of oil reserves in the ground as so-called “stranded assets.”

    Since the science says we must leave large amounts of oil in the ground if we are to have a chance of preserving something close to the climate in which our civilization developed, ExxonMobil’s attempt to refute this could amount to defrauding its investors.

    That’s not to say a guilty verdict against ExxonMobil is a slam-dunk. But there is precedent for a judgment that forces it to change its planning, in the agreement signed by Peabody Coal.

  6. I’m glad the AGU has taken a stance on climate change.

    About 5 years ago, I had several lengthy discussions on LinkedIn with geologists who were deniers. Not sure what, if any, professional organizations they belonged to but it was somewhat frustrating to me dealing with alleged professionals who were so dismissive of other professionals who weren’t geologists.

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