Skip to content

ExxonMobil Response to Extreme Weather Events Linked To Climate Change: Adapt

2012/06/28

photo credit: 350.org

*

Compare Tillerson’s response to what super-scientists Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan have to say about a destabilized climate from unchecked fossil fuel emissions: “The ‘hell’ of Venus an important warning to take increasing greenhouse effect on Earth seriously”

More links:

Global Post.com Climate Change Isn’t a Big Deal, Exxon CEO Announces

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Martin Lack permalink
    2012/06/28 11:56 am

    Hi Christine (et al.). One of the new subscribers to my blog is Mike, an ecologist from Queensland in Australia. As it happens, I recently prompted a fascinating discussion on this subject on Mike’s blog – between me, Mike and another contributor (John) – the upshot of which was this: Even if Hansen’s Venus syndrome is not that likely to happen, 4 to 6 Celsius warming is now likely, which will be enough to bring an end to life as we know it… In the course of this discussion, John provided two very interesting links to things on the Real Climate blog, which are as follows:
    1. A discussion about Hansen’s Venus Syndrome; and
    2. The consequences of 6 Celsius rise (i.e. from pre-Industrial temperatures).

    Rex Tillerson is just parroting previously debunked denialist nonsense such as CO2 is not a pollutant and/or CO2 has been much higher in the past. However, he conveniently ignores (or is completely oblivious to) the fact that we are forcing change upon the Earth 100s if not 1000s of times faster than anything that has happened naturally in the past… Another of my Australian blogosphere acquaintances, Graham Coghill, has just published a nice piece on the consequences of people not recognising the limits of their own competency:
    Here’s where scientific ignorance can lead…

    Australia has its fair share of crackpot deniers; but it also has some excellent climate realists too – and both Mike and Graham come highly-recommended by me.

    • 2012/06/28 10:07 pm

      Excellent links, Martin, I will try to keep up with them (oh if I only had a few more hours in my day!). I’m happy that there are devoted and meticulous scientists and others keeping track of these morons, but I don’t have the patience to debate flat-earthers. These days, especially, I’m spending lots of time in my garden, and focusing on making our family and our community more resilient for the coming “Great Disruption”.

      • Martin Lack permalink
        2012/06/29 2:55 am

        Fully understand. Mike’s language might not always be to your taste but, Graham is doing a fine job of documenting all the ways in which deniers distort the truth to suit themselves.

  2. 2012/06/28 12:10 pm

    It speaks volumes that Tillerson takes a North American perspective to a global problem. Adapting is an option that is already foreclosed to parts of the world, something that will only worsen in coming decades. As the poorest and most vulnerable parts of the planet, their inhabitants will also be the least able to afford to adapt. And, bear in mind, these soothing words come from the CEO of the company that, more than 20-years later, still hasn’t paid its damages owed the people of Prince William Sound from the Exxon Valdez catastrophe. Perhaps that is Tillerson’s notion of adaptation.

    • 2012/06/28 10:09 pm

      Yep, it’s arrogant and uncaring words from the CEO of a company whose record exemplifies both of those traits.

  3. climatehawk1 permalink
    2012/06/28 3:58 pm

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/04/09/120409fa_fact_coll Coll also has a new book out on ExxonMobil.

    • 2012/06/28 10:10 pm

      Thanks for the link, more evidence of this company’s strangehold on US politics. But their time is coming to a close, which is why they are so desperate to keep the status quo/the party going.

  4. 2012/06/29 11:48 am

    I agree that climate change is real and that it is being caused by human activities, are you implying that our release of carbon dioxide could result in a run away greenhouse effect like the one on Venus? The fact that the Earth receives only 52% of the solar input that Venus does combined with the fact that the black body radiation of an object increases in proportion to the fourth power of the temperature (Stephan-Boltzmann Law), would prevent that from happening. My climatology professor worked this out on the blackboard with the class.

    • 2012/06/29 3:33 pm

      Hi Michael – not being a scientist, I’m letting the scientists speak for themselves. And what Dr. Hawking says is: “…One of the most serious consequences of our actions is global warming brought about by rising levels of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. The danger is that the temperature increase may become self-sustaining, if it hasn’t done so already. Drought and deforestation are reducing the amount of carbon dioxide recycled into the atmosphere and the warming of the seas may trigger the release of large quantities of carbon dioxide trapped on the ocean floor. In addition the melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets will reduce the amount of solar energy reflected back into space and so increase the temperature further. We don’t know where global warming will stop but the worst case scenario is that the earth will become like its sister planet Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees C and rain sulphuric acid. The human race could not survive in those conditions.”
      Perhaps your climatology professor and Dr. Hawking need to compare notes. But in the end, it’s a moot point. The important thing, I think, for the lay person to note is that human civilization has arisen under very specific, and stable, climate conditions. It’s those conditions that we’re disturbing with our unrestrained burning of fossil fuels.

      • 2012/06/29 5:11 pm

        I am familliar with the feedback mechanisms you mentioned. What I asked was whether you thought that the Earth could become like Venus due to the human release of greenhouse gasses.

    • Martin Lack permalink
      2012/06/29 4:18 pm

      Michael, I would refer you to my first comment above, in which the point is made that it does not matter how bad the runaway greenhouse effect could get; what is important is that the the scientists best-placed to know tell us that, unless we rapidly decarbonise our power generation systems, we will trigger more warming than we can realistically adapt to… Unless of course you wish to second-guess their expertise, or question their sanity, competence, or integrity… Are there any other options I have missed?

      • 2012/06/29 5:06 pm

        I think you have missed an important option, which is replying to a reasonable question in an civil manner.

        Making statements like “which will be enough to bring an end to life as we know it” or “we will trigger more warming than we can realistically adapt to” are opinions, not verifiable conclusions.

        Environment Canada has only recently begun issuing 50 year climate forcasts. What I am skeptical of is level of confidence with which the effects of climate change can be predicted.

      • Martin Lack permalink
        2012/06/29 5:29 pm

        Hi Michael. Your question was indeed a reasonable one; and I see nothing in my response that was uncivilised. However, yes, I was just stating my opinions (which reflect those of the scientists). I do not wish to clog up Christine’s blog with lengthy digressions but, feel free to visit my blog where I have discussed the subject you are now raising (i.e. confidence):
        http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/climate-science-in-a-nut-fragment/

    • 2012/07/01 3:08 am

      Whether Earth will become Venus-like is not the point. The point is that the climatic changes that will come about with a business-as-usual scenario are immense. At less than a degree of warming, 100 year floods in Manitoba, for instance, are coming on the average 5 years apart. We are experiencing an extreme rise in wildfire activity worldwide–and in my home province, BC. There have been major heatwaves in Europe, Russia, Australia, and now, the USA.

      If this is the kind of climate disruption that we get with less than a degree of warming, what will predicted 3 or 4 or 7 or 12 degrees Celsius of warming look like? We don’t know. But really, and realistically, would you want to experience the answer?

      I don’t know for certain what a world of, say, 4 degrees of warming will look like. But I know with absolute certainty that it isn’t worth the experiment of finding out.

      • Martin Lack permalink
        2012/07/01 4:08 am

        Absolutely spot-on. You put my point much better than I did.

        In the UK we have just had the wettest April to June on record and the wettest June (alone) on record too. However, what scares me the most is that the fake-skeptics will no doubt point out that records have only been kept for 102 years and that the previous record was set 100 years ago! Random variability will continue to be their excuse for everything; including 1-in-100 year floods every 5 years.

        Fake-sceptics wll never have enough evidence to change their minds because, as Ben Goldacre has pointed out, “you cannot reason someone out of a position they did not originally reason themselves into”. In order to defeat it, we must first all understand that the irrationality of climate change denial is ideologically driven. It is the latter that we must attack; not the pseudo-science put up to defend it.

    • Steve L. permalink
      2012/10/18 7:46 pm

      Hello Michael, and yes, you are very much correct. Even Dr. Hawking can be wrong on occasion, you know?

  5. 2012/07/01 7:40 am

    Great discussion, folks – thanks for keeping things interesting while I was out enjoying a beautiful long weekend Saturday on the lake! Even though our world is screwed up in so many ways, it’s still extraordinarily beautiful much of the time. Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are on this crazy, awesome planet!

  6. 2012/07/14 10:28 pm

    Exxon actually spends more money each year than any government on newer green technologies. Last year they spent nearly 70 million compared to the US 40 million. However, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Do we really want to have the same super-company running our world after we have “adapted” to the green revolution?

  7. 2012/07/15 8:46 pm

    I wish they would stop funding climate change deniers like The Heartland Institute – http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=41
    I’m happy if they put money into green technology, but I don’t think that’s because they’ve “seen the light”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: