In a few recent posts I found myself digging ever deeper into websites claiming to have accurate scientific data on global warming. Just doing the search “global warming” on google brings up page after page of sites.
But who are they? Do they have an agenda, and if so, why?
That’s the problem with the web. Crackpots such as myself can run a website for less than $30/month, and anyone who wants can sound authoritative. Not a high barrier to entry. So how do you tell who’s who?
Follow the money.
Check out this document: ExxonMobil’s form 990-PF, which lists all the money they got from private and corporate donors for their 501(c)(3) called the ExxonMobil Foundation.
WikiPedia describes such organizations as “operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals”. They cannot “influence elections”, and have limitations on their right to lobby for specific legislation. In other words, they can SwiftBoat your ass.
Ok, look, ExxonMobil does some good things with their foundation, I am sure. But if you saw the name of a person, or their company on this list, then saw them arguing against global warming, or for offshore drilling, it tends to throw a little question into the mix. Even if you don’t agree with this, it makes for interesting reading.