Well, ok, maybe just a LITTLE warming

The problem with trying to deny a worsening problem is that it becomes increasingly difficult to deny. And then what do you do? At Exxon, they’re trying the “admit it, but downplay it” approach.

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson says fears about climate change, drilling, and energy dependence are overblown. In a speech Wednesday, Tillerson acknowledged that burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, but said society will be able to adapt…

Tillerson blamed a public that is “illiterate” in science and math, a “lazy” press, and advocacy groups that “manufacture fear” for energy misconceptions in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ok, so maybe anthropogenic global warming is real, but it’s nothing we can’t handle, right? And those climate scientists who are turning out to have been right all along? They were just doing it to manufacture fear. But at least the public is basically illiterate in science and math, so they’re easy to bamboozle.

Considering how things are turning out, though, you have to ask: bamboozled by whom?


  1. SAWells says

    I hate the “burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet” presentation of global warming. It implies that it’s the heat from the burning that’s causing global warming- which of course is not the mechanism at all.

    Sorry. Pet peeve.

  2. sailor1031 says

    “…..bamboozled by whom?”

    What a good question. There are some people on both sides of this “controversy” who are not to be trusted. The rest are merely trying to figure out what is actually happening to what extent – given that the effects of climate-change are self-evident.

      • sailor1031 says

        Go ahead – as long as you explain the falsity. Or are you saying there are only pure white knights on the environmental side? Such as Al Gore maybe, making a mint trading the carbon credits he pushed so hard for? Who BTW has admitted grossly exaggerating some aspects of climate change…..

      • leftwingfox says

        No, it’s the assumption that the number of untrustworthy individuals are equal on both sides. The denialist argument is completely corrupted by bad faith actors, while the AGW argument is largely sound despite a small handful of blowhards.

      • Artor says

        Can we use this one as an example of the strawman? There’s a big leap from pointing out the false equivalency and declaring that the AGW side is entirely composed of white knights. Sure, there are charlatans on both sides of the issue, but one side clearly has the vast majority of them, and that would be the denialists. Your failure to recognize this shows you to be dishonest.

      • sailor1031 says

        What in ‘some people on both sides of this “controversy” who are not to be trusted’ is unclear. I never intended to imply that there are equal numbers of villains at both extremes. However theirs are the viewpoints that seem to get all the attention

      • StevoR says

        @sailor1031 – June 29th, 2012 at 5:24 pm :

        About that. You might want to look at this here link :


        Plus don’t forget Al Gore is a former politician not a climatologist. Debunking Gore does not disprove Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating. (HIRGO)

        Ex-Vice & nominee for POTUS Gore’s personal behaviour even if it is hypocritical* and/or self-interested is as irrelevant to the reality of HIRGO as Rush Limbaugh’s weight and drug addiction or Obama’s skin colour or Clinton’s gender.


        * BTW. Is it really “hypocritical ” to try and (or even succed at?) make money trading in some commodity or system that you believe in or is that more a case of putting your money where your mouth is? Hmmm.

      • StevoR says

        .. [Gore] BTW has admitted grossly exaggerating some aspects of climate change…..

        Whilst giving links on this please take a look at this one :


        Comparing Gore’s errors versus those of HIRGO-Contrarian Durkin’s The GreatGlobal Warming Swindle. Gore’s movie -not perfect, Durkin’s well, see for yourself.

  3. ischemgeek says

    On the topic: I think the book The Discovery of Global Warming should be required reading for high school students. It’s well written, exhaustively researched, compelling, and comes with a huge amount of online resources.

    The admit it but downplay it approach reminds me of certain people I know who take the line of, “I’ll admit the climate might be warming, but if it is, I don’t think people are causing it, and even if we are, we can solve any problem we create and more agriculture so bad will be balanced with good and doing stuff would be expensive so we shouldn’t do anything.”

    • StevoR says

      Dunno bout for high schools but I’d certainly highly recommend Jim Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren and TimFlannery’s <The Weather Makers and Poles Apart ( http://polesapart.com/ ) as good readable and informative sources on this issue.

  4. machintelligence says

    “Well, we know smoking isn’t *good* for you, but anyone who is reasonably healthy isn’t going to be affected by it.” — tobacco companies, circa 1960. That was the year my father died of lung cancer. He smoked one and a half packs a day.

  5. unbound says

    I was thinking what machintelligence said above. Didn’t the tobacco companies basically say the same thing 1/2 a century ago?

  6. wholething says

    A few years ago, a co-worker would bring up global warming with derision nearly everyday before our morning meeting. I began to point out that one day he was saying that there was no global warming and the next day he was saying that it wasn’t caused by human activity. When he started saying that global warming wouldn’t be all that bad and might be beneficial, I immediately pointed out that he had a new claim that admitted there was global warming caused by humans and from then on, I pointed out how he was taking a different position everyday. It seemed that the other co-workers who had been skeptical about AGW began to see the propaganda.

    • slc1 says

      That’s sometimes referred to as the Racehorse Haynes strategy. Richard “Racehorse” Haynes is a criminal defense lawyer in Texas who is famous for the following defense strategy.

      1. My client was 1000 miles away at the time that the murder occurred.

      2. My client was out of town at the time that the murder occurred.

      3. My client was in town but several miles away when the murder occurred.

      4. My client was present when the murder occurred but didn’t fire the fatal shot.

      5. My client fired the fatal shot but it was in self defense.

      6. My client fired the fatal shot unprovoked by the victim but the SOB deserved it.

  7. says

    Tillerson blamed a public that is “illiterate” in science and math, a “lazy” press, and advocacy groups that “manufacture fear”

    ExxonMobil did not, however, even consider using any of the politicians they outright own to enact policies to reverse any of the above.

  8. Leo says

    society will be able to adapt…

    Yeah, like in Colorado…after all the trees burn down, there won’t be anything to burn down in future years…so everything’s going to be peaches and cream! (end sarcasm)

  9. Sethra says

    Tillerson acknowledged that burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet…

    Too little, too late – and still not grasping the actual concept.

    but said society will be able to adapt…

    Uh…maybe, but a pretty significant assortment of plants and animal life probably won’t. Soylent Green, anyone?

  10. mas528 says

    Od coursae, some us will be able to adapt.

    Shoot. Only a third of humans died in the black plague.

    And the flu epidemic. Some people didn’t even get th flu that year.

    Isn’t this fun!

  11. StevoR says

    Meanwhile the Arctic sea ice continues melting even faster than was predicted :


    Recent news stories seen on TV in past week or so – drought in South Korea, flooding in China, wildfires in Colorado, heatwaves in other US states..

    Not proof, no single event can be directly attributed to Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as I prefer to call it.* Freak evenst do happen. But not as often as they seem tobe happening. The trends and the number of “severe weather events” is clear.


    * Because ‘anthropogenic’ is too technical and not direct enough and “warming” has too many positive connotations and understates the problem and its rapidity is a huge part of the issue.

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