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Exxon Funded 'Anti-Greenhouse' Science

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posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 07:42 PM
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You know, I sometimes think this site is full of lunatic conspiracy theorists, and then I read something like this and find out that you were right all along.


From today's Guardian:

Exxon funded anti-greenhouse scientists and probably delayed a consensus on global warming by ten years.

hopefully this works!

Monbiot mentions similar tactics used by Philp Morris to delay the smoking-cancer link by labelling decent science as 'junk'.

Just do a name-check of the organisation listed in this article - made my jaw drop! I knew that lobbying was a problem in the US but I had no idea just how insidious it was. Why exactly scientists aren't forced to declare 'conflicts of interest' in their papers I have no idea. It really means that the waters are muddied, and you don't know who to believe - probably what Exxon wanted in the first place.

If anyone is in the UK, I would strongly recommend you watch the program on BBC2!

TD



[edit on 18-9-2006 by TaupeDragon]




posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 09:37 PM
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www.abovetopsecret.com...

Check out this thread for even more damning evidence.

The onion has many more layers then just Exxons efforts.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 06:22 AM
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Whoah!


Thanks for that thread Sardion - I really had no idea that there was such a consistent undermining of science by big corporations. If you fail to declare a conflict of interest in a health-related publication, then there's hell to pay (and even then stuff slips through). I really am open-mouthed about the brazen nature of this propaganda exercise.

TD



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 08:15 AM
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Any reputable scientist funded by Exxon will say so when he publishes his research.

And after all, in this wonderful free world of ours, should we only permit funding of research if that research supports what we already think to be true?

Poor Brave New World ....

The real issue here is why are Exxon shareholders not insisting Exxon gets more of a move on with research into alternative energy etc. At the moment Exxon is like an electrical company that is promoting personal cassette players instead of MP3 players ....



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by Essan
Any reputable scientist funded by Exxon will say so when he publishes his research.


Follow the links posted on the thread that sardion2000 posted above. You will find that these groups are not upfront about where they get their money from. Most of the "about pages" just say they are funded by donations.

First these oil funded groups said Global Warming doesn’t exist.
Then after George Bush said in a speech that GW is happening the groups changed their angle to that it does exist but our actions have nothing to do with it.
Now these oil funded groups say our actions are affecting GW but that it minimal.

The junk science and distortions that these guys spew out don’t stand up to the evidence found by scientists world wide so they are having to constantly change their position.
Their goal is to protect the profits of their financers by confusing the public on GW.
GW is also being used by American politicians as another tool to polarize the American voters.

It really sucks that our future is worth nothing in the name of winning elections and making obscene amounts of money.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 09:33 PM
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Well - at least it's finally made news in the UK, at least for the couple of hundred thousand that read 'The Guardian', although frankly, most of them already recycle and ride bikes.


Here's an update - the Royal Society (pretty prestigious UK academy) has told Exxon to cut it out:

Another link posted more in hope than expectation

Hopefully this is going to shame scientists into announcing conflicts of interest in big letters at the top of every article. I really hang my head at being gullible enough to think that a lot of the anti-warming literature out there was impartial.

TD



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by Umbrax
Follow the links posted on the thread that sardion2000 posted above. You will find that these groups are not upfront about where they get their money from. Most of the "about pages" just say they are funded by donations.

Are they? That is to say are the oil companies thier only benefacotr, thier primary benefactor, or one of many benefactors? Should a scientists research be dismissed out of hand simply because one of thier benefactors among many was an oil company? At what point in your opinion does a entities funding make the research automatically lack credibillity? 50% of operating budget? 35%? And is it merely the oil companies funding of research you object to or merly thier funding of research in Climatology or do you automatically disregard researchers they have funded in applied materials as well? Finally do you feel the researchers working for institutes funded by environmentalists are any more inherantly credible than those being funded by "big oil" and if so why?


First these oil funded groups said Global Warming doesn’t exist.
Then after George Bush said in a speech that GW is happening the groups changed their angle to that it does exist but our actions have nothing to do with it.
Now these oil funded groups say our actions are affecting GW but that it minimal.

The junk science and distortions that these guys spew out don’t stand up to the evidence found by scientists world wide so they are having to constantly change their position.

First climatologists said the earth was eading into an ice age, the the ozone hole was gonna give polar bears sunburns, the the globe was warming, now its warming in some places and cooling in ohters and may be prone to dramatic shifts. Is this because they are doing junk science or is it because as our understanding of the world matures, our abillity to understand the worlds matures?


Their goal is to protect the profits of their financers by confusing the public on GW.
GW is also being used by American politicians as another tool to polarize the American voters.

It really sucks that our future is worth nothing in the name of winning elections and making obscene amounts of money.


BUt wasn't Bush already obscenly wealthy? Just like most politicans? and really, considering that there still aren't any really viable alternatives to gasoline yet, do thier profits really need that much protecting? Isn't it alos possible that massive curbs on energy consumption would hurt the poor the most? The rich can afford to buy on the black market, the poor can't. Perhaps these scinetists are simply comming from a different perspective, tell me, where Lamerkian evolutionists evil, or did they just disagree?



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 03:51 AM
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Originally posted by Umbrax

Originally posted by Essan
Any reputable scientist funded by Exxon will say so when he publishes his research.


Follow the links posted on the thread that sardion2000 posted above. You will find that these groups are not upfront about where they get their money from. Most of the "about pages" just say they are funded by donations.


I'm really referring to specific research papers


Willie Soon, for example, stated in a recent paper:-


"This scientific research was supported by generous grants from the Charles G. Koch
Charitable Foundation, American Petroleum Institute, and Exxon-Mobil
Corporation. The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and
are independent of sources providing support."


Obviously, I'm not saying everyone does that
But there are some good, reputable scientists amongsts those whom Exxon funds, and we shouldn't tar all with the same brush



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 05:52 AM
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Virtually every major oil corporation has accepted the global warming theory and is working not only to mitigate impacts to the environment, but participating and funding research into ways to further decrease hydrocarbon effects on the environment, with the exception of ONE company...and that's Exxon.

I simply don't understand why they've made this corporate decision, but they have.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 10:49 AM
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Follow-up story to the original link:
environment.guardian.co.uk...



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Virtually every major oil corporation has accepted the global warming theory and is working not only to mitigate impacts to the environment, but participating and funding research into ways to further decrease hydrocarbon effects on the environment, with the exception of ONE company...and that's Exxon.

I simply don't understand why they've made this corporate decision, but they have.


Is that the case? I see them spending lots of cash on commercials painting themselves green, but that's about it. Green-wash.

Where are the electric cars? Where is the research into alternative energy sources. Killed by big oil (and I include Bush's administration in that): Who Killed the Electric Car



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 03:57 PM
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Why not accept or reject the scientific information on its merits, regardless of the sponsors? Having 'exxon' as a sponsor, or one of its fronts, doesn't refute the information within the paper, any more than not having it 'green lights' it. OF course, it can be a good wave to 'raise flags of suspicsion', but those should be flapping around anyway!



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Why not accept or reject the scientific information on its merits, regardless of the sponsors? Having 'exxon' as a sponsor, or one of its fronts, doesn't refute the information within the paper, any more than not having it 'green lights' it. OF course, it can be a good wave to 'raise flags of suspicsion', but those should be flapping around anyway!


I think it's a bit more insidious than that. Look at the junk science website:

junk

If it's as heavily funded by Exxon as they say it is, then there should be a BIG 'main contributors' section on the site. Instead, there are little 'Paypal Donate' boxes that make it sound like a one-man crusade for good, skeptical science.

I forget where to find the link but the Toronto Globe and Mail, in about November did a *big* article on how a researcher had to resign over a serious conflict of interest with a Cox-2 inhibitor - either Vioxx or Celebrex, I forget.

The sponsorship of science really is pissing in the well of truth, if you get my drift. You read any article, even one that declares 'interest', and you have to spend HOURS working out how the buggers might have subtly changed the protocols, or even interpretation of the data in order to favour product x over product y. Even if it *is* a good paper, there's always that naggng doubt at the back of your mind.



Fine - the sponsors of the scientists may well not interfere with the authors, but you can bet damn well they'll carefully research the scientists previous research record, opinions and what the experiment *could* generate, in terms of propaganda value.

Let's say you get only 'their type' of experiments being funded - implication is you're going to get a huge 'publication bias' and a consensus that probably has serious questions about it's validity.

You couldn't get away with it in health science, why the hell should enviromental scientists get away with it? I mean, if *they* screw up, we *all* die.



TD

PS - note the Junk Science attack on the Royal Society. Hmmmm. Who paid for that one, do you think?



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by rizla

Originally posted by Valhall
Virtually every major oil corporation has accepted the global warming theory and is working not only to mitigate impacts to the environment, but participating and funding research into ways to further decrease hydrocarbon effects on the environment, with the exception of ONE company...and that's Exxon.

I simply don't understand why they've made this corporate decision, but they have.


Is that the case? I see them spending lots of cash on commercials painting themselves green, but that's about it. Green-wash.

Where are the electric cars? Where is the research into alternative energy sources. Killed by big oil (and I include Bush's administration in that): Who Killed the Electric Car


Actually, it's not white wash. And don't expect them to invent you an electric car. That's a bit of a silly idea. No, they are improving ways to capture and sequester greenhouse gases, achieve zero-emissions in hydrocarbon production and find alternative fuel sources.

You want an electric car, you'll probably have to go to some one like your electric companies - which happen to be the number one EL NUMERO UNO GHG producers on the globe.



[edit on 9-20-2006 by Valhall]



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 07:17 PM
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And here's the latest update:

exxon offended

Exxon are apparently a bit irritated at the Royal Society (probably a bit more at The Guardian, because they seem to be running with this story).

I like the way they deny sponsoring an Al Gore 'Inconvenient Truth' spoof, but studiously ignore the other nonsense they've been up to.

If nothing else, it's embarrassed a few 'black ops' people in Exxon and probably will make them change their ways. For a day or so.

There's another thread over in Medical Conspiracies about Ghost Written pharmaceutical papers, which I will try to link to.

VERY interesting stuff. Trust no-one, eh? At least if they're sponsored....

trust no-one
TD

[edit on 21-9-2006 by TaupeDragon] for links

[edit on 21-9-2006 by TaupeDragon]



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by TaupeDragon

Originally posted by Nygdan
Why not accept or reject the scientific information on its merits, regardless of the sponsors? Having 'exxon' as a sponsor, or one of its fronts, doesn't refute the information within the paper, any more than not having it 'green lights' it. OF course, it can be a good wave to 'raise flags of suspicsion', but those should be flapping around anyway!


I think it's a bit more insidious than that. Look at the junk science website:

junk

If it's as heavily funded by Exxon as they say it is,

Who cares about a website. Look at the actual scientific research published in peer reviewed journals. Anything else is a form of propaganda (and of course bias can get in there too, but the good journals are able weed it out).


The sponsorship of science really is pissing in the well of truth,

Funding is about the only thing that keeps science going.

Science is expensive.


you have to spend HOURS working out how the buggers might have subtly [cheated]
[my edit]
Science is also time consuming and labourious.


Fine - the sponsors of the scientists may well not interfere with the authors, but you can bet damn well they'll carefully research the scientists previous research record,

Sure, they will. And the rest of us can too and it'll all go into our weighing of their conclusions and acceptance of their evidence.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 11:17 PM
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lmao.. I'm sorry but I'm not suprised at all. Don't you know The Queen of England controls Exxon... it's the double cross right? Yup...



posted on Sep, 22 2006 @ 07:03 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

Who cares about a website. Look at the actual scientific research published in peer reviewed journals. Anything else is a form of propaganda (and of course bias can get in there too, but the good journals are able weed it out).


Ah - *but*. Look at *this* website. I agree - there's a lot of crap on the web, but I try to be discriminating. Unless I'm looking for crap, obviously.


It's written by enviromental scientists, and references articles in peer-reviewed journals. I've read it before and it seems quite convincing - almost a cry for 'evidence-based enviromentalism'.

And since the Exxon revelations.....I'm thinking, 'So are they legit?'

And the answer is.....who knows?

friends of science




Funding is about the only thing that keeps science going.

Science is expensive.


I'm not saying otherwise, but I really think the declaration of interests should be *front and centre* on any article, and I also think the *exact* methodology should be put to the ethics panel before the trial commences.

Example - and I forget the link, sorry:

Crest Whitestrips was compared against dentist-made carbamide peroxide trays for whitening teeth. Crest Whitestrips did better than the dentist-made trays.

Unless you read the article really carefully, it wasn't clear that the 'manufacturer's recommendation' was for a 3-week 'go' with the product, as opposed to only two weeks with the 'dentist made trays'.

So you are comparing something that has had an extra week to get a result.

(actually it was a very good article that declared interest front and centre, and actually whitestrips *are* a bit better because there is other evidence out there)

My point is - they should have compared like with like, and given both products a level playing field.


Science is also time consuming and labourious.


Yeah, but reading the paper shouldn't require a either a law degree or a mind like James Ellroy. You should be able to read without having to worry about the data being skewed to prove a point.




Fine - the sponsors of the scientists may well not interfere with the authors, but you can bet damn well they'll carefully research the scientists previous research record,


Sure, they will. And the rest of us can too and it'll all go into our weighing of their conclusions and acceptance of their evidence.



Yeah....but it comes back to publication bias, doesn't it? Like you say, science is expensive. If Exxon was paying for 'anti-' papers, your literature search is going to be complicated by a disproportionate 'anti' return and risk bias.

Probably no way around commercial sponsorship of science and conflicts of interest, but it still irritates me greatly.

TD

[edit on 22-9-2006 by TaupeDragon]



posted on Sep, 22 2006 @ 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by TaupeDragon
I'm not saying otherwise, but I really think the declaration of interests should be *front and centre* on any article,

It does at the end, which is appropriate since the science is what is paramount.

and I also think the *exact* methodology should be put to the ethics panel before the trial commences.

I am a little unclear, what methodology do you mean? That of the experiement and research, or do you mean a methodology for revealing financial backers? As it is, authors are expected to make 'competing interest statements' on their articles. If a person lied, and was found out, then they'd be branded a liar amoung the scientific community, which is a very bad thing, it means you have trouble getting published in high impact journals, that people don't waste their time using your results, and that a lot of people spend a lot of time testing and trying to reduplicate your previous results, and making a big stink about other lies that the author may've made.

Example - and I forget the link, sorry:


Unless you read the article really carefully, it wasn't clear that the 'manufacturer's recommendation' was for a 3-week 'go' with the product, as opposed to only two weeks with the 'dentist made trays'.

Clearly, we have to be careful in accepting information.


So you are comparing something that has had an extra week to get a result.[/quote
"Use product A as per its instructions, get whiter teeth than using Product B, as per its instructions". Pretty good for an advertisement. In a scientific article, it'd be expected to detail those instructions, at least on an issue like 'use for three weeks'.


My point is - they should have compared like with like, and given both products a level playing field.

Indeed.


Yeah, but reading the paper shouldn't require a either a law degree or a mind like James Ellroy.

Unfortunately, the science, especially when we are talking about global warming data and academic research, is complex and difficult. THe papers that are out there are already stripped down and simplified as much as possible, while still being accurate and useful.



You should be able to read without having to worry about the data being skewed to prove a point.

But what do you mean by skewed? Outright manufacture of data? Or making conclusions that aren't supported by the data? Indeed, it can be difficult to detect error. Unfortunately, there's no kind of legislation or rule making that can help that. THe papers submitted to journals are already reviewed by a number of competing researchers in their field of study, there has been a group of people that have looked for just the sorts of things you are concerned about.
This contrasts completely with articles for public consumption, which are essentially a bunch of lies made up by a person, for the sake of brevity and communicability, and then not checked up by anyone.


Yeah....but it comes back to publication bias, doesn't it? Like you say, science is expensive. If Exxon was paying for 'anti-' papers, your literature search is going to be complicated by a disproportionate 'anti' return and risk bias.

Only if there is a cadre of scientists out there that aren't really intersted in doing science, but instead want to make money by peddling lies. THen their lies are reviewed by panels of other scientists who also research the field, looking for mistakes, errors, and fraud. Then its sent back, edited, resubmited, edited again, resubmited, reviewed, perhaps approved, published, and then, everyone that reads those journals reviews the information and makes decisions about its validty, fraud, accuracy, etc, and often tries to reduplicate the exeriments and compare their results.
Also, what is an 'anti' researcher? None of us know whats going on, research has to be done. A person could publish a few dozen papers that end up pulling the rug out from under some major global warming evidences, simply because they're doing a good job and the other evidences didn't work out. Give that researcher money, and he's going to investigate and publish his findings. The only time there's a problem is when the public tries to cut funding for honest researchers who've made unpopular conclusions, and all they have to go to for funding is the oil companies, etc. Thats why funding has to be basic and non-biased.


Probably no way around commercial sponsorship of science and conflicts of interest, but it still irritates me greatly.

Science has lots of safeguards against fraud, editors, peer review panels, and other scientists that are studying the work.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

I am a little unclear, what methodology do you mean? That of the experiement and research, or do you mean a methodology for revealing financial backers?


The former. I think it is relatively easy to incorporate a degree of bias, which can be relatively well-hidden in any experiment. The precise methodology should be put before an ethics committee in order to avoid bias that would render the conlusions invalid.

Declaration of interest should just be done.



As it is, authors are expected to make 'competing interest statements' on their articles. If a person lied, and was found out, then they'd be branded a liar amoung the scientific community, which is a very bad thing, it means you have trouble getting published in high impact journals, that people don't waste their time using your results, and that a lot of people spend a lot of time testing and trying to reduplicate your previous results, and making a big stink about other lies that the author may've made.


Yeah, *but*. Define a *lie* - incorporation of bias into your experiment, leading to questionable conclusions? Is that the same as a lie?

Look at the 'ghostwritten pharma' thread on medical conspiracies, where 'names' lend themselves to drug companies. How is that anything other than unethical?



Unfortunately, the science, especially when we are talking about global warming data and academic research, is complex and difficult. THe papers that are out there are already stripped down and simplified as much as possible, while still being accurate and useful.


I'm not contesting that, and I'm not an ecological scientist. What I am unhappy about is commercial organisations deliberately muddying already murky waters to suit their own interests.

Which is what Exxon appear to have been doing in this specific instance.



But what do you mean by skewed? Outright manufacture of data? Or making conclusions that aren't supported by the data?


Study design to generate biased data, or yes, conclusions/interpretations that are not supported by the data.


Only if there is a cadre of scientists out there that aren't really intersted in doing science, but instead want to make money by peddling lies.


There are certainly a bunch of academics who judge their worth by the length of their......published articles.
And I am not talking about 'lies' here - simply study designs that may not eliminate bias.



THen their lies are reviewed by panels of other scientists who also research the field, looking for mistakes, errors, and fraud. Then its sent back, edited, resubmited, edited again, resubmited, reviewed, perhaps approved, published, and then, everyone that reads those journals reviews the information and makes decisions about its validty, fraud, accuracy, etc, and often tries to reduplicate the exeriments and compare their results.


Even in peer-reviewed journals, a lot of crap gets published.
Not from an environmental standpoint, but for example, in health sciences, the number of lab/in vitro studies of a new product that are used to make claims clinically, or not blinded, or not properly randomized is impressive.




Also, what is an 'anti' researcher? None of us know whats going on, research has to be done. A person could publish a few dozen papers that end up pulling the rug out from under some major global warming evidences, simply because they're doing a good job and the other evidences didn't work out. Give that researcher money, and he's going to investigate and publish his findings. The only time there's a problem is when the public tries to cut funding for honest researchers who've made unpopular conclusions, and all they have to go to for funding is the oil companies, etc. Thats why funding has to be basic and non-biased.


I have never had a problem with research and funding from government/charitable trusts. I do have a serious issue with oil conglomerates or pharmaceutical companies getting involved because it screams CONFLICT OF INTEREST with even the best will in the world on both sides.



Science has lots of safeguards against fraud, editors, peer review panels, and other scientists that are studying the work.



Hmm. Don't seem to work flawlessly, is all I'll say. And I'm sorry...it's going back to drugs, but I bet it works the same way in other areas too. Certainly the publication of most journals runs the same way.

vioxx

schizophrenia

distortion

There's only one thing that corrupts faster than absolute power, and that's lots of money.

TD

[edit on 23-9-2006 by TaupeDragon] Bloody quote option!

[edit on 23-9-2006 by TaupeDragon]




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