Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I am working on a post titled, "Liberty without a Creator", until that is published I thought this article from the Wallstreet Journal Editorial Page was pretty interesting. It raises intriguing questions about Global Warming and the scientific community.

Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe sent a letter to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson requesting that he cease and desist in his company’s support of scientists who are skeptical about the global change theory, which basically says mankind exacerbates the Global Warming problem by our consumption.

Here are some key excerpts from the letter:

It is our hope that under your leadership, ExxonMobil would end its dangerous support of the "deniers."

Since when was it "bad" to challenge even long held and well supported scientific theory (which I am not convinced Global Warming is, yeah, I said it)? Isn't it actually a good thing to put a theory to the test against facts, and now that we are at it, is that not how a theory goes from being a theory to being accepted as fact?


...that ExxonMobil "come clean" about its past denial activities, and that the corporation take positive steps by a date certain toward a new and more responsible corporate citizenship.

That is an almost Gestapo-like statement in my opinion, "Confess your sins and be cleansed!
A study to be released in November by an American scientific group will expose ExxonMobil as the primary funder of no fewer than 29 climate change denial front groups in 2004 alone.

Would anyone really have a problem with Exxon for doing this? To me it only lends objectivity to the whole issue and I commend them for their courage in approaching such a controversial debate from the dissenting side.

I will stop there and I think I have covered the message the letter was meant convey.

While one could argue that Exxon is only interested in seeing consumers filling up there SUVs without fear of damaging the planet, I though at least their angle raised some interesting questions.

1. Why are Senators, specifically Senators who profit from the sale of oil, so interested in seeing this debate end?

2. Does their personal interest in oil sales lend any credibility to their position as you would think they would prefer Americans be "deniers" in this particular debate?

3. Is it really honest to say that this debate is officially over and that we should no longer even question Global Warming and the human factor?

4. Does it take credibility away from scientists who would prefer that no dissenting debate be allowed?

5. Is it more scientific to assume something is wrong and find evidence to the contrary, or to assume it is correct and look for supporting empirical evidence?

8 comments:

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

It isn't politically correct to question global warming or evolution even though the facts are on our side on both issues.

Mr. Grey Ghost said...

Just wanted to wish a belated Merry Xmas to you and your family as well. Hopefully I'll be back to blogging and commenting more consistently now.

James Manning said...

I think the facts are clear that global warming is occurring. What part is natural and what part humans exacerbate the problem is up for debate. But it seems obvious to me that we are having an impact on the environment.

3.This debate should never be over. We should always question how our actions impact the environment.

4.Dissenting and advocating for an industry are two separate things. When an oil company hires scientist to “debate” global warming, I seriously doubt they are looking for an objective analysis.

5.A scientist shouldn’t assume anything but simply let the facts lead them. The scientific model is as follows:
Observation
Question
Hypothesis
Prediction
Experiment
Analysis
Decision

Bullfrog said...

I believe whole-heartedly that we should be good stewards of our environment, the Bible is clear about stewardship.

What about the history of earth's temperature changes before men were on the earth? Some scientists believe while dinosaurs dominated there were higher carbon levels than the earth has seen since.

Angela said...

Great post. I appreciated the ideas behind it.

Outside the Box said...

What did you think of
An Inconvenient Truth?

Bullfrog said...

Angela: thanks for stopping by!

OTB: Long time no hear from, hope things are going well.

I have not seen "Inconvenient Truth" and am not sure I plan to as what I have heard about it leads me to believe the information provided is nothing ground breaking.

Cynthia said...

Exxon is funding scientists that are withholding evidence for global warming. This is why they are funding these scientists. I will be back later when I get more time.