Thanks for the sources - I'll read them tomorrow.
What I was getting at (and may be included in your links) was TILLERMAN specifically supporting junk science, not just Exxon Mobil. I realize he was CEO from 06-2016, and has a lot of culpability there, but it would seem more damning to me if he were personally linked to funding such "studies" than the company in general, which probably has a robust PR division actively combating its negative global image any way it can
Interesting question. You got me thinking and pulling up stuff I've seen / read. Here's a few things:
He's been in exec staff / at the helm since before 2004. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rex_Tillerson
"In 2004, (Tillerson) became president and director of ExxonMobil. On January 1, 2006, Tillerson was elected chairman and chief executive officer (CEO)"
If there was any evidence that during that time he ever stood up and said that the climate change denialism was wrong, I'd change my tune. But so far as I can tell, he has not done such a thing.
(btw, excuse my potty mouth last night - I perhaps shouldn't have checked in after our wine drinking music jam night. Nothing pushes my buttons like people who are putting my kids' world in jeopardy. And after a couple glasses of wine I'm prone to drop a few f bombs. whoops.)
Let's start with this snippet. a 30 second secret recording in 2007 shareholder's meeting
. Keep in mind this is after a long history of Exxon mobil being on the forefront of global science, turning away from it in the mid-80s to produce doubt rather than science.
And this. 'Too many complexities around climate change to know.' ... 2015 press conference
after Rockefeller shareholder attempt to cleave chairman of board role from CEO role (It failed).
He claims to have become aware of global warming around 1995. Surely between then and 2004, and during his long career including a decade in top leadership, he was aware of the science that Exxon itself was fully aware of in quite a bit of detail - even before 1980.
Before he became CEO, Exxon mobil was actively funding global warming disinformation campaigns. He continued it at least through 2012 (but I believe through today too). But Exxon no longer needs to fund denial campaigns as the anonymous donor-advised-fund "Donor's Trust" has taken up the slack, and then some.
In 2009 he expressed the opinion that a carbon tax would be the best way to curb carbon emissions (which I agree with so far as I understand the issue ), but that was in the context of massive public and congressional discussion of cap and trade. In that light, yes, a carbon tax would be far more straight forward and desirable - eg a better choice if XOM had to choose. However, once cap and trade talk died down, so too did Tillerson's talk of a carbon tax (as far as I know - he maybe mentioned it on occasion afterward when asked.). However, he continues to this day to make comments that instill ever more doubt
. Exxonsecrets.org details contributions to think tanks and orgs that actively pump out global warming doubt
- data found in quarterly and annual statements. This video is interesting - open questions at his alma mater UoT
. The last question of the Q&A is on Climate Change - the evolution of Rex Tillerson's understanding of climate change
(my typed up notes paraphrasing his talk):
I first heard of climate change personally in 1995. XOM has 4 science divisions. XOM members of IPCC. Climate consensus means nothing to us* you can't have scientific consensus, ... you can have it around a theory, but climate is complicated study of science going on - we have a ton of data - but the challenge is the models to try and predict the future. none of the models agree*. There's no model that's competent at predicting the future. I've spent time with MIT. We conclude this is a serious risk, and anyone who says they know beyond a shadow of doubt, and we need to manage the risk. So how do we manage it? We are engaged in participating ... We get engaged in policy side. Policies are going to have impacts on economy. 1.7B people still don't have electricity. It's going to take energy to lift them out of poverty. How are we going to meet the world energy needs and manage environmental risks. The discourse is at the extremes, but the solution will be found in the middle...
*See - I have a problem with the way he talks about this. The whole consensus came about because policy makers were getting confused and they asked the IPCC scientists to agree on a statement. So - they debated and came up with a statement that the vast majority agreed upon. It wasn't scientists colluding on a statement - their arms were twisted into making it - and now they are vilified for not doing 'real science' because science is based on skepticism. Ugh. can't win. So R Tillerson alludes to this in his language. It's really crafty. Again - it slows action. Now I do agree that more of the conversation needs to take place in the middle - I think the documentary 'Cool It' addresses this topic really well. But I find his discussion of science is crafted in a way to make non-scientists think there's some conspiracy going on.
A couple side-items from that UoT video: He talks about integrity an awful lot. Almost too much. Not that it's evidence, but it boils my blood. It chaps my hide, as it were. About 15:00 in - early 80s - mid level manager with 120 workers had to lay people off. Lesson - if I had anything to say about it, we'd never get in that situation again. (just an interesting insight into a facet of his motivations - not that it's evil - it's just what it is).
~22:00 minutes his leadership philosophy is all about business integrity and ethics, and personal integrity and ethics.
~38:30 his long good close relationship with Putin and the enormity of the Exxon investments in Russia. discussions of sanctions.And again, the Climate Change Q&A from the UoT forum more info from union of concerned scientists Profile of Tillerson from a polluter tracker website
If you watch the film Greedy Lying Bastards (this is a good source for leads for info - but the documentary is a little, uh, skewed) ... , there's a scene toward the end where the documentary host sneeks a camera in to an Exxon shareholder meeting. Tillerson doesn't answer the guy's question about the company’s funding of denialist organizations, but says that climate change poses a serious risk, and so ExxonMobil is “going to continue to be actively engaged in that debate." I assume that means continuing to fund misinformation. Ultimately, the buck stops with Rex Tillerson.
If his integrity was what he purports in that UofT video, then he would have ended the denialism funding back in the early noughts. But he hasn't. On top of that, he continues to make statements that make it seem
like he's taking the problem seriously 'as an engineer who deals in facts,' but these comments, IMO, merely serve to punt the action ball further.Extra viewing
- touches on Exxon not Rex. But during the time he led the org.