A lot of alarmist voices are charging Exxon with all kinds of misdoings with respect to climate science. The usual suspects are implicated, including Bill McKibben, Naomi Oreskes and Bob Ward.
InsideClimateNews broke the story, with the others piling on. Exxon is fighting back and tell their story here: http://www.exxonmobilperspectives.com/2015/10/21/when-it-comes-to-climate-change-read-the-documents/
The documents referred to are here.
“Reading the documents shows that these allegations are based on deliberately cherry-picked statements attributed to various ExxonMobil employees to wrongly suggest definitive conclusions were reached decades ago by company researchers. These statements were taken completely out of context and ignored other readily available statements demonstrating that our researchers recognized the developing nature of climate science at the time which, in fact, mirrored global understanding.
What these documents actually demonstrate is a robust culture of scientific discourse on the causes and risks of climate change that took place at ExxonMobil in the 1970s and ’80s and continues today. They point to corporate efforts to fill the substantial gaps in knowledge that existed during the earliest years of climate change research.
They also help explain why ExxonMobil would work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and leading universities like MIT and Stanford on ways to expand climate science knowledge.”
The Royal Society
The list of documents includes an interchange with the Royal Society, and their spokesman, Bob Ward. He criticizes Exxon’s publications for not saying the same things as IPCC documents. He accuses Exxon of funding “organizations that have been misinforming the public about the science of climate change.” That sounds so much like the RICO20 letter.
Kenneth Cohen of ExxonMobil responded in a letter to Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society at that time:
“The Royal Society should welcome the diversity of opinions on all scientific issues. Taking the position that any person or organization that disagrees with the Royal Society on an important scientific issue should be publicly vilified is surely counterproductive for the development of scientific theory, ignores freedom of expression and is hardly consistent with the Society’s stated objective of promoting excellence in science.”
Cohen’s full letter is here:
Exxon says that they are part of the solution and not the problem, and are asking people to read the documents and decide for themselves. Sounds reasonable.
Background on RICO and IPCC: