A speech from the CEO of Exxon Mobil made quite a splash recently:
Exxon CEO: Fossil fuels will warm planet, but humans can adapt
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. …
Tillerson, in a break with predecessor Lee Raymond, has acknowledged that global temperatures are rising. “Clearly there is going to be an impact,” he said Wednesday.
But he questioned the ability of climate models to predict the magnitude of the impact. He said that people would be able to adapt to rising sea levels and changing climates that may force agricultural production to shift. “We have spent our entire existence adapting. We’ll adapt,” he said. “It’s an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution.”
We have spent out entire existence adapting to local changes in the context of a global system which has been remarkably stable. We have no precedent for, and no “engineering” solutions which can hope to adapt, to crisis on a global scale.
Tillerson’s glib reassurances are simply the next phase of Exxon’s well funded and carefully designed climate change denier tactics:
A report from the Union of Concerned Scientists offers the most comprehensive documentation to date of how ExxonMobil has adopted the tobacco industry’s disinformation tactics, as well as some of the same organizations and personnel, to cloud the scientific understanding of climate change and delay action on the issue. According to the report, ExxonMobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.
Meanwhile in unrelated news:
US wildfires are what global warming really looks like, scientists warn
The Colorado fires are being driven by extreme temperatures, which are consistent with IPCC projections
Scorching heat, high winds and bone-dry conditions are fueling catastrophic wildfires in the US west that offer a preview of the kind of disasters that human-caused climate change could bring, a trio of scientists said on Thursday.
“What we’re seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like,” said Princeton University’s Michael Oppenheimer, a lead author for the UN’s climate science panel. “It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster … This provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future.”
In Colorado, wildfires that have raged for weeks have killed four people, displaced thousands and destroyed hundreds of homes. Because winter snowpack was lighter than usual and melted sooner, fire season started earlier in the US west, with wildfires out of control in Colorado, Montana and Utah.
The high temperatures that are helping drive these fires are consistent with projections by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which said this kind of extreme heat, with little cooling overnight, is one kind of damaging impact of global warming.
Someone kindly ask Mr Tillerson what his “engineering solution” is – fast…