Greenpeace has obtained documents confirming that lobbyists funded by the US oil industry plan to persuade politicians, businesses and the media that the EU should abandon the Kyoto protocol, and cease attempts to control greenhouse gas pollution. The author, Chris Horner, is a senior member of the rightwing think-tank 'the Competitive Enterprise Institute', a group who have received over £750,000 ($1.3m) from the US oil company Exxon Mobil. He is also a key member of a group called 'the Cooler Heads Coalition', whose remit is to challenge the 'myth' of global warming.
The documents cheerfully note that an informal coalition has successfully prevented the US from adopting the Kyoto agreement or launching any other initiatives which aim to control greenhouse gases. They hope the can be as successful in Europe.
The group apparently planned on involving RWE, a German utility company, in attempts to scupper moves to prevent global warming. RWE claim that although they have had meetings with Chris Horner, they do not plan on getting involved with his group. The delightful Mr Horner describes Europe as a great "opportunity", but noted "US companies need someone they can trust, and it's just a den of thieves over there." What a great way to curry favour with your target audience.
This right wing apologist for the Oil Industry recently refered to the fact that Pluto appears to be warming, despite moving away from the sun by noting facetiously "Pluto's warm-up is a reminder that no matter where you are climate happens. It always has, it always will -- with or without SUVs... There will be inevitably and likely imminent claims that mankind is also causing Plutonian global warming." So 'climate happens' - how reassuring. We can all stop worrying and continue to pollute as much as possible, while making Horner's buddies rich at the same time, because there are climate effects on a distant planet that we have never visited and cannot fully understand.
For the avoidance of doubt, Mr Horner, I do not claim that driving heavily polluting cars such as SUV's is having an effect on Pluto. No-one ever said that the science was easy or straightforward, and the effect of the sun in all of this is not entirely clear. That is no reason to pretend that the use and extraction of oil is without its problems. Making glib jokes does not endear you to anyone, and sticking your head in the sand and pretending that we are not effecting the planet is not a healthy long-term option. Although other factors are involved, a fact that most sane people would happily accept, oil is dirty, expensive and finite. Our reliance on oil is causing severe economic problems and has been instrumental in generating wars across the globe. Stop taking the bribes, come up with some reasoned arguments, and perhaps people could take you more seriously.
For further information on Horner and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, why not have a look at their website, where they confirm their view that...
"Nothing would do more to reduce the world’s ability to address poverty and pollution than to force Corporate Social Responsibility onto the world economy" because corporations are "better disciplined via market competition than through bureaucratic rules".
Right - we should just trust in their need to make as much profit as possible for their shareholders, and hope that they don't screw us all in the process!
P.S. Unlike Mr Horner, I have not been paid to express this opinion