Obstacles to Greener Living – Big Oil

On June 26, 2005, in this blog, I wrote:

I’m old enough to remember the tobacco industry campaigning that smoking does not cause cancer. And, sadly enough, they found plenty of scientists who would support that position….

Does the debate on global warming seem familar?

Now, Sustainablog reports that … an article in the new issue of Vanity Fair by investigative journalist Mark Hertsgaard

…[details] how Dr. Frederick Seitz, a former president of the National Academy of Sciences and one of the most often-quoted skeptics on global warming, was paid over half a million dollars by the tobacco industry to obfuscate the connection between smoking and cancer. Seitz went on to spearhead a campaign to cast scientific doubt about global warming.

In addition to an audio file of the press conference (which included Hertsgaard, Dr. James Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science, Phil Schiliro, Minority Chief of Staff, House Government Reform Committee, and Philip Clapp, President of the National Environmental Trust), NET has also released

…an industry media plan to oppose global warming [PDF] — an April 3, 1998 American Petroleum Institute strategy memo on its public relations campaign to plant doubts about global warming science.

I must ask:

  • How much power does Big Oil have at the White House?
  • How much influence do the cooperative oil producing countries have on Big Oil?
  • How long can they continue to mis-lead us?