LA Times refuses to show so-called smoking gun against Exxon – here it is

climate factsIn its reportage on climate change research at ExxonMobil, the Los Angeles Times made a very telling editorial decision.

The paper chose not to publish the document it cites as Exhibit A in its case against us: a 1989 presentation to Exxon’s board of directors by senior company scientist Duane Levine.

I have no doubt why the newspaper doesn’t want the public to see this document.

When you read it – which you can do here – it soon becomes clear that the document undercuts the paper’s claims that ExxonMobil knew with certainty everything there is to know about global warming back in the 1980s yet failed to sound alarms.

By deliberately hiding this report from readers (while simultaneously citing it to make damaging claims about our corporation’s history of scientific research), the Los Angeles Times undermines the already low levels of trust in the media and in the media’s ability to cover issues of science and policy with accuracy and fairness.

Here’s what the L.A. Times wrote in its most recent piece:

Duane Levine, Exxon’s manager of science and strategy development, gave a primer to the company’s board of directors in 1989, noting that scientists generally agreed gases released by burning fossil fuels could raise global temperatures significantly by the middle of the 21st century — between 2.7 and 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit — causing glaciers to melt and sea levels to rise, “with generally negative consequences.”

Case closed, or so the Times would have you think.

But here’s the crucial part the L.A. Times left out from the very first page of Levine’s presentation (PEG stands for “Potential Enhanced Greenhouse,” by the way):

PEG clipClick to enlarge

What else did the paper neglect to quote from Levine’s presentation? Consider this passage from page 31:

Misconception clipClick to enlarge

Furthermore, the supposed coup de grace in the L.A. Times story was an attempt to uncover “ExxonMobil’s position” as one of doubt and obfuscation. The evidence, the Times made clear, came directly from the Levine presentation. Here’s what the paper wrote:

So Levine laid out a plan for the “Exxon Position”: In order to stop the momentum behind the issue, Levine said Exxon should emphasize that doubt. Tell the public that more science is needed before regulatory action is taken, he argued, and emphasize the “costs and economics”

As it turns out, the report actually has a section entitled “Exxon’s Position.” And here is, word-for-word, how it is laid out in the presentation:

Exxon’s Position

  • Improve Understanding
  • Extend the Science
  • Include the Costs/Economics
  • Face Social-Political Realities
  • Stress Environmentally Sound and Adaptive Efforts
  • Support Conservation
  • Restrict CFCs
  • Improve Global Re/De Forestation

In fact, here’s the screenshot from the actual report, which also includes Levine’s conclusion that to be a “responsible participant and part of the solution” to the climate change challenge, the company should continue research, support energy efficiency, reduce emissions, and pursue new technologies.

(Click image to enlarge.)

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge

Is it any wonder the L.A. Times chose not to disclose this document to its readers?  Or that the paper continues to fail to make the presentation available on its website?

Doing so would reveal its investigative work is not only unsupported by the supposed evidence, but is actually completely undermined by their “prize document” in a way that casts serious doubt on the ethics and agendas of its reporters.

Levine’s presentation from 25 years ago makes clear we wanted to pursue – and support – greater scientific understanding, which we have done and continue to do.

Does the Levine document prove, as some claim, that our corporation was convinced beyond all doubt a quarter century ago that global climate change would happen and what the effects would be?

Hardly. Even in 2015, the leading international scientific authority on climate change – the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – acknowledges wide gaps in climate science exist that further research must address.

Without producing the Levine document for readers to judge for themselves, the Times felt it could make whatever claims it wants, while expecting readers to rely on the reporters’ interpretations for accuracy.

Of course, this is not 1989, when media consumers only had a few options, a few city papers dominated, and there was no Internet.

In 2015, we know from cases like this that blind trust in those claiming to have the truth is unwarranted.

For those interested in finding real solutions to the risks of climate change – whether you are an elected leader, a policymaker, or concerned member of the public – it starts with doing your own due diligence.

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Comments (17)

  • Avatar

    GSH

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    Many years ago, we scoffed at Pravda. We marveled at how they could be so brazen in their propaganda efforts, and how the Russian people could embrace such blatant manipulation. Our media has become every bit as bad as Pravda ever was, and without the official designation of “state media”. Journalism, if it ever truly existed, is dead in this country. The courts are in lockstep, and are now being used to punish dissent. The transition is all but complete.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    richard clenney

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    serious doubt on the ethics and agendas of its reporters. Well; to a liberal warmist, anything, that
    supports the agenda, is by definition, ethetical.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    The LA Times purposely and unfairly cherry picked the 1989 Exxon documents in what was clearly an attempt to damage Exxon’s reputation and mislead the newspaper readership .

    What ever happened to balanced reporting especially when the document is right in front of you ? The LA times is a joke .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Barbara

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    Thank you very much for this article. I hope it is dispersed widely. I read very little from the mainstream media anymore. All that is printed is material with an anti human agenda. I’m glad for the internet and access to facts.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Andy Pattullo

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    It will be very satisfying if Exdon can fully defend itself against these allegations, but I am not sure those who are promoting this type of investigation have thought through the strategy to the ultimate end. If as in the tobacco example civil or criminal litigation were to ensue, it would presumably mean that the actual science and what it says about the relationship between greenhouse gases and climate, both good and bad would have to be argued in court and the full range of reliable and not so reliable science would be put under a microscope. The immense uncertainty in this area of research and the blatantly bad performance of many investigators would ultimately become clear to all. This appears to be something which the alleged “consensus” has been consistently trying to prevent for many years now.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Martin

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    This is a solid case of defamation – the willful and public misrepresentation of facts to damage another party. Such offenses have become accepted practice – by the usual suspects, with massive support by NGOs and amplification by the media.

    It’s time the responsible parties were held to account. Thanks to this latest nonsense, no one is better equipped to do so than Exxon. Unlike countless individuals who have suffered damage, Exxon has the resources to level the playing field. A defamation claim would be reinforced by its nexus to clandestine activities of the Climate Accountability Institute and the discredited RICO letter to Obama.

    Beyond un-tarnishing Exxon’s brand and averting future offenses, legal action would accomplish that at which government has been impotent: A [i]Scopes Trial of climate science[/i], in which the facts, and only the facts, are laid out on the table – objectively and publically. This would spell the end of climate hysteria and intimidation.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Tom Harris

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      Will Exxon sue the LA Times?

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Me

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        If they do it will be for defending the company, and if they do you will never hear the end if it from the LSM crying foul, if they don’t then the leftards win. Heads I win tails you lose!

        Reply

    • Avatar

      Neil Mahony

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      I agree 110% Martin. Yes, a “Scopes Trial” is exactly what this junk science needs to drive a stake through its heart. I will pray daily to the Science gods that Exxon turns the screw on the Times. I have been battling them for years and if you recognize my last name, they have been denigrating my brother’s name also.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Val

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    It has a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Val …Good point . No doubt they are weighing their options . My bet is they may not want the hassle and extreme green and the paper would love the publicity .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Bob Armstrong

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    If XOM or any other attacked corporation demands that the government provide the basic quantitative physical equation in SI units describing and enabling the “trapping” of heat by some spectral filter , ie : Green House Effect , or an experimental demonstration of the phenomenon , the case will be over because the AlGoreWarmistas can’t do it . Their supposed “settled science” is false at that basic a level .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    The LA Times stands to make more money selling their product electronically . Encouraging scary global warming hastens the day when they can fatten profits ,quit consuming massive numbers of trees and dumping ink and newsprint into landfills.
    They don’t want to balance their reporting because it is simply not in their self interest .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Jack Strawb

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    You guys never stop, do you? You excerpt the report instead of quoting passages in their entirety. Your ‘click to enlarge’ sections don’t show the actual document, which remains too small and too blurry to read.

    Isn’t there someone there with a conscience? We know this is all for the sake of plausible deniability, something you can point to in order to claim you were misrepresented. Just… stop.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Gator

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    Jack, if you could read you would have found that in the fourth sentence, the entire document is presented…

    http://cdn.exxonmobil.com/~/media/global/files/energy-and-environment/board-presentation-Feb-22-1989.pdf

    And let’s discuss ‘excerpts’, like how alarmists ignore the 4,500,000,000 years of wildly and naturally flucuating climates, how alarmists cherry pick the coldest part of the holocene as the start of their graphs, and how alarmists ignore natural variability, and then claim the science settled.

    Merry Christmas Jack, you have just been educated.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    amirlach

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    How could Exxon possibly “know” everything there is to know about global warming back in the 1980s?

    When even today IPCC alarmists admit that they know hardly anything about it?

    [quote] Models and simulations are critical to the IPCC’s case for man-made warming but in its Third Assessment
    Report (TAR) the IPCC admitted that the level of scientific understanding (LSU) of 7 of 11 climate factors
    was “very low” and that for another the LSU was “low” (see figure). A similar table was absent from the
    Fourth Assessment Report – would it be an admission that science had advanced very little? – but a table of
    various radiative forcings did appear and again many factors were poorly understood.
    It beggars belief that the IPCC can put such faith in understandings, estimates, reconstructions, simulations
    and models when it has already acknowledged that scientists lack detailed knowledge of many factors. It is
    folly to assume that understandings, estimates and reconstructions will be accurate and is totally illogical to
    suppose that accurate simulations and models can be developed. [/quote]

    Seems that after wasting Trillions on “science” they still cannot skillfully predict climate change.
    [img]https://informativestats.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/hayden_ipcc_arrow.jpg[/img]

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    Why not reduce the question to its fundamentality
    There is no ” greenhouse effect “

    That certainty alone makes the ” anthropogenic ” and ” climate ” arguments idiotically irrelevant.

    We are visited by sham idiots ( such as so-called Drewski etc ) but they have nothing to say

    Especially in light of the fact that they have no fundamental proof of anything that they declare as settled science.

    Reply

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