Exxon Is Way More Optimistic on Climate Change Than the UN

Categories: Environment

World Economic Forum
Rex Tillerson
We're all getting sophisticated enough to agree that climate change is real, climate-deniers are wrong and someone should do something about it. Good for us. But what any of that actually means is still a major point of debate. On Monday the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a new report detailing the ways that a harsher planet could mess with society.

On the same day that report was released, our local Exxon released its own, unprecedented report, also acknowledging that the risks of climate change. "The risk of climate change is clear and the risk warrants action," William Colton, Exxon's vice president of corporate strategic planning, said in a press release.

The UN and Exxon reports both agree that adapting to climate change is important, that the population is getting bigger and demands for energy will increase with all the new people. But the reports are mostly pretty different. Exxon's climate change report is the climate change report for winners, more or less giving the middle finger to the renewable industry and predicting that fossil fuel sales are "highly unlikely" to be curbed by government regulation.

The UN's report, by contrast, is a little sad.

Activist shareholders would like to see Exxon act a little less cocky about its fossil fuels sales. "We'd like to see the company be more proactive in developing other types of energy sources and becoming a true energy company in a way that doesn't negatively impact the world," Danielle Fugere, president of environmental shareholder group As You Sow, tells Unfair Park.

Here are some of the big differences in the UN's and Exxon's dueling climate change reports. Decide for yourself which one is a happier read.

UN:Predicts that climate change will make poverty worse: "Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger."
Exxon: Focuses on how poor people use more energy when they get wealthier: "People and economies need energy to grow and thrive."

UN:It's really complicated: "All aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change, including food access, utilization, and price stability"
Exxon:Fossil fuels make food better: "A refrigerator uses energy to keep your food safe to consume and your oven uses energy to cook it."

Importance of Government Regulations
UN:. Really Important: "Local government and the private sector are increasingly recognized as critical to progress in adaptation ..."
Exxon: Regulations are OK but energy sources should determined by the market. Also, regulations can be very risky, so be careful: "... trading can still be hindered by less-recognized artificial barriers such as excessive regulations and government restrictions."

Alternatives to fossil fuels
UN: In its summary for policy makers, the report advocates a number of measures to deal with climate change, including "an emphasis on energy efficiency, progressing toward renewable energy as an alternative to non-renewable fossil fuel resources."
Exxon: Expects renewables to do well by 2040, but not that well: "Renewables [will] grow fastest, but still account for less than 5% of total energy."

UN: A world that doesn't prepare for climate change is a world not fit for humans: "The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate ... there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming."
Exxon: A world without Exxon is a world not fit for humans: "All energy sources, including carbon-based fuels, are necessary to meet future global energy demand growth as society manages the risks of climate change."

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"We're all getting sophisticated enough to agree that climate change is real, climate-deniers are wrong and someone should do something about it."

climate change has been taking place for eons (if you would just look at the historical record), but what is not agreed upon is the role that mankind plays. as for calling someone a denier a better term is skeptic. a skeptic doesn't accept with blind faith what the members of the High Church of Environmentalism proclaim as the truth. 

as for what to do? well most of what the proponents of climate change have suggested cause more harm than good.

TheRuddSki topcommenter

Though much of Earth and it's climate are being assaulted by the noble savages of the third world for whom the UN is represented by the dust trail of speeding white $70K Toyota Land Cruisers, we can look to the collapse of Communism and East Germany as an example of the responsibility of modern, first-world practices as evidence of our sins.

Shortly after the sorrowful collapse of that Pivotal Experiment of governance, the skies of East Germany were as clear as Julie Andrews' marvelous backdrop for the famous tune.

Now, if we can just get the Chicoms, Russia and any others who have chosen to dabble in the horrors of capitalism and rampant consumerism to "shut 'er down", we can begin the healing.

A good place to start? Google. Do you know how much electricity and cooling is required just so the world can search for the latest on the Kardishians?

holmantx topcommenter

Climate Change Deniers Strike Back!

Scientists clash over UN climate reportTwo of the world’s leading climate researchers have clashed over a report on the impact of global warming and rising sea levels.Leading climate researcher asked to be removed from UN stu
Prof Richard Tol is an economist at the University of Sussex, who has been the convening lead author of the chapter on economics. He was involved in drafting the summary but has now asked for his name to be removed from the document. Calls draft 'all about the impacts of climate change and the four horsemen of the apocalypse.''
 Once again the IPCC shreiks an irrational, by implication, if not explicitly, its utopian vision of a "Natural State" with its own intrinsic rights to impede the activities of man, and hysterical fears of environmental poisons, disproportionate to the threat and dismissive of their associated benefits.And not even the guy who wrote it, buys it.Climate deniers indeed.

TheRuddSki topcommenter

I thought the debate was over.

TheRuddSki topcommenter


When it is determined that Something must be done!, then anything that fits the definition of something will do.

As long as it soaks the "rich".


@TheRuddSki only for the members of the High Church of Environmentalism who don't want to look at any factual objective evidence that contradicts their computer models

TheRuddSki topcommenter


If the computer models of the predictors of climate holocaust were to conflict with their agenda, they would simply lie. If, as we see with Mark Steyn and National Review, they are caught in a lie, then they will simply sue in court those who expose the lie.

TheRuddSki topcommenter


It's always been about economics - global socialism, international taxes and the like.

Of course, the benefits of a climate that has been forever, and will be forever, changing, are never mentioned by the global grabbers.

More arable land, more access to polar minerals.

What to do when a region, due to climate change, becomes less-than-optimal habitat?

Move - The human race has been practicing this solution for quite a while.

I'll be less skeptical of this bullshit when the people who are in charge of vilifying us Deniers can tell me what the optimal temperatures are for all affected regions.

TheRuddSki topcommenter


Then you'd love Malibu or San Diego. Why the hell are you in Dallas, do something wrong?

TheRuddSki topcommenter


By moving them?

If the seas are going to rise, it's not going to be a tsunami.

I've lived in on several coasts - one constant there is change, the other is adaptation to change.

same with the animal kingdom, they adapt. I'm a firm believer in the science of evolution.

We've adapted to the ice age of the seventies, we've adapted to the population bomb, we've even cleaned the Hudson. We can handle the Climate Holocaust.

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