Senator Exposes "Web of Denial Blocking Action on Climate Change" While Speaking From Inside That Web

From MIT News...

Addressing America’s climate future

At an Environmental Solutions Initiative event, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse speaks about defending science and moving forward on climate action.

Stephanie M. McPherson | Environmental Solutions Initiative
November 22, 2017

United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) spoke at MIT [Building E14] on Nov. 20 about efforts to deny the legitimacy of climate science and how such misinformation can be combated.

“In this, the era of climate change, we need more than ever the guidance and innovation of science to make the right decisions,” Whitehouse said.  “[But] the enterprise of science now has … an industrial-strength rival ... that apes science’s form but has the perverted purpose to defeat the influence of science on public policy.”

Whitehouse’s remarks were delivered in the second talk of the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative’s 2017-18 People and the Planet lecture series.

Whitehouse discussed the 100 organizations, trade associations, think tanks, foundations, and public relations firms that he says were created as front groups for the fossil fuel industry.

Who are among the "climate deniers" Sen. Whitehouse is talking about?  Let's see an excerpt from his website...

"[T]he deep-pocketed Koch brothers [and] ExxonMobil...".

Well, no surprise there, but do you think Sen. Whitehouse knew what was ~ 500 yards (269 Smoots) away from his lectern at MIT?

  1. The (Life Member Emeritus of the MIT Corporation) David H. Koch's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and
  2. The ExxonMobil-funded MIT Energy Initiative.

Oops, that probably would have come as a bit of a surprise.

So, how does the Senator describe these climate-denying efforts at the hands of these corporate fossil fuel forces?...

“It is a grim shadow over our democracy in that it includes an electioneering effort that spends hundreds of millions of dollars in a single election cycle and threatens any Republican who steps up to address the global threat of climate change. . . .  [I]t is long past time we shed some light on the perpetrators of this web of denial and expose their filthy grip on our political process.  It is a disgrace, and our grandchildren will look back at this as a dirty time in America’s political history because of their work.”

In fact, as reported in a 2015 The Weekly Standard Article, Sen. Whitehouse once proposed prosecuting these corporations under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) laws.  Earlier, NRDC senior attorney Robert F Kennedy, Jr. echoed Whitehouse's sentiments thusly...

"Koch Industries and ExxonMobil have particularly distinguished themselves as candidates for corporate death."

Now that's funny... trying to "expose" the web to the web.

Next time, be sure to check the Campus Map before agreeing to lecture at MIT on fossil fuel interests blocking climate action.

What could possibly be funnier than that?

The former President/Director (current President Emeritus) of the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Dr. Susan K. Avery), joining the Board of Directors of ExxonMobil.

... or, Dr. Avery saying this during her 2010 Tedx Talk in Boston...

"[The Ocean] holds vast stores of mineral and petroleum... things that we most covet nowadays....

We learn from these oil spills... they are opportunities to learn."


Rick Shankman's picture

Senator Whitehouse gives his

Senator Whitehouse gives his Time to Wake Up (ExxonMobil, Koch Brothers, RICO) speech on the Senate floor.

”First of all, against the billions of the Koch Brothers and the billions of ExxonMobil, fat chance that I have that much force to use [to silence their climate denial efforts].  And silence?  I don’t want them silent, I want them testifying, in a forum where they have to tell the truth.... The only thing civil RICO silences is fraud.”