Exxon says one thing, does the opposite

From the “Just-Cuz-We-Say-We’re-Going-To-Do-Something-Doesn’t-Mean-We-Will” department:

The Center for Science in the Public Interest points out that ExxonMobil has just announced “for the second consecutive year” that it is cutting funding to groups which promote skepticism about global warming. The groups that are supposedly being cut off include the Capital Research Center, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Frontiers of Freedom Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, and the Institute for Energy Research. However, CSPI points out, “Each group continued to receive Exxon funding in 2007 after the company’s first announcement that it would discontinue the payments. Exxon did not immediately return calls seeking comment on how serious it was in following through on its plans.”

(Source: Integrity in Science Watch, June 2, 2008 via PRWatch.org)

It’s easy to companies to make a big splash, put out some advertising, put out a press release, but how often do they actually follow through? And who holds them responsible when they don’t? Perhaps we need more people like Stephen Mayne, who buy shares in these companies, and then rock up to their Annual General Meeting with a video camera to ask the hard questions.