Rockefellers at war: Famous family feud after some descendants speak out against ExxonMobil – the company to which they owe their fortune – for downplaying climate
Fights are bound to break out at the dinner table this Christmas for the Rockefeller family. That’s because the descendants of Standard Oil baron John D. Rockefeller are at odds when it comes to handling the family’s legacy in the drilling business.Many Rockefeller heirs have been speaking out against ExxonMobil, for what they believe was a calculated effort to sweep the issue of global warming under the rug. But other family members think it’s wrong to throw ExxonMobil, a company that succeeded Standard Oil and to which they owe their enormous fortune, under the bus.
That was yesterday
8 days ago:
Exxon Mobil Accuses the Rockefellers of a Climate Conspiracy
The company, which has been accused of scheming to pay surrogates to deny the threat of climate change, is trying to turn the tables by calling its opponents the real conspirators. It is fighting state attorneys general, journalists and environmental groups in an all-out campaign to defend its image.
10 days ago for 12/8/2016 publication:
The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon
What we had funded was an investigative journalism project. With help from other public charities and foundations, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), we paid for a team of independent reporters from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism to try to determine what Exxon and other US oil companies had really known about climate science, and when. Such an investigation seemed promising because Exxon, in particular, has been a leader of the movement to deny the facts of climate change.3 Often working indirectly through front groups, it sponsored many of the scientists and think tanks that have sought to obfuscate the scientific consensus about the changing climate, and it participated in those efforts through its paid advertisements and the statements of its executives.
It seemed to us, however, that for business reasons, a company as sophisticated and successful as Exxon would have needed to know the difference between its own propaganda and scientific reality. If it turned out that Exxon and other oil companies had recognized the validity of climate science even while they were funding the climate denial movement, that would, we thought, help the public understand how artificially manufactured and disingenuous the “debate” over climate change has always been. In turn, we hoped this understanding would build support for strong policies addressing the crisis of global warming.
Indeed, the Columbia reporters learned that Exxon had understood and accepted the validity of climate science long before embarking on its denial campaign, and in the fall of 2015 they published their discoveries in The Los Angeles Timess.4 Around the same time, another team of reporters from the website InsideClimate News began publishing the results of similar research.5 (The RFF has made grants to InsideClimate News, and the RBF has been one of its most significant funders, but we didn’t know they were engaged in this project.) The reporting by these two different groups was complementary, each confirming and adding to the other’s findings.