The Real Pain at the Pump

from Wildlife Promise

0 5/17/2006 // By Larry Schweiger

Have you ever wondered who gets your gas money as prices spike and we shell out more and more at the gas pump?

Well, I have a partial answer today.  An ExxonMobil-funded group is today launching an ad campaign designed to persuade the public that the carbon dioxide emissions from tailpipes and smokestacks are not warming the planet and putting wildlife, our families and our economy at risk.

The group sponsoring the ad has received more than one and a half million dollars since the international Kyoto Protocol was established in 1997, and later abandoned by the United States.

The hypocrisy is tangible. ExxonMobil is using its oil profits to confuse the public about the real risks of global warming.  Thi stands in the face of the clear findings of every distinguished scientific body that global warming is real, that carbon dioxide from oil and other fossil fuels is fueling the problem, and that the risks are great.

Last year, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences joined the academies from ten other nations to declare, "The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action."

Even the Bush administration, which has advocated more scientific research in place of real action to reduce emissions, confirmed the inevitable earlier this month, stating: "The evidence continues to support a substantial human impact on global temperature increases."

It’s in ExxonMobil’s best interest to confuse Americans about global warming and to avoid fuel-efficiency soluitons that could help break our addiction to oil and kept gas prices from skyrocketing. Our fuel economy standards for automobiles haven’t been seriously updated since the era of 8-track tape players. On average, new cars sold today guzzle more gas — and emit more carbon dioxide — than models sold 25 years ago. 

Remember: what’s good for ExxonMobil is not good for America.

Fortunately, the ad campaign is a desperate sign of fear on part of the oil industry. The media has begun to wake up to the fact that they have missed out on the defining moral issue of the 21st century. Time Magazine, Vanity Fair, HBO and others have begun taking a serious journalistic look at the issue.

This week, Field & Stream is profiling a National Wildlife Federation survey of America’s sportsmen, who have historically worked with other Americans committed to protect our great outdoors. As noted by Field & Stream, "an overwhelming majority of sportsmen agree with the consensus in the scientific community that global warming is real, that it already is eroding their quality of life, and that it poses a definite threat to the future of two things they love: fish and wildlife." Two-thirds of sportsmen believe that "global warming is an urgent problem requiring immediate action."

You can learn more at www.targetglobalwarming.org.

And you can urge your family and friends to go see first hand the stunning facts behind global warming as the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" opens in theaters later this month.