Desperately underfunded and hopelessly outgunned. There’s a real underdog in this climate fight. Think 1980 U.S. hockey team. Think Rocky.

It’s ExxonMobil. That’s the consensus here at the Heartland Institute’s global warming denier conference.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making this up. They would have you believe the most profitable company in the history of Planet Earth is as helpless as a newborn doe against those bullies Al Gore and James Hansen.

Don’t believe me? Peep this:

[I]n this David and Goliath battle, it is American industry that is the David and the environmental activists, with their vast resources, who are the Goliath.

Keep in mind they’re saying all this in a conference that’s sprawled over parts of half a dozen floors of the Marriott Grand Marquis Times Square, where martinis in the lounge start at $15. There’s big money behind this event. reports it’s found data linking $7.5 Million in Exxon funding from 1998-2006 to the Heartland Institute and many of the event’s cosponsors. This year, the coal industry alone plans to drop $35 million on a campaign to stop climate action, namely the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.

Look, you don’t need me to detail how silly it is to call ExxonMobil an underdog. But it’s a reflection on the credibility of this conference that speaker after speaker can say it without getting laughed out of the room.